• Hadass Eviatar

    Seriously, parents should have Facebook accounts *and* they should be friends with their kids. I just e-mailed a fellow parent of a 12 y/o boy today, her son has 226 friends, that number does not include her, she has no idea whom he is hanging out with. Many parents truly have no clue what their kids are doing.

    I do think your daughter should get the $20, though ;-).

  • Nancy

    My 20 year old daughter won’t add me as a friend- we are close (really!) and I see it as a healthy sense of boundaries. We talk openly and always have, but she has this environment to keep with her friends without adults.

  • So, did you like Twilight?
    I think it’s great that you seem to have such a trusting relationship with your daughter. She writes about you (nice things), and you seem to be Facebook friends. I think you should split the $$$.

    Ginger Ks last blog post..Social Visualization to Motivate Participation at the 2nd Girl Geek Dinner

  • @Nancy,

    That is an important distinction and one I would honor. Just as teachers need to determine comfortable boundaries with students, parents and children should do the same. In my case, my kids don’t care, I think they actually like it.

    @Ginger. Not really. Not my kind of movie. I’ll pursue a split of the funds. Good idea.

  • My daughter friended me on facebook when she was a junior in high school (now she’s a sophomore in college), and although sometimes I don’t like what I see on her wall, it’s provided a view into another world that I would never be able to see otherwise. One important advantage to this is that I can help her view her posts from an adult point of view (as future employers might see it). That picture of the party where people (underage) were drinking beer? That’s a picture she removed after we had a discussion about the permanence and breadth of the web and its possible effect on her professional reputation. I try not to be judgmental about what I see on her fb page — knowing that I’m privileged to be included and that she has the right to block me from seeing so much of it. In return, she listens to and considers my advice, althugh she often shrugs it off. Overall, she has learned that whatever she posts can be seen forever and that her digital footprint can have an impact on her future. And I’ve gained access to a fun way to stay in touch with my daughter’s personal world.

  • audrey

    Your wife has a very good sense of humor! But… on another note….what’s your opinion on friending your students? I have a colleague that goes looking for former students and friends them. I haven’t done that..but I have accepted two students who asked to friend me (one who is just the friend of a student Ihad in the past). Now another former student is asking to friend. I’m not sure I’m all that comfortable with any of them friending me.Not that I’m doing or saying anything on facebook that is a problem for them to see, but I don’t know… I still have questions about it.

  • Stuart Ciske

    Dean – great post.

    WIth kids, though, you get one thing solved (lunch money) and now another crops up (bets with monther).

    Here’s hoping that the women in your family don’t gang up on you too badly……..so when does golf start in Moose Jaw anyway?

  • I think this can go either way… On the one hand you need to respect your child’s privacy and on the other you need to protect your child. Having access to things like Facebook and MySpace can be a very useful advantage if you don’t know what is influencing your child but if you are just eavesdropping this is wrong and you should give your child the benefit of the doubt, after all we are the ones who raised them.

  • Aren’t children wonderful when they trust their parents? Absolutely parents should have a Facebook account. We don’t let our children cross the road until we see that a) the road is clear and b) they recognize the signals directing traffic. The internet is just another street. If parents do not know how to navigate the bumps, how can we expect children to miss the pot holes?
    Hopeless self advertising Dean. – Please ask parents to join the Parents as Partners Facebook group.

    Lorna Costantinis last blog post..Parents as Partners as been nominated for Edublog Awards 2008

  • I have an account, but it is so ugly and inelegant. On another note, it would take more than $20 dollars to get me to go see Twilight!

    wmchamberlains last blog post..Congratulations TamakiToday!

  • Not sure it is a good idea to be facebook friends with your children, it’s too much like ‘hanging out’ with them!

    Pauls last blog post..History of the Goodwin Sands

  • Paul,

    I think this is totally an individual decision. It’s true, everyone needs their space but in my case, my kids don’t mind me hanging out with them. If they did, I’d back off. I know them well enough that I don’t really worry about what they do online. We’ve been fortunate to have very transparent relationships with all of our kids. They tend to see their friends houses as their “get away from Mom and Dad” space. Not so much Facebook.

  • Thanks for the laugh:-)
    Thought I’d share my ‘Facing Facebook’ post: http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/facing-facebook/
    I love Sharon Elin’s comment, it exemplifies the reason we need to be there and the integrity we can have being there with our children.

    David Trusss last blog post..Edublog Awards Nomination

  • I am friends on Facebook with my three children, who are all adults. I told someone how I learned what one of them was doing (from a status), and the reaction was as if I’d outsourced parenthood to somebody in Bangalore. It’s not like Facebook replaces phone calls, let alone kid-specific stuff like the way my middle child always wants to celebrate Christmas Adam. It’s just another potential channel, and it works.

    In a vaguely related vein, after my parents kept having trouble finding their email and viewing photos, I created a blog just for them (shortcut on their desktop). All three of my kids can post there, too. It’s been going for nearly three years, and to use a family phrase, we’re doing a great job and nearly everybody has cake.

  • Mary

    I can’t see anything on either of my kids facebook pages. I search their name, nickname and email address and can’t find them. I know they both have accounts. I’ve even looked on my neices account who added me as a friend. My sister said he’s there. But I can’t see him. I search through all her friends and he’s not there. I even changed my e-mail address to a work address that they don’t know. People will comment to my husband about his pictures. I am totally in the dark about my kids anymore. I have no idea what they are doing.

