Posted by Walter B.
A ridiculous cell bill came, bumped up by the tremendous volume of texts, mostly sent by my teenage daughter's friends to her phone. Two choices, blow up and cut the texting cord or get an unlimited family text plan. My first instinct was to cut the cord, then my daughter humbly said that the text plan could be useful to us as a family. My wife and I reconsidered and the rest is texting history.
My wife and I now text several times a day, usually once each as a random reminder of our undying love for one another. The rest are usually just random reminders. But something really cool happened with our daughter. We started texting each other once in a while. Short notes of text speak like, "luv u, gr8, c u ltr, come pic me up..."
We found that while our daughter was away at an ice skating camp at the University of Miami in Ohio, texting was more valuable than gold. "How was your lesson?" Gr8, landed my double loop, so happy. "How was dinner? OK, miss mom's cooking. "Did u slp ok?" Ya but my leg is a little sore. Should I skate in the expo? I don't want to disappoint u. "Honey, don't push it."
Once we got into it, we actually communicated more. It seems that it is easier to read between the texted lines these days.
Now my 11-year-old son wants a phone. He boldly and correctly states that his sister got her first phone when she was going into junior high. He feels that he should get one, too. These days it is very hard to justify adding anything to the cell bill. But someday, we will figure something out. My son does not e-mail and barely says 10 words when he calls a friend. He will break us down eventually, but we have learned a thing or two since being broken in by his big sis.
Lessons learned. Try not to text while kids are in school, it only tempts them to use the phone when teachers aren't looking. Don't be afraid to text your kids in school and other times when it really counts, like "dr appt today, pick u up at 1pm." Or when your teen's phone has run out of battery, you can text the friend they are with (once in a blue moon). The friend will text back or hand the phone to our daughter out of respect for us and our daughter. "See dad, texting can be useful as a family!" "Gr8, c u ltr."