Texting Your Teen, A Lesson of What NOT To Do


I was walking a friend through the process of setting up a Facebook account and had just said, “The most important thing to know is that everything you post on your wall or anyone else’s can be viewed by everyone who likes you,” when a little pop up appeared notifying me that my 13-year-old son Keenan had updated his status.

“Keenan is horny.”

“I’ll call you back,” I said.

I reread Keenan’s status and saw that his younger brother’s friend had already read and commented on Keenan’s status with, “Wow.” Panic set in as I begin imagining all of the parents of our kids’ friends reading about my 13-year-old son’s desire to have sex with their daughters. I started to write a comment of my own that went something like this, “You are soooooo grounded you…”, but remembered reading an article about Facebook no-nos if you want your kids not to hide their account from you and decided against it.

Instead, I formulated a brilliant plan. One that would mortify my son beyond words. One that would cause him to think these things through in the future and NEVER embarrass himself or his loving mother on Facebook again.

I picked up my cell phone and with a grin that makes the Joker’s look pretty, I texted him these four words, “How horny are you?”

I could barely contain my giggles.

That’s right kid. Don’t ever underestimate the reach of a mother’s eyes.

Within seconds, Quick Draw Mcgraw hit me back with, “WHAT????????”

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As if. Now I was fuming. How dare that little twit act like he didn’t know anything about it. I could see his circle face in my head. That’s the one where his eyes and his mouth are all open at perfectly gaping proportions causing him to look like he has three circles on his face. That is his lying face. Every. Single. Time.

Feeling quite smug, I texted him back, “I saw what you posted on Facebook.”

He responded with, “What are you TALKING about???????????????????????”

It was at this point I began to feel a little tightness in my chest and my breathing started to get more labored than the day I delivered him because this one tiny thought popped into my little pee brain. Is it possible he didn’t post it?

I sheepishly texted him, “Ummmmmm. You see, your Facebook update says you are….well, ummmmm, you know….horny.”

Then there is a mortifyingly long wait and I get this text. “OMG. I would NEVER put that on my Facebook. My friend did it. I checked my Facebook on his phone and forgot to log out. OMG. I can’t believe you texted me that.”

Sweet blindness causing mother texts. My unsuspecting teen was walking along innocently with his friends, all smiley faced and happy to be alive, when he looked down and without any provocation or warning, received a text from his mother asking, “How horny are you?”

I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering how in God’s name my child would ever be able to look me in the face again without needing to run to the bathroom and empty the contents of his most recent meal. I picked him up at his bus stop and was encouraged to see that he made eye contact with me without turning three shades of green as he departed the bus.

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He tossed his backpack into the back of the car, came around to the front, opened the door, took one look at my, “I am such an idiot” face and busted out laughing until tears were streaming down his face. I joined in and we sat there for several minutes laughing so hard we could barely breathe. Which was clearly fake laughter intended to ensure we didn’t have to speak to each other. We didn’t.

As I drifted off to sleep that night, I kept thinking the same thing over and over again, “No 13-year-old boy should EVER receive a text from his mother saying, ‘How horny are you?’”

This post is the post that started Ooph. Well, more precisely, it is the moment that made me realize parenting teens was not something I was going to be naturally good at. I would need to study, do homework and most importantly, rethink every text I would ever send to my teens EVER again.

About the writer

Stefanie Mullen is the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Girlfriend’s Soul and owner and founder of Ooph.com, a site devoted to the parenting of tweens and teens. She is married to an incredible man and is the mother of three wonderful boys, two teens and a kindergartner.


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Dave 3 years ago

Awesome stuff very funny !

Louise Knight 3 years ago

upon reading this… Tears and laughter burst from me but then Oh dear…. and then more laugher and tears… but oh dear…LOL.

Holley Jacobs 3 years ago

This is my exact quote from sharing this on my Facebook profile:

“OMG!!! I cried in tears for like 20 minutes……so embarrassing, inspiring, funny, touching, and straight up PARENT NEEDED! ;-)”

Nothing further needed….thank you SOOO much for making my day cause yesterday sucked big time :-)
Holley Jacobs

Rebecca 3 years ago

Hilarious and real, this stuff happens – and a good lesson for kids (and grownups) to always LOG OUT OF THEIR ACCOUNTS!!!! That means social media accounts, banking accounts, gaming accounts, shopping sites, etc. I am trying to drill this lesson into my tween, it can save one from a world of hurt (not to mentioned hacked accounts) and embarrassment. . .

Robin 3 years ago

You BOTH need to have your electronics taken away and your social presence wiped out. This is some of the most immature behavior I’ve ever witnesses. (By the way, it’s “pea brain,” not “pee brain.” I doubt you meant it facetiously.)

Tammy 3 years ago

This is why kids should all just go back to folding up notes and tossing them across the room at their friends. Then parents can find out stuff while rifling through their backpacks like normal people…

Oz 3 years ago

She had it easy –

I recall dating a mother of two twin girls (who were 11) and having to give her the talk of “they’re growing up” after one mentioned her friend giving a bj at school. We live in complex times, and this mother’s chagrin – wile noted – is a small step in understanding what most single mothers go through in the complex social fabric of modern day America.

