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The New Love Language

In today’s digital landscape, emojis have become the new vernacular of emotions for tweens. Emojis, once mere punctuation marks or friendly forms of recognition, have evolved into an extensive lexicon of emotions and meanings. These tiny symbols convey a multitude of feelings, from affection to aggression, but the innocent smileys might hide a darker side. Understanding these nuanced expressions is crucial for parents in guiding tweens toward safer and healthier relationships. 

More than mere pictures or icons, emojis are the new love language among tweens, carrying multiple meanings that could inadvertently put them at risk. What seems like harmless produce, the peach ? and eggplant ? emojis, have more anatomically colorful meanings in pop culture. These innocent-looking emojis might lead to misinterpretation or worse – more sinister conversations.

Even more seemingly harmless emojis, like the heart or fire ? symbol, are often used as playful references of endearment, but the flirtatious undertones, when used repetitively, can inadvertently lead to situations where tweens might be exposed to inappropriate or uncomfortable conversations. Moreover, emojis like the video camera ? or droplets ? can signal riskier online sexual behaviors.

Dr. Gary Chapman’s traditional five love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch can provide a framework for communicating affection in relationships. In our new digital era, emojis have introduced a new layer to expressing emotions, especially among tweens. As parents, it’s our responsibility to guide our tweens in understanding the potential risks associated with this new love language. It is crucial to initiate open dialogues about online communication, set clear boundaries, and encourage them to express themselves respectfully. Ensure you identify consequences and follow through on them if your tween does not respect your established boundaries. 

By engaging in healthy, open conversation and providing guidance, parents can empower their tweens to navigate their new love language respectfully and safely by setting clear rules and expectations of their child’s online behavior, emphasizing respect, consent, and healthy interactions. 


Janet Smith is a proud mom of one daughter and a marketing professional who is grateful for her rural roots in the London area. Follow Janet’s funny and honest journey at IG & TT | @re.marketable.janet or FB | @janetsiddallsmith


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