Is Your Child's Friend Always Texting During Visits?

Updated on March 20, 2012
M.E. asks from Deerfield, IL
13 answers

My daughter has a friend who seems somewhat addicted to texting. Whenever I take her somewhere she will spend the entire trip in the car texting. She and my daughter sit silently while she texts. My daughter has no idea who she is texting and she doesn't include her in the texting. FYI, my daughter does not have a phone. Her friend was even texting when we were eating. I've been unsure if I should tell her to stop texting - set some ground rules, etc. I feel sorry for my daughter because I think it is unbelievably rude of her friend to treat her this way. It's gotten to the point that I discourage her interaction with this friend because I just don't think that this she is being respectful of my daughter and of our family. Am I being old fashioned to think that this child should focus on the people she is physically with? Should I say something? Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all your responses! Keep them coming. The girls are 13. To her credit, the girl will respond if I speak to her, but I guess I wish that my daughter would draw the line. Angela G. kudos to your son! Thanks again!

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answers from San Francisco on

My son had a sleep over for his birthday and they all attended a football game. All 8 boys were dancing in the stands, laughing doing the chicken dance...but one boy continuously texted some girl the WHOLE entire game and missed out in all the fun. I would just tell her that moments are passing her by. I showed him the photos and I think he got it just a little bit. I make a rule, no texting unless you are alone. I like my son to engage in conversation when we go out to eat, etc. I hope this doesn't change when he is a teen.

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answers from Dallas on

We don't allow electronics of any kind during meals - for any of us. I have had to let my sons' friends know this at times as well. My youngest son has one friend that wanted to play with his Nintendo during dinner, and I had to firmly remind him several times before we started eating that he needed to put his game away. My oldest son's friends have been around long enough to know our rules, and they don't mind complying.

As for all of the other texting, my oldest son just went through this with one of his friends. They're 14, and my son's friend had a new girlfriend that he was texting all the time. He came over to spend the night a couple of weeks ago, and barely spoke to my son. He was busy texting his girlfriend the whole time (except when we were eating since he knew phones weren't allowed then). When he left, my son said he didn't think he would be seeing his friend again any time soon because he didn't want to spend his time watching him text his girlfriend.

Today he went over to that friend's house. He asked why my son hasn't been around, and my son told him honestly. The friend apologized, and didn't text at all the whole time they were together. They had a great day!

Maybe if your daughter talks to her friend about it things will change. Then again, maybe they won't, but at least your daughter would have given it a shot. I'm sorry she is even in this position. Her friend should know better.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. It seems like not only kids do that, but adults too. It is so RUDE. I would casually tell her that it's rude to text while she is visiting with your daughter. How would she like it if the shoe were on the other foot? See if she stops. She might just be completely oblivious. If it continues, it maybe time to dump this friend and find a new friend.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I know adults who do this!

I think the response to adults and children should be the same. Texting should be done in private, not in the presence of others (except for very brief messages when necessary). It's as if I talked with one person in your home every minute and pointedly ignored all the rest of you.

If a guest in my home did this, that person would not be invited again. Actually, that has happened.

Having a no-texting rule at your table, or even in your home, is not out of bounds. I think you can definitely look upon it as an addiction, but not a physical one. Perhaps obsession is a better word.

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answers from Portland on

I think it's very reasonable to make ground rules for your house, especially at mealtimes. It's extremely rude to be on the phone/texting at the table unless there's a real emergency. I've had to lay down the law with a couple of young family members, but I try to do it without making them feel badly about it. "Oh, be sure to put your phone away. We're going to be eating now." and then to follow up "Oh, remember, no phones at the table."

Your daughter is just going to have to realize on her own that she's getting dumped for the allure of the phone. I'd give your daughter sympathy if *she* mentions it, otherwise, don't bring it up. However, IF you are trying to address the young girl and she's busy texting, do correct her with a firm "Please put that away for now. I'm trying to tell you something and would like your attention." Perhaps modeling asking for the respect you deserve from the friend will empower your daughter.

