I think one of the best perks of having older kids is that they now have cell phones. I know, the cost is no fun but I really love knowing that I can talk to my kids anytime I need to. They ALWAYS have their phones on them (um, they’re 12 and 14 so, naturally) and I also made sure they kept the read receipts option on so I know exactly when they read a text from me. No avoiding mom, sweetheart. Answer me back. I’m not as concerned when they wander away from me in a store or while they are walking home from school. They have their phones and I can reach them. My time away from them during the day doesn’t seem as long anymore since I can send some quick texts back and forth once they are out of school.
I would argue, in fact, that having the option to text each other has actually made our relationships a bit better. Parenting tween and teen daughters is not easy and communication between mother and daughter can be tough. Texting, however, is easy and I’ve found it often to be the best way to slide into a tricky conversation or to at least break the ice of a particularly bad day.
I also love that some of our most hilarious, serious, or irritating conversations are actually in writing. I have proof of promises they made or times when they upset me for future discussions and reflection. I also have something to look back on when I’m wanting a quick laugh.
1. The time when my oldest tried to “mom” me:
2. The time when I excitedly asked how the first day of school went and I got a less than enthusiastic response from both of my middle schoolers:
3. The time I dared to escape for an hour with my husband to enjoy a local band and a drink two miles down the road:
4. The time when my oldest found a way to throw me some “mom guilt” in a text:
5. The time when my oldest wasn’t speaking to me and had kicked me out of her room so I tried to bribe her out of her funk while texting her from my kitchen:
6. The time when my middle tried to bribe me through text and I had to teach her a lesson about money management…through texts:
7. The time I got stuck in a group text and they blew up my phone arguing through their bitmojis…while I was in a meeting at work:
8. The time we made fun of her father together:
9. The time when my middle daughter thought I’d fall for the classic tween texting prank of only texting with song lyrics to confuse the other person, forgetting that I work with adolescents for a living:
10. I’ve also turned on the iMessage option for my youngest daughter’s iPad. Since the rest of us in the family have iPhones, she can also join in on the texting fun (while practicing her reading and writing skills) and she can reach me as long as she’s on a wireless network. Her messages to me usually look something like this one and I will never, ever tire of them: