Thursday, June 2, 2011

Parental advice solicitation

Audrey is going to be the big 1-3 in a couple months. Everyone she knows is getting or already has a Facebook account. She does not have one yet, because we are following the rules. Zuckerberg says thirteen, so thirteen it is.

I am Facebook friends with some of her real life friends - some at my request and some at theirs. In fact, I get a couple requests every few days from her friends... most of them who I don't know... so I decline. { It is most awesome when she is looking at my Facebook page when the requests come in. Confirms my coolness, you know. }

Well, last night, Audrey had a friend over... one who was fresh off of a 'break up'. The friend had announced the break up on Facebook, of course, and I had seen it, so when she came over to our house, we briefly discussed it before she headed upstairs to Audrey's room.

As the night went on, things were getting a bit tense on her Facebook page about the break up, because another girl (also friends with Audrey and also one of my FB friends) was involved.  

For the record, I didn't 'step in'... I just joined the conversation. That is what you do on Facebook, right? I mean, if they were in the same room with me having this conversation, I would also join in, wouldn't I? Of course, I would.

I care about these girls... they are like mine own, but they get to go home at the end of the day. We talk about quite a bit... me and Audrey and her friends... boys, tampons, school, zits, bras, etc. Admittedly, I likely go overboard with communicating to compensate for my own less communicative parental / teenage years, but I feel like if they know they can talk to me, they will.

So far, so good. But now, there is this Facebook thing.

Back to the conversation that I joined in on last night about the breakup.

I was all like dudes, move on. You are 13 or 14. Stop the fighting.

{ I am reminded of when my younger sister had her first break up. She. Was. A. Mess. My response? Cut it out. It isn't like you were gonna marry him or anything! }

Oh, I wish I had the screen shot of it... but some child obviously more wise and influential than yours truly says to me, "Anne, no one on here knows you... and no one asked your opinion..."

I can only imagine how her phone blew up then, because she quickly offered an apology telling me that she had no idea I was an adult. { As if it is okay to talk that way to anyone? But whatever. Can't wait to bump into her. Sounds like a gem. } And then, all of her comments were deleted. Facebook is so much fun.

Yes, I get that maybe, just maybe, I should have stayed out of it last night since the break up didn't involve Audrey. It's the momma bear in me, what can I say? I love to think of ways to solve the world's problems, including all of the teenagers' woes. Plus, did I ever mention that I hate mean girls?

Here is my dilemma. With my own child(ren), when and how much am I allowed to interact on Facebook? 

Because it IS going to happen.

So ponder that, and let me know your best advice.

And, before you go, you must check these out. They are tears-flowing, pants-peeing good. I was nearly in full hyperventilation mode reading them. These are pretty funny, too - the further you get, the better.


  1. No Facebook for me or the girls. I'm afraid of the trouble that may come about.

  2. My Rule (which should be a Law): NO FAMILY BUSINESS OR DISCUSSIONS ON FACEBOOK. If I have an issue with something my son posts we dicuss it "off-line." The "chatter" does not bother me, I hear enough of it at practice and unfortunately games. And although I might joke with them in person, I would not do it online. written communication is hard to understand, whether it be advise or friendly ribbing. Especially for a teenager. My vote is to letter her (a great kid by the way!!!) have her space and MONITOR (and ask Coaches the HECK out of it (Coaches and other Rents will help).

    Cool Coach Clay

  3. Love the parent-facebooking links!
    My sister just turned 13, and luckily has no desire to get her own facebook page. However, I see astonishingly little parental involvement on the FB pages of her (under 13) friends. (If they said some of this stuff in front of their parents? ...) As a general rule, I think that parents should monitor their children's online activity.
    That being said, active interactions (beyond generic comments and "likes") may be less desirable. Especially in the case of your own child, any real conversations should happen privately and non-digitally.
    Besides, if mom (or grandmum, in my case) gets too annoying and visible on your page, you may be tempted to deny her access...
    I think a lot of the "rules" of facebook interaction depend on your relationship with the people involved. While I'm "friends" with several relatives, and a couple of my friends' mothers, they very seldom comment on my page, and never on anything that wouldn't have been said in front of them in "real" life.

  4. ooooooo... electronic babble is dan.ger.ous. I have seen so many otherwise sweet girls turn all "crazy mean girl" when they are joining in a post or posting something of their own on-line. I have to hope they don't realize how mean they are sounding?!?!? Or downright crazy... truly. I have seen it reduce others to tears... young girls are sensitive enough... let alone being ganged-up-on on-line. What might seem like an offer of support to one friend comes out as a direct attack on another. Geesh.

    That being said... parental monitoring is a must. Keep an eye on activity on Buzz, GMail, texts, facebook, etc. I am truly shocked by what I read. Glad to know what is going on in my child's life and glad that we can discuss as my child is fully aware of my parental monitoring.

    Although that was super fun that you totally busted a mean girl... bet she will avoid Aud's mom like the plague from now on (he he)... I vote to keep our additions to teenage on-line craziness to a minimum. Just saying.