When Facebook first came about, I naturally signed up for an account for the simple but truthful reason that I am a geek. Well surprise, surprise didn’t my children follow suit soon after me. Apparently though, after years of teaching them the tricks of the trade, ripping the guts out of a computer (literally) and rebuilding, reformatting, using Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Illustrator, DOS (wow I am showing my age), Windows 3.1, ‘95, etc., and Linux, they were baffled that I knew about Facebook. Anyways, I digress. So my kids are on Facebook, and I naturally want to know what they are up to, so I start friending their friends. Out of three children, one thought I was a bit odd but allowed me to continue. This of course, was a number of years ago, and today I am still friends with my kid’s friends. Middle child, who is in University, actually has friends who friend me first. I chat, play Words With Friends, comment on photo’s, type out recipes, but generally stay out of the “I am your mom role”.
My whole point is, that because I started being friends with my kids friends when they were young, my kids didn’t think it was weird. I am now privy to their secret society, which quite a few parents aren’t, why? Because parents either are not interested, afraid to find out something they don’t want to know, not computer literate, or worst of all, too busy with their own life to even think they need to worry about what their kids are up to. You may not need to worry but you do need to know what your child is up to, or at least know how to set the security settings so your 13 year old is not chatting it up with some 40 year old (yes, this happens).
Being friends with my kids friends is sometimes awkward, obviously I overlook some stuff but some stuff, I don’t. When one of my kids has posted a picture that is not appropriate for whatever reason, I send them a quick text message, and the image is taken down. Of course all this depends on what type of relationship you have with your child, and how well you communicate with them. Hopefully your relationship is a good one and you can be friends with their friends. I mean, is it really any different when you chat their friends up at say a football or basketball game.