A 10-Year Old’s Lesson in Texting Etiquitte

A hard lesson was learned the other day in the danger of texting. A friend made Carter mad, so in retaliation he texted mean things to him. To be fair, the friend says mean things, it seems, on a regular basis. But he says them, he doesn’t text them. Normally Carter just turns the other cheek, but this time something finally snapped.

He knew that what he had done wasn’t right. The kid’s mother found the texts and sent one back, a warning that she would call me, something she never did, which I found a little odd. Guilt, perhaps prompted him to show me that message and so I had a look at all the messages and was shocked at the words I found. I had to explain the permanence of a text, evidence that can be used in a case of bullying and that it was never O.K. to say things like the things he wrote in those texts, to anyone in any form, under any circumstances.

He sent a text of apology and begged for forgiveness, but spent a long night and morning of anguish worrying that his act would be get him expelled from school. The friend forgave, though I suspect the friendship will never quite be the same again. Or maybe it will. They are 10-year olds after all. But I was glad for the anguish, because I know that a lesson has been learned the hard way, making it one that will never be forgotten.

3 Comments

  1. BigLittleWolf February 24, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    It is hard watching these tough lessons take place. But perhaps they're the ones that stick.

  2. dadshouse February 24, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    We check every text my son sends and receives, exactly because he's gotten in trouble over texting. We compare the phone record to what's on his phone, so we know he's not deleting any. Texting can lead to much trouble! As for the lesson here – about all you can do is apologize and move on. Well done.

  3. hunibuni February 25, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    As awful as this sounds, if you do not let him fall, he will never learn to get up. I am the mother of a 20 year old and this is the hardest lesson I have ever been taught. Every time I have had to let this lesson sink into my son, it has broken my heart. But, he will learn to think before he acts and that there are consequences to his actions. It will serve him when he reaches his teenage years far more than anything you ever dreamt.
    Good Job.

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