Friending Your Family

allison harwood

Anytime I hear people in high school say their parents have their Facebook password, I shudder a little bit.
The same thing applies when someone is going off about how they won’t let their parents have Facebook.
As far as the first situation goes, parents: let your babies leave the nest. If your child is in high school, they deserve to be their own person. And that includes privacy. Now, there are obvious exceptions. It’s like the rule about getting a search warrant. You can go in, but only if you have probable cause. Otherwise, stay out, because without a warrant, it’s breaking and entering.
Your children’s friends aren’t going to feel comfortable sending your child messages via Facebook if they know you can access them whenever you want. It’s not only about being in your child’s business. It’s about their friends’, too.
Then there’s the other extreme.
Sometimes we teenagers forget that our parents are people too. They have people they want to catch up and stay in contact with. Many parents also recognize Facebook is a huge part of our society now and want to keep up with the times.
Forbidding your parents to sign up for the social networking site is pretty ridiculous and selfish. Both of my parents are on Facebook and I have survived worse. They enjoy finding old friends from high school and college and catching up about their kids.
If your parents do decide to join Facebook, there are a few guidelines you all want to consider.
First, it’s okay not to add your parents on Facebook. Simply explain why you’d prefer not to be friends. Screaming at them and blocking them will make them suspicious.
Second, parents, never add your children’s friends first. They have the right to deny the request, but it makes them feel awkward the next time they’re over at your house. Even if you’ve known them since diapers, let them come to you.
Third, if you are friends with your children’s friends, don’t ask your kids about their status updates, etc. It puts your child in an awkward position and it comes off as way too snoopy.
And last but not least, kids, be open to being friends with your parents on Facebook. I promise it won’t be as bad as you expect. It can actually be a pretty cool way to share information. If you do decide to not share that part of your life, make sure you have a good reason behind it.