To Be or Not to Be My Kid's Friend On FacebookOr… Whether ’tis nobler to be an invasive parent or trust your teenager?

That is the question.

The fastest …

8 Comments to
To Be or Not to Be My Kid’s Friend On Facebook

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  1. I am on facebook with two of my three children, the third is not interested in facebook. We can be in the same room together and write on each other’s wall. There is no problem.

    My mother wants to learn facebook but it would not be a good idea to friend her. She has serious control issues. I think parent/children friending situation depend on the outside relationship.

  2. Sonia, Yes, I agree. It sounds like you have it well thought out and under control.

  3. When my -ahem- 12 year old wanted a FB account, I was concerned. However, I let her show me that her friends had accounts and that those closest to her had their parents (some who are teachers) as their friends. I agreed then to allow her an account as long as I am a friend.

    Of her own accord, my daughter also friended other adults such as aunts, uncles, grandparents and my closest friends. As a result, not only am I able to watch over her (subtly) but others give me a heads up when something is not quite right.

    For example, my daughter posted an update on her status with lyrics to a favourite song by Katy Perry. Unfortunately not many know the song and it includes the words “my little brother is in his room smoking weed”. ACK!! Thank goodness for the adults who saw it before I did!! I had her immediately remove it and explained WHY others would not find it funny or understand that it was a reference to a song.

    I try not to post too often on her wall but I do keep watch. I have found FB to be a good tool in talking about computer stalkers, cyber bullies, her friends, and appropriate behaviour in social settings, including the net.

    For me the pluses of FB have outweighed the negatives. However, if you allow a young teen (mine is now 13) an account, I really think you need to make it part of the bargain that you have some way of monitoring it.

  4. Well said, Alison. I too have a younger teen, 14 now, and she agreed to friend me on FB. Not only do I feel more comfortable having an open window to her account, I believe she does too.

    I very much like the point you make of connecting with extended family adults as well. My family is scattered all across the country and internationally. With FB my kids are able to easily maintain communication with aunts, uncles and cousins (so am I through my account). Interestingly, my 16 year old is friends with my sister and brother-in-law, but not with me. I hadn’t thought of this before, but knowing they are on his account is a blessing. Thanks for your insight!

  5. I’m 18 years old and have never broken my parents rules or given them reason not to trust me. Yet my mom and older sister (24) can’t let go of the fact that I want privacy. When I was 16 my mom would hover over my online chats and ask if I knew everybody I was talking to. It’s not like I was giving them personal information or anything, I’m not that stupid! And I only had 3 friends that I met on forums and of course I wasn’t going to meet them or any of that unsafe stuff. Then at 17 my mom insisted that I give her my myspace and facebook passwords within 24 hours and I fervently deleted things that were personal to me or even comments of friends saying i love you (in a friendly way). and i cleared everything out, made a fake facebook account, hid everything of mine on my settings, and then gave them to her. I stressed for hours just over trying to keep my privacy. This is weird to me for them to want closeness and I do not even like them much, in fact I often wish I belonged to another family. Privacy is also a big issue for me because I am gay and not out to them and I probably won’t come out, and I have friends that sometimes post photos of them partying or at gay pride or even cursing. It’s not something I want parents to be watching over. My mom has added my older sister and even some of my personal friends on facebook and it’s really weird! Even now she and my sister call and ask if I have a facebook, I tell them “No” because I don’t want them to see my friends, interests, inner thoughts and feelings, sexual orientation, pictures, or ANY of that. Then they tell me to make one and add them and I just hesitate because it is such a big deal for me to even think about opening up to my family.. Besides, my mom has a big mouth and nothing, not even the most private thing in the world like her daughter is bullied at school so she cut herself, is private.

  6. The wisest advice is knowing your children outside of FB. But I also think it’s wise to keep a close eye, or have the option to if suspicions arise, with web based social networking. There is privacy and there is protection.

    Mom and Dads can be a friend, check inand peruse occasionally without being intrusive. I.e., no leaving “did you do your homework?” comments or “isn’t it past your bedtime, young man?”

    An additional thought: college admissions committee members look for access to social networking sites. Having Mom or Dad as a friend is one protection against FB-gone-wild. What’s wrong with keeping the comments parent approved? Save the intimate, rebellious dialog for phone calls and (gasp!) face to face meetings.

  7. i am 28 years old and my mother recently told me that she was going to join facebook and told me to look out for her friend request. i told her no. now, i am an only child of a single parent and i really think no one is more susceptible to guilt than we are! lol…but i stood my ground on this one. it absolutely will not happen. i let her be my friend on AIM and that’s as far as it will go. she doesn’t need access to the things that go on between me and my friends. if i want her to know about these things, i will certainly tell her, but this would be tantamount to reading my diary. no. unacceptable. my mother and i will never be facebook friends!

  8. This is an excellent article, Elvira!! t

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