12 Jul
I Want To Be My Daughter’s Facebook Friend Again

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My 14 year old daughter recently defriended me on Facebook. She says that she wants her privacy, which I understand, but I’m also concerned. Shouldn’t I know everything that’s going on in her online world? Do I let this go?

Signed,

Friend Me Again!

_____________________

Dear Friend Me Again,

When I was a kid, my mother had an incredible respect for my privacy. She never combed through my diary, rifled though my drawers or looked at notes from my classmates. (NOTE: For those of you born after the invention of the computer, “notes” are like texts but we wrote them on paper and handed them to each other between classes. No, we did not use quill pens, smart asses.)

Because of my mother’s complete trust in me, I honored her wishes and never partook in anything unsavory or illegal. Unless you define “unsavory or illegal” as using a fake ID to try to get into a local bar and copping so much attitude with the bouncer that my friend got into a rumble and we may have gotten ourselves arrested.

My point? For the most part, teenagers can’t be trusted. Because they are always one Bud Light away from doing something SO STUPID.

Your daughter needs to re-friend you immediately. If not, that’s fine. But that means, she no longer has use of her cell phone. Or her iPod. Or her laptop. Oh and you aren’t driving her anywhere. Which is perfect because she’s not allowed to go anywhere anyway. Basically her life will become a gadget free existence of sitting at home watching the PBS NewsHour with you. I think she’ll change her mind very quickly.

So welcome back to Facebook! You are now free to oversee your daughter’s online activities. And if she really wants to communicate something to her friends under the parental radar, she should write it on a piece of paper and give it to them. There is nothing wrong with going old school.

Good luck,

Kelcey, TMH

 

 

17 Responses to “I Want To Be My Daughter’s Facebook Friend Again”

07.12.12#1

Comment by Sally.

My daughter is fine with me being her “friend” as long as I don’t “creep” on her. “Creep” means I can’t post to her wall, comment on her posts where her friends can see it or even comment on posts in person (at the dinner table, etc.). In essence, as long as she can forget I’m there, I can continue to watch. We’ve had this agreement for 5 years now and I haven’t had a single reason to worry. She’s now 21 and still my friend.

jeteye Reply:

This is a rational response…and I am glad I only had sons…<3 but both were trusted..and turned out fine…of course they did some bone headed moves…when they were teenagers…but so did I…

07.12.12#2

Comment by Jen @ And Two More Makes FIVE.

I FREAKING HATE FACEBOOK! For kids. Not for me. I love it for me. But it creates all sorts of havoc for me as a parent. My nearly full-time step-daughter, at eleven, had a Facebook account under a FAKE NAME. That her mother helped her create. Because I’m a shameless stalker, I had found the account and confronted my stepdaughter. She thought she was safe and hidden because she had certain privacy filters on. Her little world was rocked when I showed her my discovery. And explained about online stalkers and pedophiles and how your childhood friend Sam isn’t necessarily your first grade crush Sam. He could be a forty-something man pretending to be Sam and figuring out where you live based on the photos you post.

Obviously overkill. I’m nothing if not thorough.

BUT, there’s actually been a fair bit of scholarly research that shows teens’ brains don’t work right. Seriously. Now we parents can all rejoice in the knowledge of what we suspected ALL ALONG: Teens are wicked crazy.

Obviously this is an over-simplification, but the basic idea is that teens are incapable of making reasonable decisions because they’re using illogical logic because their brains are developing at a rate that makes it impossible for them to be wise. Add that Bud Light in there and your kid is totally screwed.

So our job as parents is to control them as much as possible so they STAY ALIVE to enjoy the fruits of all their teenage brain development. When they’re twenty. Or so.

She’ll hate you. It’s normal. It means you’re doing a good job. Lax on some other rule that won’t potentially end up with her secretly running off to meet some creep in a cheap motel. Explain why. She won’t understand. One day she will, though. Or she’ll need lots of therapy and the therapist will help her realize you were just looking out for her.

Kelcey’s advice is sage. Clearly the only reason why we give our children the things they want is so we have some leverage for discipline when we threat to take their possessions away. My pediatrician is in full support of this parenting strategy as being as effective for the behavior modification of the child as it is cathartic for the parent.

07.12.12#3

Comment by Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes.

Do you have a ‘cool’ friend or cousin on facebook who can friend your daughter? I ‘spy’ on my 16yo niece and 13yo neighbor’s daughter that way. Although they of course don’t know that I ‘spy’ on them. This may appear a bit devious, but teenage girls will be teenage girls…

07.12.12#4

Comment by Louise.

I know of many teenagers who are only allowed to use facebook if they have their parents added as a friend. This has worked well for all of them, maybe you could try it?

07.12.12#5

Comment by Mexmom.

I am just glad my son is still not facebook age, even though my brother posted a picture of him sleeping holding a beer bottle. (classy I know)

07.12.12#6

Comment by StephanieG.

