Back to School is fast approaching and I just realized that I can’t *sniff* put little notes in my 13 year olds lunch or back-pack without there being a major “Un-Cool!” factor. (More sniffs and some serious internal whining.)BUT the mommy in me still see’s my little guy excited when he’d find a “special note” in his lunch or backpack. Even though he’s about to be 14, my “little guy” (I have to look up at him now) needs some encouragement and loving words from mom.
My ideas below are just that – ideas, customize them to work for your teen. The point is that I want to still be a touchstone for my son as he grows older AND still say what he doesn’t think needs to be said – but he loves to hear anyway. You may have different ideas or more personal messages you can send your own teens – the point is don’t let them growing up make the two of you grow apart. Let them know you still care and will always be there for them and that they are wonderful, special, talented and loved. They may respond with, “Oh, Mom. Really?” But what they really mean is, “Oh Mom. You’re really the greatest!”
5 Messages To Text Your Teen the First Week of School
Some schools do not allow cell phone use during the school day – that is okay. Send your message when you know they can read it – at the bus stop, after school, during lunch. Just send it! 🙂
Keep your messages short, sweet and to the point. Use text speak if you know how – your teen will either get a chuckle out of it or think you’re cool for trying (though they’ll never admit it). I give both options below.
[box] Side Note: If you don’t know how to “text speak” ask your teen to show you how. My son and I laughed our butts off as he taught me to text like he did and to text faster. Teens love showing that they have some knowledge that they can share with you.[/box]
Day 1 – Be Excited For Them (they are probably a little nervous)
The point here is to be excited for them so they won’t be so nervous / scared, let them know you are thinking of them and to help open a dialog when they get home.
Regular Text: This is going to be a great year for you! Love you and see you after school.
Text Speak: this is going 2 b a gr8 year 4 u! luv u – c u after school!
Day 2 – Pump Them Up And Be Encouraging
Appearance is a big thing for teenagers, make them feel confident by complimenting them on how they look. Also, no matter if yesterday was a great day or a sucky day, let them know today will be even better! This will keep the positivity and excitement flowing – and unfortunately – even if they say they had a GREAT first day – chances are there was at least one hiccup they are keeping to themselves that they could use encouragement about.
Regular Text: You look great today! I know today is going to be even BETTER than yesterday. Love you!
Text Speak: u look gr8 2day! i know 2day is going 2 b even BETTER than yesterday 🙂 luv u!
[box type=”warning”] Keep the use of all caps to a minimum. Use only for emphasis. TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS KNOWN AS SHOUTING and you don’t want to shout do you?[/box]
Day 3 – Let Them Know They Are Important
By the end of day 3 your teen is probably getting into the swing of things but may also start to feel ignored by last years friends who may have made new friends. They may be frustrated because no matter how hard they try they can’t remember where third period is and they keep getting lost. By this time teachers have laid out expectations and they might feel overwhelmed. No matter what the case, letting them know that they are important to you will help them feel better about themselves. Offering to go do a “small something” after school gives your teen a one-on-one opportunity to unload some of the things he may have been keeping to himself. Examples of “treats” in my house are: getting frozen yogurt, going to Sonic for a soda, grabbing a smoothie at Starbucks, etc. Anything small where we can stop, have our treat and sit a talk for a bit. It just helps to be alone and away from the house – the conversations just seems to happen.
Regular Text: Sometimes I forget to tell you how important you are to me. Let’s get a treat after school today. Love you!
Text Speak: sometimes i forget 2 tell u how important u r 2 me, let’s get a treat after school 2day 🙂 luv u!
Day 4 – Let Them Know You Think About Them
Okay, I’ll admit, this sounds like a no-brainer, and after the 13+ years you’ve invested into this child, they should know you think about them, but guess what? They don’t. They need to hear it. Not only do they need to hear that you think about them – but that you think good thoughts about them. All teenagers are under the misdirected thought, “My parents hate me, that’s why they are always giving me crap about everything.” (Oooo – such drama in a teenage head – but I bet you can remember feeling the same way.)
Regular Text: Was just thinking about how amazing you are and wanted to tell you that I love you. 🙂
Text Speak: wuz just thinkn about how amazing u r & wanted 2 tell u that i luv u 🙂
Day 5 – Let Them Know How Proud You Are Of Them (becuase they think, you think, they suck)
We encourage every little thing our child does when they are small but often to forget to offer consistent encouragement when they are older. Even worse, we forget to tell them that we are proud to be their parents (yes, yes, sometimes I know we want to hang our head in shame and hope no one realizes that we gave birth to that hormonal monster). We forget to celebrate their small successes when they are older saving our accolades for large accomplishments only. Let your child know you are proud to be their parent and of the person they are becoming. It’s easy to get to “mushy” with this one – so be playful – your teenage sons will especially thank you for limiting the “mom mush factor”.
Regular Text: Just had to tell you how proud I am of the amazing young man / young lady you are becoming. (I’ve done a great job!) Just kidding – you really are amazing! Love you!
Text Speak: just had 2 tell u how proud i am of the amazing young man / young lady u r becoming – i’ve done a gr8 job! j/k – u really r amazing 🙂 luv u!
It Doesn’t Really Matter What The Messages Are
Just take 5 days to send 5 simple messages to let them know you think of them, you love them, you are proud of them, that offer encouragement, and that they are important. Heck, you could do this everyday – who doesn’t want to hear those things?
Be Prepared For The Reality Of No Response
Your teen may text you back. You may get a wonderful heart-felt response that you want to embroider onto a pillow and remember for all eternity. Your teen may not respond at all. Your teenager may never bring up the fact that you texted them – don’t worry about it and don’t bring it up. The point is that they get the message.