difficult child and Facebook Friends

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, May 12, 2010.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I have been giving this some thought. difficult child is very seldom on his facebook - doesn't get access to the computer and when he does, he is usually looking for songs.

    The other day, I noticed a disturbing post on his wall. It was from a kid difficult child just barely knows and it looked not good. I tried to open it off my wall but could not so I went into difficult child's account to see if I could open it and it was not there.

    I went back into my account and called difficult child over to talk about it. It had disappeared from my page also. So, I didn't get a chance to investigate it further to see if perhaps it really was garbage but for the fact it is now gone, I suspect it was and someone thought better of it and deleted it. (maybe a parent was involved? I hope so!)

    So, I posted the following on difficult child's page:

    "To difficult child's school "friends". Something was placed on difficult child's wall that was inappropriate. I am glad it has been deleted. I will be watching these posts and you will be blocked if I see garbage on here again! A phone call to a parent may also follow. If you are using facebook for garbage posts, leave difficult child out of it!

    This means that if you are too ashamed to show what you are posting to your parents then it should not be posted! If you are not sure, go ahead and ask your parents to look at it first. However, I am sure you know what I mean!"

    I have decided that I am going to sit down with difficult child and go through his "Friends" list. I don't think he realizes the full extent of putting just anyone and everyone on as friends really is. As a 7th grader, having a facebook is something to brag about, something to pass around your facebook address to prove you have it. I am going to discuss with difficult child the importance of not having people he doesn't otherwise talk to in school on the account. It should only be for very good friends.

    I am also going to talk to difficult child about the necessity of blocking anyone who starts putting garbage on his page. That it is not "just in fun" but can lead to bigger more embarrassing stuff that he does not want to get involved with.

    I think cleaning out his friends list of kids he really doesn't know well and giving him the authority to take control of who/what he wants on HIS page will be one step in the huge uphill journey of staying safe on the computer. If he understands that he can keep his page as clean as he wants it to be by blocking certain people, maybe he will take more ownership in what he wants on it.

    Anyway, I can only try. If he doesn't heed my advise, atleast he can never say I didn't warn him. Something tells me however that he will listen on this one. And yes, I know that this is not the only thing he needs to know/do to stay safe on the computer but it is a step that I don't think a lot of parents think about. Look at who your child has invited as friends. Just because they are other kids/classmates does not mean it is o.k.

    Teach them what "Private" really means on facebook. That they don't need a trouble maker to be a "friend" and thus ruin their "wall".
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    I think you're wise to be proactive about this. It's important that the kids know there is a parental presence out there. Good for you mom.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Very wise.

    My kids don't have their facebook passwords. I have to log them in and I vet each and every friend request. Facebook is a lot of fun (and gives a unique window to the social habits of middle schoolers) but I would no more allow my children to run around downtown Chicago unsupervied than I would allow them to run around the internet unsupervised.