Q: My son didn't object to adding me as a
Facebook friend, but every time I post something on his wall, he
gets mad. What's going on?
A: Being connected to your child's social
network is a good idea. It allows you to supervise his behavior
early on and it might even give you the inside scoop on
relationships with friends.
But being connected doesn't always mean being involved. A
connection to his online social world is very valuable-in the same
way it might be valuable for you to chaperone a trip to the movies
with his friends. But just like you might sit in the back of the
movie theater during the show, you'll want to remain in the
background as your child forges his own path and finds his own
Confusing? It can be. Parents who spend a lot of time
involved in their child's activities might find the annoyance
baffling. But take their cue to preserve your spot on the friends
list and follow these simple tips to stay connected.
- Don't overcomment. It might be tempting to
comment on your child's funny photo or goofy status, but refrain
from making a statement. Save your comments for the most important
and public of posts-a simple ™Congrats!∫ on a sports victory, for
instance, is appropriate, but avoid being mushy. Do ™Like∫ stuff. A
simple thumbs up is a sign that you're connected. But don't overdo
- Don't scold online. When you see negative
comments, profanity or an inappropriate photo, do not post on his
wall where that cute girl from biology class can see your
reprimands. Offline, talk about what you see posted, set boundaries
and make sure to reinforce the staying power of careless online
- Don't post embarrassing photos. Remember,
everything you post on your own timeline might pop up on his. Keep
this in mind when posting photos from the latest Bunko night with
the ladies or before you post a candid shot of him potty-training.
Tag with permission. If you have a great family photo from the
holidays, ask him if you can tag him. Asking permission is a great
habit to get into and will remind him that you respect his privacy
- Don't send friend requests to his friends. Be
careful about sending out friend requests to your son's friends.
They may feel awkward and pressured to accept or reject you. But
you can accept friend requests from your son's close friends if you
feel comfortable allowing that friend to see everything you post
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
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