The top 10 messaging mishaps parents do when talking to their kids


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A quarter of Gen Z adults actively avoid phone calls and six in 10 even blank calls from their own parents, a study has found.

A third find calls ‘awkward’ and 24 per cent would never just phone someone out of the blue.

In fact, 36 per cent reckon the bulk of the phone calls they make are trying to get hold of their mates on a night out.

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The poll of 1,000 adults aged 18-25, commissioned by Sky Mobile, found 73 per cent would rather catch up on WhatsApp, iMessage or Snapchat than speaking on the phone.

However, it’s not just calls they are ignoring, as 41 per cent have even muted a group chat with their mum and dad.

The mobile network has teamed up with TV star Jeff Brazier, who has been on campus finding the best way parents can contact them as millions of students head off to university for the first time.

Jeff said: “I used to think I was up to speed with all the texting tricks of the younger generation, but after I visited some lovely students, I’ve officially been schooled.

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“Keeping connected to my kids is super important particularly as they embark on the big challenges in their lives.

“So, I’m glad I’ve been given the opportunity to learn from some of the digital natives of our time.”

Keeping up with your children

It comes after a separate poll of 1,000 parents with children aged 13 to 25 revealed 71 per cent believe picking up the phone for a chat is the best way to keep in contact with someone.

Six in 10 parents believe the younger generation are scared of answering calls compared to previous generations with 64 per cent agreeing they only hear from their children via WhatsApp and text.

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The research also explored messaging between parents and their children – with 41 per cent of Gen Z noting their parents often reply ‘ok’ to almost everything.

While 30 per cent get inundated with a stream of x’s at the end of a message from mums and dads.

It also emerged 35 per cent find it amusing when their parents have no idea what emojis mean, with 27 per cent thinking their parents are clueless about the ones they are sending themselves.

Whereas 38 per cent admitted they hardly ever use emojis and if they do they try to play it safe with 40 per cent of parents revealing getting their head around what emojis mean is like learning a new language.

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It’s not just emojis which are puzzling them though as 28 per cent have had to turn to Google to work out what their children have sent them.

And 24 per cent think they are trying to baffle them on purpose – with ‘slay’, ‘peng’ and ‘roadman’ among the most perplexing terms used.

Despite the difficulties with communication, the study, commissioned by Sky Mobile, found two thirds of parents are currently footing the bill for their teen or Gen Z offspring’s phone contracts.

Nearly six in 10 (59 per cent) are doing so to ensure their kids are easy to contact, while 41 per cent want to support them financially where they can.

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And 64 per cent of those polled via OnePoll would even happily share any of their own unused data with them.

Paul Sweeney, managing director for Sky Mobile, added: “As a parent of university aged kids myself, I know all parents want to stay connected as their kids start a new term.

"All unused data rolls into one Sky Piggybank that can be shared, students can get a top up whenever they need it to stay in touch - by message, not phone call.” 

Top 10 awkward messaging mishaps parents do when communicating with kids

  1. Reply ‘ok’ to everything (41 per cent)
  2. Signing off texts with lots of XXX’s (30 per cent)
  3. Replying to big or good news with a thumbs up (29 per cent)
  4. Being a victim of autocorrect (28 per cent)
  5. Sending random photos or jokes without context (22 per cent)
  6. Using proper punctuation in messages (21 per cent)
  7. Writing ‘haha’ as ‘ha ha’ (19 per cent)
  8. Using emojis incorrectly (19 per cent)
  9. Sending images with motivational quotes (17 per cent)
  10. Using LOL as lots of love rather than laugh out loud (15 per cent)

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