Having tech savvy teens has been a mixed blessing. Although I don't know how our mother survived our teen years without our having cell phones, handing our children a piece of technology by which we can keep tabs on their whereabouts, means we also need to keep tabs on what they do with that piece of technology. We've removed their ability to access the internet on their phone, as it was too difficult to track their browsing history the way we are able to track the home computers.
Texting, on the other hand, we've kept intact with a few restrictions. Our teens are not allowed to delete any texts they've sent or received. We keep tabs on the numbers they text to and the total number of texts through our account, so they know we'll know if they've deleted a text. We don't read all of their texts, we only peruse them for inappropriate content. We want to be sure they continue to respect our standards of Christian language and conduct. Failure to comply incurs disciplinary action, usually a loss of phone privileges for a certain time period.
For Stat Boy, texting is his connection to the world during the school week, as many of his friends are in traditional school settings and unable to hang out on school nights. Texting is also the way in which he touches base with me. On the occasions one of us is away from home for more than an hour or two, Stat Boy always finds something to text to me:
"Fried ice cream!"
"Favre needs to retire and the Vikings r 0-2 wow"
"Wow I'm mad now B, and I, and S and everyone has facebooks >:("
"Jets r up by 14 with like a minute left over the Pats... I picked Jets!!"
"On our way bak Seattle got lucky! Two kick return td's!"
As he's grown and continues to grow into manhood, he's become less demonstratively affectionate toward us. I know that is a natural inclination, but it makes me sad, nevertheless. I've come to see his touching base using texts as his particular love language, his way of telling me he still loves his mom. Times have sure changed.