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Does Your Child Meet Your “Text-pectations”?

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Replies to: Does Your Child Meet Your “Text-pectations”?

  • boudersbouders Registered User Posts: 1,725 Senior Member
    My 2 college-aged kids asked me to use Facebook messaging as our primary means of communication. I know that Facebook is seen as dorky by younger people, but my kids at least seem to use it daily. I don't contact them daily, but when I open it up, I can at least see when the last time they were on Facebook was. So, I use it as proof of life. DD was last on it 2 hours ago, so I don't need to contact her to make sure she is still alive even though I haven't heard from her in 2 days.
  • momocarlymomocarly Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    S doesn't communicate well. He is going 12 hours away know I won't hear much from him. He has been gone 2 1/2 weeks for his job and I'm lucky if I get a sentence each night and that after I ask how his day was. Of course he promised to send a picture each day and call. I got my first call the night before he left to come home and that was to tell me his boss bought him a $650 leather jacket!
  • ekdad212ekdad212 Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member
    For the most part, my two kids in college meet my "text-pectations", but not always. I have a son and a daughter and if they don't answer me immediately, that means they're busy doing something and not checking their phone at the moment, or they are ignoring my texts. Especially true for my daughter, who is active on Snapchat, IG/finsta, and Twitter. So, at any given time, she just has a lot of traffic to sort through and my texts may get lost in the flood. But, I can be a silly and annoying dad and text them stupid jokes they already heard, links to articles they will never read or viral videos they already saw. I don't mind if they ignore that stuff. But, if it's important, they can tell by my tone and they will answer as soon as they read it.
  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 2,800 Senior Member
    We live in Asia most of the year and our daughter, a rising junior, goes to college on the east coast. She more than meets textpectations, and our communication schedule evolved early her freshman year, kind of out of necessity, and continues. I guess we are texting frequency outliers in that we have text chats usually twice daily, when she wakes up and we are relaxing in the evening on the other side of the world, and when we wake up and she is transitioning to dinner and/or evening activities. Some text chats are short, some are an hour or more. If either of us won't be around at our typical texting times we try to let the other know. When she first went to school we thought we would Skype video weekly, but she was in a one room quad with no privacy, complicated with the time difference. We do Skype video chat about once a month. I don't know how long we will keep this up, but will enjoy it while it lasts.
  • takeitallintakeitallin Registered User Posts: 3,273 Senior Member
    While in college our kids were pretty good about responding to texts, although DH and I didn't text often. Surprisingly, our kids were better about calling. Now that they are all out of college (well, the last one has 1 quarter to go), I may be one of the few moms who complain that their kids call too much. I starts right when I am supposedly out of work (which I am usually not). I almost always get calls from 3 of them. The 4th is more like a 2x/weeker which is fine. While I do complain to my husband sometimes as I am tired and just want to sit for a minute with no interruptions right when I get home, I am very glad they like to stay in touch. The youngest will sometimes call in the middle of the day just to say hi and usually start with so what are you doing today? ("I'm at work paying for your school").

    Our new thing is an App called "Marco Polo". The kids have created a family group and anyone in the group can record a video that instantly posts to the group and then others can respond instantly. Since ours kids are so scattered it is kind of fun because it is like a substitute for a family gathering. It is almost like all the kids are in the same room and doing their normal fast paced conversation with all of the sarcasm and joking thrown in.
  • PheebersPheebers Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    I think you have to manage your own expectations. I knew what I was getting with my twin daughters, and I wasn't surprised. One texts me several times a day, with everything from "heading to class" and "gorgeous view from my window" to more weighty stuff. The other one responds (usually) to direct questions within a day or so, but rarely contacts us unless she needs info. She's just so wrapped up in her life at school when she's at school that she doesn't think about home much, so I don't take it personally. She's focused on us when she's here. :)
  • notrichenoughnotrichenough Registered User Posts: 7,749 Senior Member
    If your kid is on your cell phone plan, you can go in and look at every text and the time, and you will most likely see that they are texting incessantly before and after they received your text.

    In other words, they have almost definitely seen your text. So why aren't they answering?

    Probably they don't think it needs a response, or your text is eye-roll-inducing so they don't feel like responding (doesn't take too many "How are you doing? I miss you" or "How was your day today?" texts for that to happen). Some kids may be trying to separate a bit. If you are texting your kid 5 times a day, they probably feel like it's too much, and that you are helicoptering over them.

    It takes a little more work to come up with texts that the kids will find interesting, but it's worth the effort. With DS, griping about the local sports teams or anything nerdy usually got a response. With DD, it was different things. Clothes or decorating or camping or food or travel or drinking or the weather or sports or whatever.

    Not a big fan of threatening to cut off the phone if they don't reply on your terms, this IMO is just another aspect of using your money to control your kids' behavior.
  • conceptcatconceptcat Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I'm very very tech-literate (been online since uhhhh like 1989? and the actual internet since about 1992) and I've had to adjust my expectations with folks under 30 when it comes to texting. There has been a social shift over the past 10 years or so. Texts are no longer "synchronous" as we CS grads say - meaning they aren't expected to be a real-time conversation and/or full-attention activity. Nowadays they are "best effort" - another CS term.

    I think the expectation of synchronicity for many people came from instant messaging, but it is dying out for better or for worse. It also allows time for more thought on the composition of messages which has in my experience become very important to millennials. Those two words might have taken a rather surprising amount of thought.

