Are you a parent of a teen? If yes, you are probably worried about your kid and the amount of time he spends texting. You are not alone – millions of parents are looking for the ways to protect their teens from all the mental and physical dangers the excessive texting can provoke. Read on to learn more about the risks of text messaging and the ways you can set healthy boundaries.
Issues Caused by Excessive Text Messaging
- Poor sleeping habits
Setting the curfew for the night is the essential step if you want your teen to have a good sleep. You'll have to find a way to keep this rule active even if messages keep coming. Otherwise, lack of quality sleep can result in fatigue, which would definitely affect teen academic performance.
- Self-esteem issues
Why make decisions on your own when you can ask your friends about anything via text? Especially with messengers and all the texting acronyms invented to make the communication faster and easier. Often teens fail to react to life situations where they should make decisions and form their opinions.
In teen age, friendships are as strong as they are fragile. Often friends can become enemies overnight because of the smallest reasons. New ‘frenemies’ can use all the personal information against their ex-friends to hurt them or to boost their own confidence. In this case, texts become harassing and threatening, making teens feel unsafe.
The increased hormone level and self-exploration teens are going through often leads to risky behaviors such as sexting (sending sexually explicit content). Not only this content is illegal, but it can also cause emotional pain and troubles in case it gets into the wrong hands.
How to Set Healthy Boundaries for Your Teen?
Growing up in the technology era, teens are extremely tech savvy. But their judgments and impulse controls are not completely formed yet. You should never leave them alone with their troubles and explorations. Be sure to monitor your teen and his texting. Here are several tips for limiting the smartphone time.
- Talk to your teen
This is the first and the foremost thing you should do when you try to help them learn about the right decisions. Discuss the cell phone use and texting issues with your teen before applying the limits. Do not forget to speak about the risks listed above and go through the possible results of excessive text messaging.
- Set the limits
Some mobile carriers do offer the chance to restrict texting during certain hours of the day. So be sure to check all the options you currently have or consider changing the carrier.
Discuss and apply the appropriate restrictions to your teen's texting. He should never be texting while driving. There should be no texting during family dinners and reunions, and after curfew hour. Even though most schools restrict the use of mobile phones, your teen should also remember that texting in class is prohibited.
- Monitor Your Teen
Teenage years are full of independence-seeking and rebellion – you should be wise enough to understand it. Nevertheless, while providing your kid with enough space for his growth, you should still ensure his security. As you pay all the bills, monitor the cell phone use. Be sure to know their friends and be aware of how they spend their free time. Stay involved and close, but do not turn into one of those helicopter parents. There is nothing worse in teen age than parents who hover over your every move. Leave your teen enough room for becoming an independent individual. Guide him and help to make the right decisions.