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I'm Friends with My Kids -- on Facebook

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I'm one of my daughters' top friends. I have proof.

woman looking at facebook

Beth Falkenstein: Just check out their Facebook pages.

Yes, I was nervous when I sent them my friend requests. Would they accept it, or ignore me? But then I got that e-mail message letting me know that each one had confirmed me, and I had evidence that they like me -- they really like me -- or at least evidence that they understand the consequences of not accepting their mother's friend request!

Here are some of the benefits of being friends with my girls on Facebook:

1) I can tell when they're signed on. And if they should be doing homework instead, I can chat with them just like a real girlfriend would ... and tell them to sign off or else. And I can do this all without having to interrupt my own session of Farmville.

2) I have gained valuable information as to the character of some of their school friends, such as: Some of them like to swear. Some of them are just as horrid at spelling as my daughter. Some of them don't know how to spell certain swear words. And virtually all of them abandoned poor Edward as soon as they got an eyeful of Jacob's chest.

3) If they spend an evening with a friend, I don't need to ask what they did. I can just casually look through the 207 photos they posted the next day.

4) I can find out if my tween is in a relationship -- and promptly put an end to it!

Obviously, being a friend on Facebook is no substitute for the real thing. But it can provide insight to my children that I might never have experienced otherwise. When I visit their pages on Facebook, I can see a record of spontaneous interaction with friends, and thus a more accurate picture of what they're like when I'm not around. I can get a true sense of what it would be like to actually be one of their girlfriends.

And what has been the most valuable insight so far?

That I'm too old to be friends with 14- and 11-year-olds anywhere other than on Facebook.

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10 comments so far | Post a comment now
muddin mom of 2 December 7, 2009, 8:20 AM

hmm….am i the only one that actually LOGS ON to facebook AS my daughter??
I know that being her friend tells me alot, but since i have her password (and yes, she KNOWS i do) i can then see inbox messages that i might not see otherwise…
shes not really big into facebook yet, so i think im actually on her account more than she is….
however, as she gets a few years older, it will be nice to see what her and her friends might say to each other thru her inbox…

Diana Landen December 7, 2009, 8:33 AM

What do you do if your kid doesn’t want to “friend” you? My son recently created a Facebook page, but he doesn’t want me to see it. He feels that would be an invasion of his privacy.

I have set two rules - all friends must be people he actually knows and they must be his age (except for his parents).

I am torn on this issue - he is not a little kid but everything I read advises parents to have access to their kids’ Facebook. I would like to be able to see what’s going on in his life, but I am afraid of alienating him.

Any advice would be appreciated.

chris December 7, 2009, 9:07 AM

My 14 yr old son setup a facebook account and not only requested me as a friend but then went into my email acct as accepted himself for me so when I went into FB he was listed as my friend. As far as logging in as him I would never pretend to be him BUT the rule in my house is that I have the password to any and all accounts. I log in under him every now and then and just read thru his page. I think all parents should know what their teenage kids are doing.

Sonnie December 7, 2009, 11:09 AM

I also am my tween’s friend. It’s nice to be able to check up on her, especially while I’m at work I can see if she’s on FB or not. I also periodically log onto her account and nose around a bit. I don’t feel she’s old enough to have her privacy on FB. She’s totally OK with it. Another perk is that I have added her as my neighbor on Farm Town and Farmville and even though she doesn’t play those games, it gives me an extra neighbor (anybody who plays those games knows how valuable those are).

Steph December 7, 2009, 7:20 PM

Am I the only one who thinks this is totally ridiculous? All the reasons you put seem to be in order to find things that your daughters would never have told you, maybe you need a better relationship, so that you don’t have to creep around their profiles. I mean it almost sounds like you would punish them if they didn’t accept your friend request. I would personally be upset if I was there age and my mother practically posted that she was creeping on me because she had underlying feelings of trust

Erica December 19, 2009, 7:42 PM

I’m friends with all four of my kids on Facebook! As a matter of fact, my 17 year-old daughter is at a friends house right now and we were just talking on Facebook. I love it! Plus, I can track what they’re all doing and saying. And I read all those surveys that she does. Not prying… just being a good mom.

G. Bedlam February 11, 2010, 9:17 AM

I find it more likely that any child who’s parents friend them on facebook is familiar enough with the privacy settings to make sure that nothing their mother sees will upset her fragile paradigm.

Lyndsay Saurel November 16, 2010, 2:05 PM

appreciate that

Kyoko Bieschke November 16, 2010, 8:55 PM

you got me with this post

Kyoko Bieschke November 16, 2010, 8:56 PM

regards from NY

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