LittleG is only eight, but we already have a full electronic device program in place. She has a cell phone, and we have her password. We have total rights at any time to read texts and review phone calls in and out. She has an email account, and I’ve got the password so I can access it if I wanted to. We review her google searches on the laptop and iPad. She’s not old enough for Facebook yet, but when the time comes, I’ll have those passwords, too.

We’ve laid out the foundation of her social network so that she knows we have total access and we’re not afraid to use it.

With all that said, MrG and I have decided to afford her as much privacy as possible. We have agreed that we will not get all up in her business unless we sense there is a problem with her behavior, schoolwork, or friends. I won’t go snooping into her stuff unless something seems off or unless I see blatant behavior that’s not ok with me.

I think we are all walking a fine line here. The things I did wrong as a kid were mostly unknown to my parents, but those learning experiences had a profound effect on how I turned out. If I hadn’t been allowed to do really stupid stuff, I would never have learned those life lessons.

My hope for LittleG is that she gets the chance to make good choices about hard situations without too much intervention from her dad and me. She’s only eight, so check back with me in a few years to see if I’m trolling her blog or lurking on her FB page!!

07.12.12#7

Comment by Anne-Marie.

I agree with Kelcey that privacy is a diary or what you keep in the drawers of your dresser or under your bed. Privacy does not include things that a ton of people can see on the internet! Facebook is not private! Not in any way, shape or form! So no keeping it secret from you!

My niece is 13, I think, maybe 14, and the rule is very clear: de-friend mom and dad, lose computer. If it’s online, it’s not private, so it shouldn’t be kept from the parents.

07.12.12#8

Comment by N and Em's mom.

My mantra is the golden rule: the guy who has the gold makes the rules. Your computer, your internet, your rules. I am definitely in the running for meannest mom in the world. Sometimes, I walk by, see them on facebook and announce “hands up!” They had to take their hands off the keyboard and let me click around on their page and their friend’s pages. I would do this probably 2-4 times/year. Why? There is no privacy. Anyone who is their friend can allow anyone else their name and password. You really don’t have as much control as you think you do. So one time, I’m cruising through my daughter’s page and click on a friend’s page from elemetary school. The writings were dark and depressing; it set off my mommy alarm. Writing a letter to her father expressing my concern and signing it was really hard. Learning how to use social media is something that needs to be taught and monitored.

07.12.12#9

Comment by Danielle.

I’d not want to be my childs friend on Facebook. I want my childs Facebook password. There are privacy options that allow mom and dad to never see the bad stuff. Also, facebook messages, hello. I’ve seen a ton of crap that could have been prevented with a little parental, well, parenting at my legal job.

Steph Reply:

I agree with Danielle. Being “friends” on facebook is not enough because they can block what they don’t want you to see if they have any tech savy. You must have her password to see everything. This is NOT a private diary–it is the internet and the possible repercussions of what they post are too much for them to understand at this age. I have a teenage daughter, and this part is no fun but it is my responsibility. Good luck!

07.12.12#10

Comment by rojopaul.

All great advice here. I’m definitely in the “must have the password” camp or be a friend. There’s too much out there and we all, unfortunatly, have to be ever vigilant when it comes to our kids. To me, it’s no different than letting them be 5 and manuever a swimming pool without a vest. Sure they think they can swim, but we know better. And as parents, it’s our job to help instruct them in how to be safe, monitor them to make sure they are safe, and then let them go when they are ready (which I think might be 25 or 30). ha

07.12.12#11

Comment by Mrs. Dee.

Ok that’s it, when my kiddo gets Facebook aged….I’m replacing the pc with a commodore 64. Or maybe old school dial up connection on windows 3.0

07.17.12#12

Comment by Plano Mom.

Laptop’s been down or I would have commented sooner. Not only am I friends with my kids, but I’m also friends with my friends’ kids. And I do not hesitate to comment on FB or in person when they say something that worries me. I expect the same from my friends.

07.20.12#13

Comment by caroline.

I have a 16 year old daughter. She has facebook and I’m her friend and I know her password. I’m also friends with some of her friends. Some of these friend are not allowed to have facebook but have accounts under nicknames and their parents know nothing about it. the girls post photos with everything but their nipples showing, pants opened and rolled down to their pelvic bones, and shot of them drinking and smoking weed. This was at age 12. The girls will use friend computers and so the parents have no clue. i even had one parent tell me their sweet little girl sleeps over at her friends every weekend and never gets into trouble. If your children are spending more time at a friends than at your house its because they are doing things that you don’t allow at yours! facebook isn’t half as bad as Tummbler. If you haven’t heard of it check it out. its like an on-line diary and they post photos of themselves and images they find on the internet. My advice is try to keep the lines of communication open,try not to be judgmental or over reactive.(this is really hard)Let them talk and try not to sound preachy but let them know you love them, you will always have their back and they can come to you about anything! They will and do make mistakes but with guidance hopefully it wont have life long repercussions. being a parent in this day and age is the hardest it has ever been on both parent and child!

07.24.12#14

Comment by Does a 14-year-old Deserve Some Online Privacy? | The Mouthy Housewives.

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08.27.12#15

Comment by My Teenage Son is a Drama Queen! | The Mouthy Housewives.

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