If your child is shooting out text messages limitlessly and it is normal to find your child texting around 500 to 1000 text messages every day, whatever else it is, it surely is not normal. And you need to check on it or one day your child won’t know about anything on earth other than sending and receiving texts, and chatting over the chat messaging applications.
Addictively texting all the time can create digital usage imbalance in your child’s life and you will soon find your child to be overpowered by digital devices. If you still think it is not at all a thing to take seriously and prefer to take it casually here are some of the most damaging things that soon become a part of kids’ lives who text vehemently all the time.
Kids start texting while driving or while on the go
You can compare this with gum chewing or nails biting habit. A person who is addicted to chewing gum never feels like throwing away the gum in the mouth and keep chewing it manages to throw it only when other starts persuading. Similarly a person who bites nails all the time finds it hard to leave if even for a short while. This is exactly the case with text addict teens who just can’t manage to miss out replying a text from friend or the pang to check the social networking notification or message from various social sites even when they are driving or walking through the street. This can lead to accident or cause some other kind of damage or injury.
Kids start experimenting in explicit pictures and start sexting
Soon kids start sending obscene texts or sharing obscene files. Some teens get so involved in the habit of sending and receiving obscene picture files or text and chat messages that they soon get into sexting which is a damaging activity and often involves the sender’s nude or semi nude picture. Whether or not your child clicks and sends sexts of self or somebody else, it is always damaging and offensive in every way. Sharing such pictures can have serious effect on the sender’s as well as the receiver’s reputation and identity. If the pictures go viral, it can have unbelievably damaging effect that can be life-long.
Regular texting gets still more massive and turns into midnight chatting
Bed time chatting or midnight chatting whether through text messages or through various chatting messenger apps is not just harmful for eyes, mind and overall health but is also damaging in several other ways. As night is the time when predators are highly active, if your child tends to chat more at late night, it can be an indication that your child has befriended some wrong people who can prey on your child some day or other. Again, late night chatting may signify that your child has something to hide from you and this is why this late night communication is going on when whole family is sleeping. You need to check before it gets too long and some predator has already victimized your child or your child has already become a part of some wrong group with criminal minded fellow teens.
How to stop your child’s damaging texting habits
Of course, this is something that only you can do and whether or not you like it, you’ll have to do it. You’ll have to stop your child from getting into all kinds of damaging text messaging and chatting habits.
The first important thing that you can do and you really need to do is educate your child about all kinds of possible damages and harms that wrong texting and chatting habits can have on your child.
Second thing to do is to stay really alert and keep track of your child’s behaviour, every day activities, habits and digital usage.
Third and most essential thing to do is to parental monitor your child’s text messages and messenger chat histories. If you are wondering how you’re going to do this, here is the most effective way to handle it. Get cell phone monitoring software and install it on your child’s device. It will register all the things happening on it and let you know about all the text messages that your child sends and receives all through the day along with date and time stamp which will make it clear when your child had a certain chat or sent /received a particular message.
This will not only open up your child’s secrets and let you know if your child has been secretly using the cell phone at midnight but will also help you stay aware of the people with whom your child communicates all the time. If you suspect any criminal minded person or a predator or some wrong person trying to communicate or trying to get to close to your child, you’ll be able to get alert and do the necessary thing to help your child stay safe.
About Author: Monika is a staunch believer in the inalienable right of every citizen to freedom of expression. Writing about online privacy and kids safety or safety tips. Interested people can read her blog or submit a guest blog post.