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It’s no surprise that teens love texting and prefer it to face-to-face communication. As a parent, I receive several texts from my teens daily and they’re often not always ideal. It seems like they only text me when they want something –permission to spend time at a friend’s, a ride somewhere or information.

I’m used to getting variations of “What’s for dinner” texts or “Can I spend the night at so and so’s house” or “Can you give me a ride to such-and-such practice?”

These aren’t bad texts but I know, as a dad, these are some of the texts I’d be thrilled to see from my teens.

1. Hi dad. Just wanted to wish you an awesome day. Catch ya later.

2. The internet was glitchy today so I decided to clean my room.

3. Hey…remember the exam I was freaking out over? I aced it!

4. Took out the trash today. Thought you could use a break.

5. I filled the gas tank and cleaned out the car. Just to say thanks for letting me use it this week.

6. Can I get your advice on something?

7. You know dad, you’re alright.

8. Got bored and took the dog for a walk.

9. Got home early from practice and got dinner started.

10. Guess what? That scholarship I’d applied for…I got it!

11. Sorry I’ve been acting out a lot lately. Thanks for putting up with me.

12. Thanks for shooting hoops with me today. You’re the best!

13. Hi. I’ll stay home with Sophie tonight so you and mom can catch that concert you’ve been talking about.

14. Wanna hang out and watch a movie tonight? I’ll make popcorn.

15. Love you dad!

Since my teens prefer texting rather than talking, I try to keep the lines of communication open through texting. Getting the hang of texting was a bit challenging but I stuck with it. Now I can even use emojis correctly and with ease, at least most of the time.

I realized my teens are more comfortable telling me about the things that bother them and asking for my advice and input via texts. It’s understandable that they sometimes find it hard to have one-on-one chats or they’re unsure about what my reaction will be. Additionally, they’re not that comfortable talking about their emotions in a face-to-face conversation. I don’t mind and I’m happy to carry on texting them if that’s what it takes to keep communication going between us.

Besides, texts are a great way to break the ice on difficult topics. There have been several instances when one of my teens has raised an uncomfortable topic through text and we’ve started the discussion before later talking about it in person. The lack of pressure means that they can relax and express themselves more freely before they feel comfortable enough about us having a one-on-one conversation. It might seem like an odd way to communicate with my teens but it works and I’m not looking to change it.

Still, it would be nice to receive a text every now and then letting me know that they appreciate all the things I do for them. Until then, I’ll keep being their loving and supportive dad.