Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Knowing Your Child's Lingo May Save Their Life

by Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC
Parents, your children's safety may depend upon you knowing their text and instant messaging lingo. Numerous web sites including TrueCare.net, and Netsmartz.org are now helping parents learn how to understand what their kids are saying to each other in an effort to prevent and stop bullying. For example, did you know that CD9 means parents are around or that MIRL means meet me in real life? If you think you have had the talk with your child and they understand the rules about texting and instant messaging, don't be sure that this is all you need to know to be safe. I participated in 17 stories for HLN and CNN last year. Thirteen of those stories had to do with children being hospitalized or killed due to bullying, suicide, or kidnappings from people they talked to on the Internet or texting.

Here are a few terms that will help you get started with understanding your children's texts or instant messaging.

Starbucks...*$

Thanks...10x

One to one...121

I love you...143

I hate you...182

To...2

Too cool...2c

Too cool for you...2c4u

Today...2 day

Too hot to handle...2H2H

Too late...2L8

Too much to handle...2M2H

Too much information...2 MI

Tomorrow...2morrow or 2mrw

Tonight...2nite

To you too...2U2

Mom...303

Threesome...3sum

For...4

Information...411

Marijuana...420

Forever...4ever

Forgive me...4GM

For real...4rl

For you...4U

For you too...4U2

Forward...4ward

Oral Sex...8

Over, out of, get rid of...86

Parent in room...CD9

Parent has left...99

Anyplace, anywhere, anytime...A3

Always and forever...AAF

As a matter of fact...AAMOF

Address...addy

As far as I'm concerned...AFAIAC

At home...AH

AOL Instant Messenger...AIM

Actually laughing out loud...ALOL

Available on cell...AOC

Angel on your pillow...AOYP

Age, sex, location...ASL

Age, Sex, Location, Picture...ASLP

At what time...AWT

As you know...AYK

Are you stupid or something...AYSOS

Drug of choice...DOC

There has become a sexualization of youth in our society.

Sex is power, and kids want power. They want to fit in and feel good, and there are people who do not have your children's best interest at heart. These people are available at all times via the internet and texting. Parents must be aware and talk with their kids. Make your home a safe place your child can come home to. You can create a safe place by following these guidelines offered by Netsmartz.org.

1. Keep the computer in a common area.

2. Create safe user names and profiles.

3. Don't let your children meet face to face with strangers they met online (you have to be checking to know.)

4. Teach children what to do if they get an offensive or threatening IM, E-Mail, or chartroom post (they should begin by showing you.) For cyberbullying, go to http://wiredsafety.org/ or email http://www.cybertipline.com/. You can also call them at 1-800-843-5678.

5. Look into filtering or monitoring software for your computer.

6. Let children show you what they can do online and visit their favorite sites.

Parents, it takes your involvement to keep your child safe.

Remember that girls cyberbully more than boys and that bullying is no longer the bullying you grew up with. It is constant torture; and it happens at a time your child's sense of self is not fully developed. This is part of the reason it can have disastrous effects on children. Any child under the age of 14 should not be on a social network. If your tween is on Facebook, MySpace, or any of the other social networks, I would ask you to reconsider setting firmer boundaries at home. Blaming the schools, churches, or wherever else your child encountered a harmful person will not help if your child is hurt, nor will it heal your pain if your child takes their life.

Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.

2 comments:

Michelle said...

Wow, thanks for posting those! I had no idea what most of those meant. Kind of scary. My kids don't have cells yet--they are too young for that--but I'm sure they'll have codes like these when they do. I'll certainly be on the lookout for them!

I found you through Twittermoms, BTW--I'm now following you on Twitter, GFC, and Facebook.

:) Michelle
http://frugalfunfamily.com

Crystal said...

following from the blog hop and hope you can follow me too at www.threejewelsinmycrown.blogspot.com

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