My child wants to remove his grandmother from his
Facebook friend list because she makes embarrassing comments
online. What should I do?
Plugged-in Parent: According to a study last year by
Microsoft and AARP, kids are connecting with grandparents in
unprecedented-and sometimes slightly embarrassing-ways thanks to
Fifty perfect of seniors are online, and the benefits of
cross-generational connections for kids can include a bond with
culture and family history. Grandparents benefit by staying active,
learning technology and feeling a sense of purpose.
As great as those connections can be, teens and grandparents are
often navigating uncharted territory.
While technology can provide a wonderful opportunity to connect,
it can be a source of frustration and anxiety for both parties.
Parents can help by bridging the gap between generations. Help
teens understand how much it means to grandparents to see
activities and photos online. On the other end, remind grandparents
that teens can be extra emotional and self-conscious.
Connecting between the generations can work by following these
Keep comments simple. Teens are easy to embarrass. And a
seemingly benign comment like "Way to go super kid!" can be
mortifying to a teen in front of the friends on their social
Ask before posting photos. Your teen may not appreciate being
tagged in a photo where he is politely modeling a handmade sweater
from grandma. Grandparents should ask before posting photos of
Provide some context. Teens use the Internet to express
themselves-post song lyrics, political views and social comments
that they may not normally share in a conversation with their
grandparents. Help grandparents remember that what they see and
read online may be easily misinterpreted.
Try other communication. If problems persist, suggest a weekly
email to a grandparent or a conversation over Skype. A regular
weekly phone call may be a welcome trade-off for both sides.
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
See more of Sharon's stories here.
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