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answers from Biloxi on

Ah, I have a 15 year old son. He and his friends text. They don't talk on the phone - they use the things to text each other. I figure if he has a friend over, and that friend texts during the time he is visiting my son that it is for my son to deal with. If it annoys him he is old enough to say something to his friend(s).

I do have a no phone at the table policy, during family time, in stores, etc. I set limits when he and his friends are interacting with me - but I figure between the teens themselves they can work it out.

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answers from Charleston on

I think, while in your house/car/presence - no texting allowed. It's your rules when she's under your supervision.

I think texting is just rude to begin with, and I didn't get it on my phone until last summer. I hate it. I understand using it for quick yes/no answers, but whole conversations are ridiculous. My sister in law does this the whole time they are here on vacation each summer. She texts all day long to her friends/family in NY, doesn't really listen to conversations going on here, and has to constantly ask what we're talking about. I don't understand it. If you're that consumed with other people, go be with them and don't waste my time.

Your daughter's friend is rude, and I wouldn't think twice about telling her to stop texting or you're taking her home. :) She doesn't sound like a very nice "friend".

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answers from Atlanta on

How old is she? If my kids and their friends were teens, I can imagine not saying anything the first time and just mentioning it to my child later -as in, "Why do you enjoy hanging out with >>> so much? All he/she does is text." I would let them know the next time they needed to put the phone away or go somewhere else. For younger kids -I would tell the kid when she arrived that we didn't text or use our phones unless we had to get a message to our parents, so if she needed to text her mom -great -but otherwise the phone needed to be put away. You can let your daughter know your intentions beforehand, so she knows to expect it. She may decide to say something to this friend herself. Texting like that is RUDE for any age, and I don't condone rude behavior in my house. If a kid farts, burps, shoves past others, etc. I remind them to say, "Excuse me," whether they're mine or not. I would not allow a child to sit around in my house texting.

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answers from Washington DC on

i would institute a no-texting during meals rule. if the girl is spending the rest of her time with your daughter texting, i'd work with your daughter on how to broach the subject with her friend in a firm but courteous fashion, and let her work it out for herself.
i think you are correctly old-fashioned about it, but there's no question that it's a national phenomenon and you can't change what happens in any family but yours.
when i was waitressing i would tell someone who was texting or talking on the phone while i was trying to take their order 'oh no! i wouldn't dream of interrupting you! i'll be back when you're free.' it was astounding how many people do that, and how many parents were fine with their kids sitting there texting throughout the entire meal.

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answers from New York on

i think u could say something if its going on while ur eating.. i think depeding on how old they are.. your daughter should say something about all the other times shes texting... if theyre young id say something to the girls a nice way

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answers from New York on

When my daughter has a friend over I am very vocal and tell her that our house rule is texting after dinner/desset.

Both kids have to put the phones in another room.

I set that "no texting at the table" rule the day she got the phone. My daughter (also) has to put her phone on the kit table before she goes to bed. She does test me---but, I do not give in.

Kids should absolutely NOT be able to talk on the phone or text during a family meal. I am sure all families have different rules, but research shows how important it is to have family meals as many times during the wk as possible.

It's good to be old-fashioned. There is not enough of it anymore.

If this is your child's gd friend, I would simply call the mom and ask that she does not bring her phone because your daughter hasn't gotten 1 yet. If her friend gets upset about that, then, it's time to discourage the visits.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tucson on

I dont think you should say anything, but i do think if it bothers your daughter she should. I agree with you its very rude. I have an adult friend who does this. I also have a friend who answers phone calls and has long conversations at my house. I think its so rude. I don't answer my phone or text unless its an expected phone call or an emergency.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I hate going out to eat with my family and seeing a kid eating with their parents TEXTING...some really really young. My son is 2 and we dont' even allow toys, blankies anything at the table. IT IS FAMILY TIME. Our Neighbors son comes over and hes 15 and knows if he came over to hang out he doesn't need to be texting while hes over. PICK UP THE PHONE AN CALL YOUR's kinda scary...what cuold they possibly be talking about all day long...

1 mom found this helpful
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