What are your kids really saying?

February 23, 2012 8:22:02 PM PST
It's something most parents probably don't know about. And if it were up to their kids, it would stay that way. We're talking about potentially dangerous secret texting codes sent among teens.

They are provocative, sneaky, and let's be honest, many of them we can't even say on television.

But parents, look closely because you may have seen these cryptic codes before. They're used among teens and tweens on social media, and parents you should be aware. So who better to explain it all than a group of teenagers?

"I haven't seen any drug related," said one teenager.

"We'll I've seen a drug-related one," her sister said.

These two sisters say they've seen them but stay away from using them. But another 17-year-old openly admits to initiating racy coded conversations.

"I say it all the time," she said.

"The purpose for typing or for making them code is?" we asked.

"So my parents won't find out what I'm really saying," she said.

So how well can parents de-code? We went to find out and started with some easy ones like LOL (laugh out loud) and PIR (parent in room).

But when it came to a sexual code made popular by reality TV, they were all stuck until we revealed it.

"No really? That's really intense. Really?" parent Erin Hill said.

It's especially upsetting for Cher Pope who has two teenagers.

"It bothers me that teenagers are on that level. That's scary," Pope said.

University of Houston professor Garth Jowett studies social media and its impact on society.

"The secrecy itself is fun, so their ability to do this kind of behavior thinking that their parents are not OK with what they are doing is part of the thrill," he said.

So parents, should you check your teen or tweens cell phone and computer? Or is that an invasion of their privacy?

"While you are still at the home with your parents and they are still paying the bills and buying your $400 cell phone, I think there's a certain amount of oversight that can be justified," Jowett said.

"I say when you are 18 you can have all the privacy you want but until then, there is no privacy allowed in this house," Pope said.

Surprisingly, you wont find much of an argument here.

"You do need to watch what you say," one teenager said.

"Colleges look at your Facebook profiles now," another teen added.

This group of teens warns there is no sure way to stop teens from using these secret codes. But they tell parents that now that they know about them, your teens may think twice about typing them.

There are several websites to help parents crack the kid-code, and keep up with the latest lingo. Visit NetNanny.com and NetLingo.com to see a list of commonly used acronyms.