Danielle Smith 3 years ago

As if I could possibly love you more. This just did it. Eventually, you will prepare me for the teen years, I swear it.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    I am here for you lady. Always.

Tina 3 years ago

The trick is to friend your children’s friends on facebook and then never comment. Your own child may think to block you, but their friends never will, unless you post on their wall. This is how you find out what your own child is up to.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Interesting idea.

    Robert 3 years ago

    Tina, I don’t understand- can’t you make ‘not blocking’ a condition of having Facebook access in the first place?

      Tina 3 years ago

      Robert – maybe I could have done a few years ago, but 2 of them are over 18 now.

Allie 3 years ago


I want to thank you so much for Oomph!! I have a 14 yo boy and 12 you girl and without your site I would not be able to be somewhat sane. My kids drive me batty! But i know I am normal and so are they…I think.


    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Thank you for reading! So glad you find it helpful. And if you are normal you are getting it wrong 😉

Woolies 3 years ago

Yep. Two teenage boys here. You don’t want to know the stories. I PROMISE – you do not want to know.

Keep your kids little, that’s all I’m saying.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    I’ve got two myself. 17 and 16. I hear ya!

MrsFun 3 years ago

I seriously died reading this. I hope to never text my kids that.

My Half Assed Life 3 years ago

Honestly, it isn’t the worst thing you could do parenting teens. It was probably out of his mind faster than yours.

If it makes you feel any better? The one and only time I ever barged into my son’s bedroom (once he hit the teen years) without knocking, he was doing exactly what teen boys sometimes do when their doors are closed. We got over it, and even joked around a bit about it.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    It’s now something we joke about. Was a pretty funny day.

Lady Estrogen 3 years ago

That is so hilarious that my side is actually hurting.
It’s weird but somehow I can see this happening to me in 10 years — so I’m making a mental note in the brain archives on this one! Thanks ;p

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Yes! Take notes on my mistakes. It will make for a much easier life with teens.

Lady 3 years ago

I think I pulled a few muscles reading this. Absolutely priceless.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Ha! Thank you!

Jenny From the Blog at The Suburban Jungle 3 years ago

Listen, if we didn’t do shit like this, what the hell would they have to talk about in therapy???

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes for fun I try and guess the names of their therapists.

Kat 3 years ago

That is hilarious! It’s also something I can see myself doing. Navigating life with my 14 yr old is a mine field! Thanks for the laugh :)

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    My pleasure!

Debbie 3 years ago

Thanks for dharing this. It is great. The key to teens or kids in general is trying to always stay one step aheaad of them at all times.

I had my oldest daughter wake me up in middle of the night to let me know she had had sex for the first time. This is not good.
Thanks again for the laughter!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Yes. Staying a step ahead is the tricky part!

Mom Off Meth 3 years ago

I’m DYING. That is so something I would do. Super funny.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Thanks! Glad it made you laugh.

Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) 3 years ago

I can so see myself trying to outwit my tweens and failing.

I teach 92 teens every day. I usually write agendas on the board for each class. Sometimes I’m rushed so I use abbreviations. I may have once written “self ass” (self assessment) and another type “oral” (oral assessment). Yeah. Busted. And a lot of laughter.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    That is hilarious!

    Stefanie 3 years ago


Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 3 years ago

I could totally see myself doing this! Thank God mine are only FOUR!!! I won’t have to worry about embarrassing myself this badly for another 10-12 years!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    And? If you just follow my journey I will probably make all the mistakes for you.

Carolyn West 3 years ago

So funny. Not sure it would translate to a daughter, though. My new teen (for all of 2 weeks) still doesn’t want to have anything to do with Facebook. Wondering how long I can keep that going.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Good luck girl! It certainly is easier without it.

Phyllis 3 years ago

That is hysterical! I would have died! I don’t know what I would have said or done! I will learn from your experience as my son is only 11, but the question of getting a FB account has been brought up many, many times and I have dodged the bullet each time. Now my oldest daughter is on Twitter and I swear, sometimes I feel like I am reading her diary! She has yet to learn that I am reading it, because yes… I am afraid she will block me. I keep a very safe distance. We have had the “what you post online will remain online indefinitely” discussion and with her being in High School now, I am pretty confident she understands the severity of some of her postings, but I have to also have to have a level of trust in her with regards to internet actions. My parents thought it was hard back in the 70’s-90’s…try the 2013’s!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Couldn’t agree more. Technology has made parenting FAR MORE difficult!

Rebeccah 3 years ago

EPIC. I love it.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Thank you!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Thanks for reading it!

Amanda 3 years ago

I’m so excited for my boys’ teen years!!! I will be the mother who intentionally embarrasses them. They already know it’s coming. :)

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    The teen years are so much fun!

Rina 3 years ago

I can tell you the best story on how to embrass your teenage boy with just you two in the car….

As my 14 yo and I were in the car one evening driving through a parking at the local Wally World he spotted a bumper sticker and he giggled and made the comment that he liked that bumper sticker.
The sticker said “SAVE THE TA-TA’S”

I in my quick wit, turned to him and asked “What do you know about Ta-Ta’s?” He turned to me with a horrid look on his face and before he could say a word I responded again with “And who’s Ta-Ta’s are you interestedin?”
Now this made him turn 50 shades of RED and responded with a “MOM!!”

I knew right then and there I was doing my job as a mother of a hormone enraged teenage boy!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Yikes! I can imagine he was incredibly embarrassed!

mothermayI 3 years ago

I have posted on my 13-yr old’s FB wall. Things like “Why are you on-line…get back to homework” etc., always followed by smileys and plenty of love ; ) Our agreement for her even using FB was that mom has the password, and would be checking ‘in’ from time to time. Deal was struck. She uses FB at home, when I’m there. I disagree with walking around on eggshells with your kids so as to avoid them going behind your back. You can have an open, honest, and respectful relationship if you want to.

My teen has a cell phone, but its only with her when shes not with me, and doesn’t go to school. It’s not a smart phone and WiFi isn’t available on it. She has accepted that and she will go on living. Seems to make things less complicated…which I am all about. 😀

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Sounds like you have a great plan for your family!

Kristen Mae 3 years ago

Lady, you have a new follower. I don’t have teens… yet – but I just know I’m gonna need you in 6 years when I do… 😉

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Awwww. I’m blushing.

Courtney 3 years ago

SO insanely funny!! That will be a story that he will tell the rest of his life. The more you think about it the funnier it is. Thanks for the laugh!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    My pleasure. Thanks for reading!

Baby Sideburns 3 years ago

OMG, this is HYSTERICAL! It actually makes me wish I had teenagers. NOT. But still, an F’ing riot. Thank you for the laugh.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    That is classic! I’ve never heard anyone say that before.

Robin | Farewell, Stranger 3 years ago

OH MY GOD. I would die. Sounds like you handled it well!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    I don’t think “well” is how I handled it, but he certainly did :)

Jenny 3 years ago

Did he ever tell you what theories he had when he received your text!? I wonder if he initially thought you intended to send it to someone else! I’m assuming that until that moment, you both were still entertaining notions that the other one didn’t even KNOW that word!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    I think he assumed it was meant for my husband. Not sure which is more awful!

Lindsay 3 years ago

Laughing so hard my tea almost came out of my nose! Thank you for the comic relief on a busy day! And for the reminder to ask before I react to a weird post on my daughter’s Facebook page!!! ….still giggling!!!!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Yes! Ask then react. Learn from my mistake :)

Natasha 3 years ago

OMG! This is so funny! I would die if I got a text like that from my mom and I would absolutely die if I sent a text like that to my son and he wasn’t responsible for the FB status update. It’s so funny how we as parents assume the worst.

This should be a lesson learned for all of us – don’t use your friend’s phone to do anything. Use your own or wait until you get home. :)

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    If only I had paused to think. He knew I checked his Facebook and that we were friends. But why would I do that? GAHHH!

Penny Roach 3 years ago

Bahahahahaha!!!!! That is absolutely hysterical and probably EXACTLY what I would have done. My son is almost 14 and carries around his prized possession (an I-Phone 4S that he paid for) but thankfully, he does NOT have a Facebook page. Doesn’t want one. Although I “overheard” he and his friends discussing Twitter. Oy vey!!

Very funny post!!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Thanks Penny! Couldn’t agree more. Twitter? Oy vey!

Lisa P 3 years ago

I probably would have done the same exact thing. I would have felt so good that I had my son shaking in his boots. I can imagine his horror at reading it and not knowing what you were talking about. Too funny!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    I can’t even begin to understand the horror. My best guess is he assumed I was send that to my husband. Which is equally AWFUL! Thanks for reading.

anna see 3 years ago

Love this! And thanks for the lesson about logging off.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Thanks and my pleasure!

Tragic Sandwich 3 years ago

That’s still an important lesson for him!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Sure was!

Meg 3 years ago

On the flip side, I bet he learned to either never borrow somebody’s phone, or to make sure he logged out when he was done. :)

    Sarah 3 years ago

    Yeah.I hope he learned.I wouldn’t have been at all embarrassed to have sent that text.he is responsible for his wall regardless how material appears.thank God his mother sent that and not a friends parent.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    He certainly did! Hasn’t ever done it again :)

Barbara 3 years ago

Oh how I dread the teenage years.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    I promise they are actually fun! Especially if you do it with a sense of humor.

      Katybeth 3 years ago

      They are FUN. I am loving every moment–and since I once sent my son a text intended for a girlfriend…I SO get it. Thank God humor pulls us through these moments.

ilikebeerandbabies.com 3 years ago

Sweet mother that was excellent.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    Thanks :)


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