    The other thing is that they (and me, actually) are often like "ugh okay gotta respond to this right. I'll do it in 5 minutes." Nope. Gone. Sometimes I'll text, text about something totally different 5 hours later, and get a response to the FIRST thing because they forgot about it.
  • conceptcatconceptcat Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Sorry for the double post but on re-reading the thread I have some specific reponses.

    First, I want to emphasize that while there are of course outliers that text all the time including to their parents, the shift of texting to non-synchronous and "best effort" really is a social shift, at least among age 30 and below. It's not going to reverse itself. Same with how many younger people are allergic to phone calls. Communications technology changes and culture follows.

    Second, I have a niece who is the apple of my eye and who adores me, and she does the exact same type of thing. Long delays and short answers, at least until the random time that she's fully present and we have a long conversation by text (which still may span 3 hours with delays of minutes between messages). Aside from it being a social norm, which I cannot over-emphasize, she's often multitasking, or just plain busy, or dealing with stress and emotional stuff. She may communicate with others more when stressed out, which hurts a bit, but that's how people ARE.

    Third, trying to pull the puppet strings by threatening to cancel the phone is only going to breed resentment. Also, MVNO cell carriers are offering 2GB data and unlimited texting/calling for as little as $15/mo now. Your kid can go buy a SIM from a carrier like that, pop it in their phone, and now you've bred resentment AND lost your puppet string. Bad plan.

    Managing expectations is key on BOTH sides of the equation. "I expect to hear from you before bed/within a few hours if I've texted" is a totally fair management of expectations on the kid's side. On the other side of the coin, parents will need to manage their own expectations about immediate responses. Most under-30s don't do that 100% of the time for people they love and care deeply about. It's just not going to happen, and if you attempt to force it, it's going to be unpleasant at best and backfire while breeding resentment at worst.
  • koolmom4everkoolmom4ever Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Hello. S is from the suburbs of Willmengtons Delaware. He goes to SUNY - far, far away. I try to visit by taking the AMTRACK and the Ferry. It is far. When S is at school, I text him each day, saying :"I hope you did your homework. I love you." He responds at aleast once a week. I know he doesn't answer becuz hes havin fun! College kids are CRZY lol. Thats jus t life. You could also try FACETIME with D or S. THat way, you see their face and u know its ok. I also ask my S to send me pics of him doing his laundry. That might be helpful. Good luck!
  • PheebersPheebers Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    I'm a firm believer in not pestering your kids while they're away. But when you really want to hear from them, talk about something they want to talk about. Send them a picture of the dog, ask them if they've heard certain gossip, offer to send some extra whatever you baked, send a funny meme. The less needy and more pleasant you make yourself, the better luck you'll have.
  • csfmapcsfmap Registered User Posts: 370 Member
    My two can be great to terrible in their response time. It depends on how busy they are, what point in the quarter they are in (dead week and finals week they disappear), whether they have a girlfriend taking up communication time, when I catch them, etc. Over the years, I have come to appreciate what comes and accept the ebb and flow of their calls and texts. I text them mostly to convey I am thinking them about them, love them and am hoping all is well. I do have a code phrase that they know is serious and they need to respond to. I text "I need a sign of life". I use it sparingly and only when the lapses seem unusual and I am truly concerned. They always respond to that and usually it's an apology for not calling coupled with a they are just really swamped and busy. That's a good enough explanation because they are doing what is important during their college years.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 833 Member
    I think kids today get so many snap chats, and texts that they lose track of it. Its unbelievably distracting that darn phone. We did not have to deal with all that interruption, but it is today's world, and students focus less well BECAUSE parents insist on interrupting their day.

    I never text my son anymore. But If I really need him. I text him one word: HI. If he responds, I call him, if he does not I assume he is busy.

    Kids today need to be left alone. Parents need to get a life of their own. The fact that kids do not need us means we did a good job.

    Its not necessary to talk to a kid more than once a week in my opinion, in freshman year. After that, let them call you, unless their is a death in the family. Really, why keep in such close touch? Its about parents needs, for certain not children's needs.

    I also believe over visiting really stresses out today's students. They really dont want parents visiting on parent weekend. Parent weekend is really silly I would say. Who wants to pay top dollar for a hotel during parent weekend? Not me.
  • momofsmartdancermomofsmartdancer Registered User Posts: 248 Junior Member
    edited August 6
    I have an unusual situation going on right now (unusual for us anyways). When d went to college about 5 hours/ day she initially texted me approx. once/ day. She is a multi-tasker and likes to watch a movie, listen to music, do her homework, and text at the same time. By second semester, she seemed to have settled in to college life and had a good handle on the work load. So then she started texting me 3-5 times per day except the weekends, when s he was busy hanging our with her friends. More recently, she broke her phone day she was packing to go to a college dance camp. I had loaned her my ipad and got a few texts while she was there. Then she decided to go visit her (I guess now boyfriend) at his home state which was adjacent state to where the camp was held. I have received only two brief texts and she has been there 5 days. I had a dream last night that she got married and that in my dream, I realized that I wouldn't be hearing from her much anymore. So, I guess I believe that once she settles down with someone she will truly be on her own and will not be in contact much.... :(
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 Registered User Posts: 3,199 Senior Member
    Love/hate relationship with texting here . . . I don't expect my sons to text me back right away but it's nice when they do (and they don't always).

    On the other hand - we all lived quite well and easily without texting and cell phones. I can't imagine if my parents had been able to track all my movements in college, and if we texted back and forth constantly through the day.

    It's almost like we don't cut the cord anymore. Not sure what the sociological impact will be. I'm certainly not complaining LOL. Love hearing from the kids.
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