Some responses to my last post
(which detailed my daughter’s failed attempt at talking us into a texting plan) made me want to hear more from an actual twelve year old. What’s it like out there, walking the halls of your middle school with no text message buzzing in your pocket? What exactly are you missing out on?
So, I interviewed my daughter. She’s twelve and attends a public middle school. If you want to listen to the interview, click here. Or read a few snippets below.
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Me: Why would you want to have a texting plan—what would you do that you can’t do now?
My Tween Daughter (MTD): Talk to your friends and feel like you have more friends, maybe, if you text with them…
ME: Of your closest friends–the girls that you hang out with the most–do you think that they are less of a friend because you don’t text them?
MTD: Not my closest friends, but [with] other friends… it can be a way to keep old friendships going…because you would still be talking.
* * * * *
ME: Do you think girls feel popular if they’re getting a lot of texts?
MTD: I think texting gives people self confidence if they have a lot of texts. Not necessarily popular, but confidence.
ME: Confidence, how?
MTD: Well, I guess it is popular. But self confidence that you have a lot of friends and you’re not a loner.
* * * * *
ME: Do you think that there would be a temptation to text something that you wouldn’t say out loud?
MTD: Probably…. Like, “People are really annoying.” “I hate my teachers.” “My parents are driving me crazy.”
ME: So, would you say there’s more temptation for this sort of thing? Like, complaining, being negative, gossiping, being mean?
MTD: Probably with some people.
ME: What about lying? Would it be easier to lie in a text rather than over the phone?
* * * * *
ME: How about boy/girl relationships? Do you know any kids that have said inappropriate things to boys?
MTD: I’ve never heard of an inappropriate thing, but I heard that a [13 year old] girl was texting a boy that she loves him.
* * * * *
ME: If you had a text plan, and one of your good friends texted something like ‘she’s such a jerk’ or ‘she’s so ugly… How would it be received if you said, ‘Let’s be kind’ in a text?
MTD: You would probably be looked at as weird.
ME: So really, texting could create some hard situations for you as a Christian, to make wise and good choices…. Do you think some parents might want to save their kids that sort of hard decision making at younger ages?
ME: If you were a parent with a 12 year old girl, and you knew that giving her a phone with texting would cause more temptation for her life, like, lying and gossiping and being negative and being mean, do you think you would give her a text plan?
MTD: That’s a mean question! I probably would either not give her the texting or make a deal with her that you get to read all the texts, but that would be hard to follow up on.
True, that. Follow up is hard. And so is saying no! But parenting is so, so worth it. Moms, let’s keep pressing hard, and using all the wisdom God offers us through His Word and prayer, to parent well in our changing world.