Hattiesburg parents uses texting to keep track of teen

By Karrie Leggett – email | bio

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -  Try to find a teen who doesn't text and you may have to leave the country. Try to find a parent who doesn't text and you may not have to worry about that passport.

Ruth Brooks, mother of a texting teen, says she may not be able to JK and ROFL with the best of them , but does try to keep up with her teenager.

"I'll text her in the afternoons,  have you made it home. Did you have a good day at school? If I take her some where she will text me and say I am ready to be picked up, and I will say I'm here," said Brooks.

More parents are learning that it's best to become all thumbs when it comes to keeping track of kids. Brooks says sometimes it's the best way to stay connected.

"She is really the one that got me started texting. Most of the time when I text I text her," said Brooks

Brooks says she rarely texts anyone other than her daughter, but knows that's not the case for her 15year old. It's the texts Brooks doesn't see that worries her.

"If she is talking to one of her friends and they are having a conversation she'll say, 'why don't you just text me,' then that makes me think she doesn't want me to hear her side of the conversation. When they are texting nobody can her what they are saying," said Brooks.

That worry is warranted. There are several "parent warning codes" that teens use. For instance : CD9, which means parents are around,  PAL, parents are listening and PIR , parents in the room.

"That makes me worry as a parent," said Brooks.

Texting codes are one of the drawbacks of intrusting a child with a cell phone, but Brooks says she would rather trust her teen than become a snooping parent.

"I do know parents that do go through there children's phones , but I haven't.  I told her that as long as I could trust her I would  never have to, but if I ever have a reason than I would. I've always told her that I could get that information from the phone company," said Brooks.

This "I'd rather text than talk" generation may be a little harder to understand, but at least parents are trying to communicate with the teens that speak with their fingers.

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