Do you look at the language your children use to communicate with their friends and
wonder what they are on about?? Children, seem to have a language all of their own
increasingly use acronyms and emoji’s peppered through their conversations when
Many of these are well known to everyone, such as LOL (laugh out loud), BRB (be right
back), IDK (I don't know) and PM (Private Message). We all know the tears of joy emoji (the
most commonly used emoji according to apple), the smiling face with love heart eyes, the
thumbs up and of course the crying face.
But what about the lesser known ones that kids are using all the time.
They have codes to say hugs (88) or I love You (ILY) and Mum (303).
There are codes for Ask me Anything (AMA) or For your eyes only (FYEO).
There are lots of codes to alert them parents are around (911 or P911), or parents are
watching (CD9, Code9, 9, PAW) and then when we’re no longer watching (99) and my
personal favourite to look out for KPC – Keeping Parents Clueless.
The emoji’s are no easier to navigate through either, because sometimes an emoji is not
what it seems. Many are too x-rated for here but some examples are the fire emoji, which
signifies that something is cool or exciting or “on fire” can also mean that a person is
attractive. The monkey covering its mouth is speak no evil monkey but also denotes keeping
a secret or to keep quiet. A peach often means a bottom more than it means a piece of
fruit.. and its this ambiguity that can cause miscommunication and confusion for parents.
Its important to be aware of this means of communication and to be aware, at least on
some level, of what your kids are talking about. If your children are online then its
completely reasonable for you to set rules about online communication.
Reasonable rules are; don’t talk to people online that you don’t know in real life, don’t
abuse or harass other people, and never send or ask for sexually explicit messages. Being
online is a privilege and if you break these rules, which are in places for your safety, then
you will lose access.
Like every form of communication, using emoji’s and acronyms to communicate creates a
connection with other people. Humans are visual and our attention spans are decreasing so
it’s little wonder that emoji speak is so popular. Being aware of the secret language that our
children use, learning a few of the acronyms that they commonly use and knowing that
some emojis have very different meanings means that you are better equipped to help
guide your kids through managing their communications online. But be warned, you may
encounter mocking and eye rolling if you dare to use such these yourself; because there is
nothing more tragic than a parent trying to fit in with the kids LOL…