A few years ago, The New York Times published an article titled “Texting May Be Taking a Toll” that discussed the effects excessive texting can have on teens. Some of these effects include potential increases in anxiety, poor academic performance, sleep problems, physical stress on the hands, loss of attention in school, and disruptions in everyday activities. Additionally, the article explored how texting has the potential to affect adolescents’ development, specifically in how they separate from parents to become independent adults. So, what's a parent to do about it? It's pretty obvious that we can't eliminate texting from our children's world, but how can we prevent it from being a problem?
According to this infographic, 29% of individuals between the ages of 13 and 24 send an average of 1 to 49 texts per week and 18% send an average of 50 to 99 texts per week. According to this infographic, teens, defined as those between the ages of 13-17, average a total of 3,417 text messages per month, with an average of 7 text messages every hour. Can you believe it? Well, maybe you can depending on your tween/teen's texting habits!
Teens send and receive more messages a month than all of the other age groups. Teen girls are more active in the text messaging world, with an average of 3,952 text messages a month as opposed to males’ average of 2,815 text messages a month. Those numbers are about to make our heads swirl!
It is no surprise then that parents often feel overwhelmed by teens' excessive texting and are unsure of how to communicate with their teen about their texting and do not know how to remedy the issue. Parents can turn to ParentDish’s articles on texting, titled “Texting Tips for Parents” (pay careful attention to the section on UNDERSTANDING WHY teens text so much) and “Texting - Is it Bad for Teens?” for advice on how to handle their teen’s texting.
Some of the tips provided include:
- Being aware of how texting can be beneficial
- Establish rules of the and where teens can text
- Teaching teens to not text and drive
- Reminding teens that a text’s content is not private
- Establish consequences for when texting rules are not met