LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to decipher secret messages

Communication is always progressing. We’ve gone from paper and pen — to e-mails — to text messages… and now Emoji’s to ultimately get your point of view across.

Emojis have been around for 20 years, but with the explosion of smartphones now in the hands of middle and high school-aged kids — communication through these symbols has skyrocketed — and so has the misunderstanding from mom and dad as to what is really being discussed.

Sending suggestive messages or sexting is as simple as texting someone an eggplant or peach Emoji, and there’s plenty more of those secretive meanings if parents do any research. Child expert Kylie Rymanowicz says it’s important for parents to tune in as much as they can.

“A way to connect with your child and stay connected is to tune in and be aware of what they are doing, so maybe that means watching a few Tik Tok videos as an adult to get a sense of what the new thing is or talking to your child about it to explain what they are doing or how it works. It shows children that you are interested and paying attention because we know technology can sometimes be used against parents when they don’t know what’s happening.”

6 News recommends searching online to update yourself with what certain Emojis stand for among teenagers, as well as the new slang they use. For example, go to and type in ‘Emoji.’ You will find various articles showing parents the secret meaning of many emojis, including those used when sexting.

You can also go to and type in “Teen Slang, Emojis, & Hashtags Parents Need to Know.” There you will get an up-to-date listing for many words and phrases.

Child safety experts say, parents must keep up with how the kids talk to one another — otherwise, you may accidentally be allowing actions or behavior you don’t want to happen.