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A Guide To Kids' Communication - For Parents

When it comes to communication, times have definitely changed. When we were kids, talking to each other meant an occasional phone call, or waiting until we saw each other in school the next day. Now, teens and even younger children have access to so many forms of communication that they are never at a loss to talk to each other. Chatting via instant messenger, email and even cell phone text messages are all commonplace for today's youth � but what does all of this technology mean for parents? Here are some facts you should know about the way kids talk with each other.

Chances are, you have a computer that's hooked up to the Internet in your home. This means that your children have the ability to talk to their friends via email (electronic mail) or instant messaging programs. If kids want to talk to each other in real time, instant messaging is the way to go � users just download a simple program (two popular ones are AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger) and they are able to type messages to each other as long as both parties have the program. This form of communication can be great for keeping in touch with friends, but can also invite unwanted strangers to try to talk with your children. It's important to make sure you know what your kids are doing on line at all times.

Another way kids talk to each other without actually speaking is via text message. This form of chatting requires a teen (or even a younger child) to have a cell phone equipped with text messaging software and service. Text messaging services can be bundled with your regular cell phone service, or they can be an additional fee-based service (where you are charged either per text or a flat fee per month). Text messaging offers kids a way to send short messages to each other via the cell phone, but does not require actually speaking on the phone. While this can be good for occasional use, sometimes kids get a bit caught up text messaging and can either run up large bills or disrupt their classes in school. If you are planning to let your child use text messaging on their cell phone, it's important to teach them about proper usage.

Today's youth has many more choices when it comes to staying in touch � and while this can be a good thing, it may also be disruptive to important aspects of their lives such as school work. As a parent, be sure to make your child aware of proper computer and cell phone usage, and keep yourself informed about your child's activities both on line and in real life.

Submitted by:

Gabriel Adams

Visit the Free Text Messaging site.


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