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How to Prevent The Lazy Text About Dinner From Upstairs

“Why didn’t you answer my call or my text? I thought that was our ‘family’ rule?” snarked my snarky teenager. “Are you kidding me?” I responded. “You called and texted me about dinner – from UPSTAIRS! Get off your butt and come ask me in person. It’s common courtesy.” Eye roll response. No surprise. This of course led to a discussion at our next staff meeting. “So, am I the only one who has a problem with my perfectly healthy teenager getting up off his butt, walking a few feet, and talking to me directly? How lazy can they get, right.”

The Lazy Teen Text

“We do it,” my co-worker nonchalantly responded. “What’s the difference between that and him yelling from his room, ‘What’s for dinner’?” she calmly added. Well, I’m not a big fan of that either, but at least it’s person to person. “We do it in our house. I don’t have a problem with it,” added another. “Yeah, not a big deal,” added a third. Wait. What? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the disgust in lazy teenagers who need to up their manners and communication game? Wow, I was totally caught off guard by my co-workers’ responses. I can honestly say I have never sent or received a text to any person who is in same house I am!

Am I the only one who feels this just isn’t right? My son claims it’s because I don’t like, nor am I very adept at, texting. No, wrong, completely wrong. I don’t HATE texting. Okay, so once, in attempting to text a friend sitting in another section of our high school football stadium I mistakenly sent a group text to my son’s friends. And okay, it was a bit embarrassing for him when at half time, in the locker room his friend asked “Dude, why is your mom texting me?” I also got a few texts back asking, “Who’s this?” and finally “Um, Mrs. Gallagher did you mean to text me?”

Am I the Only One?

Okay, that wasn’t my finest technological moment. (Don’t even ask me how I ended up in a group text. Something to do with my family and “the cloud”? Whatever.) In full disclosure, there was also the time I thought I was texting my brother and sister-in-law to thank them for the beautiful birthday flowers they sent me and mistakenly texted my college son’s lacrosse team captain.

Fortunately he did not have me in his contacts so had no idea who was texting him. He was very pleasant though and suggested I probably had the wrong number. And he did wish me a happy birthday, so I got to see what a nice kid he was and why he was a captain. Anyhow, after these incidents what I told my son was that I hated having to put my glasses on every time I texted. Not that I hated texting. But I digress. Don’t we have an obesity problem in this country? Don’t we fear that our teens are addicted to our phones? Eliminating texting inside the same house would be a step — a small step, but still … — toward combating both those issues. But maybe there’s my clue: combating. As parent of teens we do have to pick our battles don’t we?

Mindy Gallagher

Mindy Gallagher is Your Teen Magazine’s social media editor and a mom to three boys.