Saturday, April 17, 2010


My 12 yr. old, who will be 13 in a couple of weeks, finally asked for a Facebook account.  I got him all signed up and I let him know I was friending him (though I have it set up so he can't see and doesn't get my status updates, comments on my page, etc.) and that anything posted to his account would be sent to me in an e-mail.  He didn't mind TOO much, but he did make a comment that "none of my friends parents do that" and all those other things you expect kids to say.  I told him his friends probably just don't know their parents are watching. 

But are they?  I know MY friends are all watching their kids on Facebook, checking their phones, etc.  But is he right?  Are his friends' parents totally letting their kids roam free on Facebook and the rest of the internet?  Believe me when I say I am not overprotective.  My kids roam freely through our community, I don't hover over them and their schoolwork, I don't make daily (well, actually NEVER) calls to the school to complain about anything.  What about you?  How do you handle this?  Do you follow your kids on Facebook or other social networking sites?  Do you ever review what is going on on their text messages and e-mails?  It won't change my mind about what I am doing, but at least I will know if I am a total nut or just one of the bunch, which may be one in the same.


  1. My son, who had been on Facebook since its inception and had 1000s of 'friends', unenrolled when I beacme a member. And so it goes. Cheers!

  2. i didn't let my oldest have a FB page until he was in high school and i don't monitor it (officially). but then my youngest wanted one at 12 and so i said okay, but insisted on having his log in info so i could check in on him. this has worked well. i log in and poke around once every few days. the real plus is i am able to keep an eye on my oldest since the two of them are FB friends.

    i don't read their texts or email normally. and once my youngest is in high school, i will probably let him change his log in info. i like the idea of them having their privacy, but i also like the idea of knowing what they (and their friends) are up to.

  3. I'm quite relieved that my boy was pretty well grown before all the social networking possibilities became such a necessity. :-) He got a cell phone at 16 (25 now) and that's about it.

    He's on FB now, but I've not friended him. Not sure why -- maybe because I don't need to see him and his friends doing shots. :-)


  4. I'm friends with my children on facebook (and in real life i hope), but they are a lot older...I'm actually friends with a lot of their friends. Wow, I sound so popular. Which is so not true. Where was I? 12-14 years old...that's a tough one. I think you're on the right track. hmmmm.

    um...I didn't know you could block what your 'friends' can see...always something new to learn.


  5. don't know why I left an "I" at the end of that comment.

  6. I strongly feel that kids do not need privacy on the internet. Nor do they need email in middle school. My 3rd grader just told me that the girls in his class have email.
    My oldest asked for Facebook and we said no until recently. We have his password and he is not happy about that but the alternative is to shut it down. If we see anything inappropriate we will. It is amazing to see middle schoolers use the language they do. You will be amazed at what girls write as well. We see nothing positive about it. Kids use it in lieu of getting up the nerve to talk to each other face to face. And then they friend anyone they barely know to grow their friend count. And then they use Formspring to ask "honest": questions which is a mess. And then they check on who is in a relationship, etc.
    If you have wireless and the kids have an Ipod Itouch, watch the usage from their room. And we have had some serious conversations about email and websites and anyplace on which they can write and how much trouble it can cause.

  7. I should hope other parents are not the 'I don't give a damn what my kids do as long as they are outta my hair' type. But when watching the news and seeing the ages of kids committing heinous crimes, you have to wonder. I used to have a program installed on my puter where I could see what my kids did on theirs. They didn't know about it and I am pleased to say I was still proud of them for conducting themselves in they manner that they were raised.

    My kids are now 19 and 18 years old. My husband will occasionally pick up my sons phone and read his text messages, but other than that, we dont do anything to spy on them

    YOU are doing the right thing. you ARE a total nut, but in a good way. Keep caring about your kids, it will grow on them and show later on in life

  8. Kids need privacy, but not in public, and the internet is public.

    Does that make sense?

    I'm trying to say that you are doing the right thing.

    Give them a door on their room and let them close it. But monitor that Facebook page until they go away to college, says I.

    I hope that Facebook is totally uncool by the time Jake is old enough for it!

  9. This is scary stuff. Can you imagine what the Internet will look like by the time my French Fries can type? I'm looking to you for guidance -- you're my guinea pig (cobaye in French!).

    La Mom
    An American Mom in Paris

  10. I don't have kids, but I completely agree with what you're doing. I am sooo thankful that we didn't have Facebook and texting when I was in high school. I can only imagine the kind of trouble I would have gotten into! lol

  11. With my sixteen year old, I don't go through and monitor her texts, but she and I are friends on Facebook, so I see what she and all of her friends are up to. Several of her friends are also my friends on FB, and she has given me her FB password should I ever want to check in in that way. (Since I have several students/former students and my daughter as my FB friends, I don't ever have anything on MY page that I wouldn't want my daughter to see.) My younger kid has a FB too, mainly so she can chat with her aunt and cousins, but her notifications and updates all come to my email, and she's not allowed to add anyone as a friend without my permission.