Sometimes it feels like teens and parents don’t speak the same language.
When you glance at your kid’s texts, you likely will see a slew of acronyms and other shorthand that look like utter gibberish. Perhaps you’ve taken a gander at Vine or Snapchat, and in the time it takes to adjust your readers, you’ve already missed what was so damn funny. Maybe you’ve hopped on Yik Yak, Whisper, or even Tumblr, just to see what those rumored bastions of bullying are all about, and left hours later having enjoyed a few good memes and at least one Britney Spears gif, but with no deeper understanding of how to navigate those angst-filled digital waters.
All of this may bring up some uncomfortable feelings as you realize your child has a life that is unbeknownst and unintelligible to you. There are three things you can do next:
1) Panic: This is fairly easy to do, as us 24/7 hovercraft parents can find fear in just about everything from a can of tuna to a walk around the block. Lately my inbox has been inundated with articles from Kim Komando, “America’s Digital Goddess” including her piece in USA Today,”Essential Texting Acronyms Every Parent Must Know” and on her own website, “5 Dangerous Apps You Don’t Know Your Kids Are Using.” We are the “what to expect” generation — we are plugged into the idea that knowledge is power, but it also can be powerfully scary, too. If you thought the threat of preeclampsia was bad, just imagine what happens when you find your underage child on Tinder. (I don’t know either but it makes me very nervous.) Yup, it’s easy enough to panic….
2) Relax: You can remember when you were a teen, right? I’ll bet what you recall most clearly isn’t the day-to-day, but the crazy, nutty, ridiculous, not always so safe things you did without your folks ever knowing. You may also remember how you learned that people could be massive assholes those times that you were treated shabbily or even bullied by your peers. You also probably learned how to cope, or if it was too much, you went to your parents or other adults to help you with a bad situation. Or maybe you didn’t. And then you made horrible decisions while in a terrible situation… OK, maybe so much for relaxing….
3) Retaliate: To me the third option is clearly the best. I say that moms and dads deserve what the children have: a double secret private life. Sounds sexy, right? Not to be confused with sext-y – everyone knows parents don’t sext. (Or do they… and then do their children grab their iPhones to play Clash of the Clans, notice the sexts, and totally freak out? This may or may not have happened to me.)
Anyhoo, back to the list of texting acronyms every parent should use:
When You Have Something to Hide
CD10 – Code 10 – it means you know what CD 9 means, which is that parents are around
KIL – Kid is listening
KIR – Kid in room
KISS – It’s an Army, and I’m proud to be a member since 1979
HMC – Hiding my chocolate.
SL2TS – Secretly listening to Taylor Swift
IFBD – I farted, blamed dog
DSD – Double Spanx day
INLFOD – I’m not listening — figuring out dinner
IWNN – I want a nap now
IWU2NN – I want you to nap now
FYMC – Finished your macaroni & cheese
CTYRF – Channing Tatum’s your real father
When You Are Involved In Something You Shouldn’t Be
RU/40 – Are you over 40? (Note: don’t answer that — it’s freakin’ AARP looking for a way to text you!)
420 – It’s 4:20 and you’re 20 minutes late to pick up your carpool. At least that’s what you can tell your kids it means to you… then they will then LOL but of course the LOL will be on them.
SHIT – My husband says this one should be “Silent Hot Intercourse Time,” but everyone knows it’s just SHIT, as in I forgot to buy milk and we have six kids sleeping over or SHIT it’s already 5:00 p.m. and the dog hasn’t been let out in eight hours or SHIT I was supposed to bake gluten-free chocolate chip cookies for the bake sale and I totally spaced on it!
IUYTGC – I used your Target gift card (… and will later pretend you lost it and use it as a teaching moment about how you have to take care of your valuables)
WF/U – Wearing flip side of underwear – haven’t done laundry for over a week
REO – Returning expensive outfit (you know, the ones you buy for a wedding or other fancy occasion that you bought fully knowing that you’d return it after)
RYTDGAS – Read your texts, don’t give a shit
Not All Acronyms Are Bad
LMFSP – Laughing my fucking Spanx off
INAM – I need a Martini (this is one you should use any time, day or night, but especially when trying to help a kid with middle school math, or during a PTA meeting, or when sitting on a cold bleacher seat watching a game at 7:00 a.m…. like I said, day or night)
BWLMA – Binge watching, leave me alone
C8R – Cater, as in let’s order in tonight
M8R – Mother
P8R – Father
S8R – Satyr, which are “lustful, drunken, woodland gods.” Best used when you are in Narnia or attending yet another boring ass potluck dinner.
T8RT – Tater tots… because they make life worth living.
ZZZ – I’m sleeping, so stop texting me, damnit!
So if you see me REO, just know that a DSD made me do it and clearly INAM. If my kids ask why I do the things I do, I’ll just say M8R, and because they don’t study Latin, they won’t understand… which is exactly what I wanted in the first place. LOL, ppl!
TTYL — XO BIS!