Is Your Teen A Textaholic?
How many text messages is your teen sending and receiving per day? According
to the Nielsen Company, the answer is about 80. Yep! Eighty text messages in
one day…not in a year…but just one day! It makes my brain…and thumbs…and
wallet hurt just thinking about it. To make matters even scarier, a study by
AAA recently reported that 46% of teens admit texting while driving. Ouch!
Maybe these studies are flawed, causing these numbers to be inaccurately
elevated. Anything's possible. Let's say that teens only send and receive 40
texts per day…and that only 23% of them admit texting while driving. Yikes,
that's still high!
Data like this tempts me to do some pretty ineffective things with my kids.
These include quitting my job so that I can follow them around all of the
time, using duct tape to restrain their thumbs and fingers, moving the family
to a cell-phone-free zone within the Arctic Circle, yelling, screaming, etc.
Particularly with teens, all we really have control over is:
How we act around them
What we provide for them
Rather than moving to an igloo, it's far wiser to model responsible cell
phone use and to set firm limits over who pays for the phone. This might
sound like, "Honey, you may have a phone when you can pay for it. If it will
help any, you can just tell your friends that your parents are so old
fashioned that they think that talking face to face with your friends is
better than texting. And…by the way…we love you and would miss you if you
died while texting behind the wheel."
For more tips on navigating teenage trials, get your hands on our Teen
Package. If it doesn't completely change your life, return it for a full
Thanks for reading!
Dr. Charles Fay
Toby was admitting to his mom that he had skipped one of his classes six
"Oh, no," responded Mom. "You're going to fail that class."
"No, Mom. I'm not going to fail. You worry about everything. It's no big
"Wait a minute," she answered. "The school rule says that five unexcused
absences earn a failing grade."
"Don't worry, Mom. I'm covered."
"Wait a minute. You didn't commit forgery, did you?"
"Yeah, Mom. But it's no big deal; everybody does it."
Believe it or not, Mom called a national talk show asking for advice about
how to handle it without letting Toby fail the class.
If I were to ask you about this, you'd probably tell me that Toby needs to
face the music. He needs to confess and learn from the situation. And you
would be right.
Toby's mother can either stand between his bad decision and the consequences,
or she can stand beside him, supporting him as he learns from it. She can't
I'd suggest that she say to Toby, "What a sad situation, Toby. How do you
want to confess? Do you want to do it in person, in writing, or would you
rather have me help you by going with you to the principal's office? I bet
you might like a hug right now. I know that I do."
Raising teens takes courage.
Thanks for reading,
Importance of Empathy
What's the very most important Love and Logic skill?
Understanding why is fairly simple. Consequences delivered with empathy
create responsibility. Consequences delivered without empathy create
So we have a choice: Will we raise responsible kids…or resentful ones?
Will we end up in a nice nursing home or a nasty one?
Yes. Understanding why empathy is the most important skill is simple. Empathy
preserves the relationship and makes it very hard for our kids to blame us
for their poor decisions.
Really using sincere empathy…on a consistent basis…is the hard part!
We've spent over two decades studying people who've been successful with
this. What do they have in common? They use just one empathetic statement…
regardless of what consequence they must provide.
That's right. They keep it simple!
They also pick one that fits their personality and culture. Some folks always
precede consequences with, "That is so sad." Others prefer, "Oh, man…"
Some parents say, "What a bummer." Others prefer, "Bless your heart."
Tape this note on your bathroom mirror as a reminder.
Thanks for reading!
Dr. Charles Fay