Understanding Your Kids

16 Aug

Can you relate to this mom?  Too many parents and teachers can.  Kids use a whole new language to text and IM each other.  So how do we protect them from something we don’t understand?

I am a firm believer that the best way to protect kids is to educate them, and yourself, to dangers that exist in our world.  This goes for online protection as well as for protection IRL (in real life).  This generation is one that spends more time emailing, chatting, texting, and IMing than most adults can comprehend.  Many parents see a chat conversation or a text message and it looks like just a series of letters and numbers that barely make sense.  Kids text in a whole new language, and parents need to know what the are saying.

In this post I am including several common phrases that kids use when texting, IMing, and chatting.  These are a few of the MANY phrases that are texted each day.  I have spent many hours on Yahoo IM and in various chat rooms and forums.  While I do this for enjoyment, I also do this to stay ahead (or at least afloat) with what is going on online.  As a computer lab teacher, and mom to a 2, 6, and 9 year old, I feel that it is my job to know what goes on online and to educate and protect my children and students.  The phrase below are phrase that I have seen many times.  In some cases, they can be innocent, in others, not so much.

P911- Parents coming
POS/TOS- Parents over Shoulder/Teacher over shoulder
IRL- In real life
a/s/l- age/sex/location
wtgp- Want to go private?
f2f- face to face

If you would like to learn more about common and not so common phrase head to How to Understand Your Kids’ Text Messages.  They do a wonderful job of giving you all kinds of insight into the every changing “Text Language”.  I would highly encourage all parents and teachers to look at the site and to go into some chat rooms or become familiar with IM and texting.

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