Home > Entertainment and Activities > Movies, TV, Internet > Internet Safety > A Parent's Guide to Understanding Online and Texting Acronyms

A Parent's Guide to Understanding Online and Texting Acronyms

PIR - Parent in room
POS - Parent over shoulder
PRW - Parents are watching

You'll see even more variations on these three ("MOS" or "DOS," depending on which parent you are), but they're all warning signs that your child is sending to her friend. She's telling her friend to step lightly, or to halt the conversation altogether. Exactly what she's trying to hide may be difficult to ascertain. She could be talking to a friend who frequently uses profanity, or perhaps they're gossiping about the latest classroom love triangle.

A/S/L - Age/Sex/Location

"A/S/L" is one of the oldest chat abbreviations. It's efficient, boiling down a trio of questions into just three letters. Why should this send up a red flag if you see it on your child's screen? Because merely asking it indicates that your child is chatting with a stranger, and strangers aren't necessarily being honest about their A, S, or L. One of the fun things about the Internet is that it allows people to make connections they wouldn't otherwise have. But if your child is meeting people online, it's important for you to have a conversation with him about online safety. Additionally, seeing this acronym over text message makes a conversation even more necessary, since they've already exchanged phone numbers with a stranger.

RL - Real life
IRL - In real life
LMIRL - Let's meet in real life

Like "A/S/L," "LMIRL" indicates that your child is talking to a stranger. In this case, it's clear that your child intends to meet up with this person offline. Here's a situation where you may need to put aside concerns about invading your child's privacy and ask, point-blank, whom he's talking to.

More on: Internet Safety


highlights

Zika Virus Q&A: 4 Facts for Pregnant Women & Families
Zika virus is pretty scary. Pregnant or not, learn what steps to take to protect your family from Zika, including travel restrictions and mosquito bite prevention.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

10 Free Summer Learning Worksheets
Print these free printables for preschoolers and kindergarteners to help your child's mind stay sharp until September!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks