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Special Report: Decoding Your Teen's Texts

Published: Feb. 24, 2017 at 8:19 AM CST
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Do you have one of those teens who always seems to have his or her eyes on a smart phone? You are not alone.

A 2015 Pew Research Center survey shows 92% of teenagers go online, mostly through their mobile devices, at least once a day. Fifty six percent say they go online several times a day and 24% say they're online almost constantly!

High school freshman Lillie Grace Faulkner says checking the phone starts and ends her day.

"It's probably the first thing I do when I wake up and the last thing I do before I go to bed," she said.

There are three rules the Faulkner family follows when using cell phones: no texting while driving, no use during dinner and using your best judgement.

"The kids need to know that what they're saying and sending is going to be out there for all to see, so I tell them to be smart and be responsible," said Julie Faulkner, mom to Lillie Grace and Grant.

There is something to be said about instilling good judgement in general," said Dr. Brian Weiland, a psychologist with Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau.

Weiland counsels teenagers and adults and says parents need to learn all they can about the cyber world, including texting and social media. Then, he says, talk to your kids.

"Don't talk so much about the appropriateness or inappropriateness. That's gonna make you seem out of touch. What you want to do is focus on concrete dangers. The long and short term effects," said Weiland.

If you're a parent, chances are you can't keep track of what your kids are saying or doing online all the time. Sometimes, even if you look at a text, you may not be able to understand what they're saying. Now, there's a way to keep an eye on what your teens are texting. Doing so may just save their life.

"As parents, in this new age of technology, we cannot keep track [enough]," said Titania Jordan, the Chief Parent Officer at www.Bark.us, a cyber watch dog organization that can track what teens are texting and their social media posts. It costs about $9 a month and will send parents an alert if it catches any signs of cyber bullying, sexting or worse.

"I don't need to know if my son is using the word fart and talking about stinky socks, but if he's saying KMS -- which means kill myself -- I want to know!" said Jordan.

The Faulkner kids don't seem to mind that their parents have access to their accounts.

"It's a little intrusive, but they are our parents and they want to look out for us. You shouldn't have anything on your phone you should have to hide from your parents," said Grant Faulkner, a high school senior.

"I trust my kids and I trust them to come to me if there's something wrong or they are concerned about something that someone sends them," said Julie.

From bark.us, here are some text codes to look out for in your child's communications:

1174 – Meet At A Party Spot

420 – Marijuana Reference

53X – Code For Sex

8 – Code For Oral Sex

99 – Parents Are Gone

9 & CD9 – “Code 9”, Parents Are Around

AF – As F**K

ASL – Age/Sex/Location

Basic – Someone who is viewed as boring or a conforming person

Bih – Bitch

CYA – Cover Your Ass or See Ya

CU46 – See You For Sex

Dabbing – Refers to concentrated doses of cannabis; also a dance craze

GTG – Got To Go

GNOC – Get Naked On Cam

ILY – I Love You

IRL – In Real Life

ISO – In Search Of

IWSN – I Want Sex Now

FBOI – F**K Boy; A Guy Just Looking For Sex

FINSTA – Fake Instagram Account

FWB – Friends With Benefits

J/K – Just Kidding

Juul – Type of e-cigarette that is small and discreet, ‘pods’ are used for smoking

KMN – Kill Me Now

KMS – Kill Myself

KYS – Kill Yourself

LH6 – Let’s Have Sex

Lit/Turnt/Turnt Up – Something that’s active or popular, can also refer to being stoned or drunk

LMAO – Laughing My Ass Off

LOL – Laughing Out Loud

MPFB – My Personal F**K Buddy

Netflix and Chill – Getting together and hooking up

NP – No Problem

NIFOC – Nude In Front Of Computer

OMFG – Oh My F**king God

PAL – Parents Are Listening

ROTFLMAO – Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off

UH – Are You Horny?

SH – Sh** Happens

SMDH – Shake My Damn Head

SMH – “Shaking my head,” meaning “I don’t believe it” or “that’s so dumb”

Snatched – On point, very good, or well styled

STFU – Short for “Shut the f**k up,” can be used as an expression of disbelief or to cyberbully

TDTM – Talk Dirty To Me

TF – The F**k

Thot – Stands for “that hoe over there” and is often used instead of “slut”

TWD – Texting While Driving

WTF – What The F**K?

WUF – Where You From?

WYD – What You Doing?

for additional resources on how to monitor your child's online activity.