  • When I needed to best describe why Extension professionals might want to join Facebook, John Dorner suggested that I looked at Harvard Professor Andrew McAfee’s post on the benefits of Facebook. From Professor McAfee’s article, I found these aspects that would be useful to Extension professionals:

    1. Facebook is social software. Of course, it is, which is the reason Facebook and Myspace is so attractive to teens and college students. These students constantly communicate openly about their lives, their opinions, their interests, and their academics. Although most of us working adults are uncomfortable sharing information in open environments
    like London Escorts Services Advertisement, the social aspect of Facebook is what makes it fun and speeds the learning process.

    2. Facebook gives you the opportunity to decide what you want to share, what you don’t want to share, and what you want to share with selected friends.

    My daughter “friended” me in Facebook. She allowed me to see her status and photos, but she does not want me to see what her friends have to say….hmmm that makes me wonder. But, the point here is that she controls what I see on her space. Likewise, I can control how much information I give out about myself and I can limit certain portions of information to certain friends.

    3. The structure of Facebook emerges over time. Users can create groups and discussion topics. These groups can grow, or be left alone to die, depending on the users and their participation. Kevin Gamble created a Cooperative Extension group. If you create a Facebook account and you work for Cooperative Extension, “friend” me and I’ll make sure you are invited into the Cooperative Extension group (Kevin and others can do this, too).

    4. From the teenagers’ and college students’ perspectives, not using Facebook is a “social liability”. For some professionals, not having an online presence can also be a professional or career liability.

    5. Facebook is a one-stop shop for sharing media, blogging, calendaring, communicating, sharing information, etc. Facebook can give Cooperative Extension capabilities to collaborate and build our networks in one place by providing one place to easily share information and discuss topics of interest.

    6. Facebook brings together several online tools. In addition to being able to share information and photos, you can add applications (some examples are: Twitter, Flickr, del.icio.us, your blog, news feeds) to your Facebook home.

    7. Facebook is mobile. Having facebook on your phone keeps you up-to-date with statuses, posts, and discussions. This feature, like many others, is optional.

    8. After you get a feel for the layout and what is where in Facebook, using Facebook is easy. If you don’t know how to do something, ask a teenager.

    So what is the downside of social tools, like Facebook and MySpace? Sharing too much information could become a problem so share only what you are comfortable with sharing. Remember, you can control what you share.

    Some say that social networking wastes time. It can be, but it does not have to be. And, it does not have to be perceived as a time-waster. Facebook allows us to learn from each other and build relationships with each other which takes time. If you are working on building relationships locally or maintaining relationships locally, you must take time to do that. You talk with folks and you have coffee or lunch with them. You maintain those relationships by continuing to talk with, catch up on news about them, check on them, etc.

    Facebook is an online activity that will take some time. In doing so, we will learn about each other, learn from each other, discuss issues and methodologies, and challenge each other.

  • Ooh man, I’m glad my parents don’t have Facebook…

  • Mark Freeman

    I gave my 14 year old daughter a choice, when she asked if she could have a Facebook account: either friend me or give me her login and password. She decided that is was less of a public humiliation to give me her password that to have my face on her friends list. 🙂

  • A dad

    Facebook and Myspace have given my son and I a place to stay in contact. It gives us a place to talk with out his mother getting involved. His mother has raised him good and I applaud that but she’s been a constant road block without realizing it. She always wants me to prove something. It’s been sixteen years I’m not going anywhere so stop is all I can think but hey I can’t say it. I know she just wants to protect him but she’s protected him out of a better relationship with his father. These social sites have given us a place to talk without her involvement. When she finally figured out we had been talking online more she wanted his username and password. I found that offensive and still do. It’s not that she wants to keep us out of touch with each other she just wants to have control over it. So what did he do…he created another username and sent me a email from a new yahoo account he created to let me know where he could talk to me privately. So parents when you demand a username and password and get one you most likely have the page they want you to see. Believe me the stuff I see on my sons page that his mother doesn’t know about sometimes upsets me but I’d rather know the truth than demand my way into the dark. I don’t believe she does any of it with malicious intent or is even intending to stop our relationship. She just doesn’t realize that her good intentions and momma hen protective ways have been a hindrance. The mother of my six year old daughter is not like this and my son has commented on the fact that he wishes that we could have the same privileges that my daughter and I get. I say privilege because men don’t get rights just privileges.

  • The presence of a parental-account should be mandatory for every child under the legal age of majority (18 in Belgium) on every socialnetwork/profile site. And the parental-account should be also able to see the private messages of the child’s account.

    The attemps to separate adults and minors on the internet will NOT reduce the unwanted situations, in contrary it will accomplish the opposite because people with bad intentions will always find ways to slip the safetynet and children will always stay naive, while the adults with good intentions who supervice and protect the children and whose presence deters such people very effectively, are kept away instead!
    Transparency and close (parental) child-caregiver relations (in which the child’s communicates to the caregiver and the caregiver knows the child and its life) are the 2 key elements to protect children from abuse, while pushing them in a world with almost only their (just as naive) age-mates increases the risk and constantly frightening them of the risks works only very little but causes severe psychological damage to a child and it’s ability to form necessary, normal and supportive relations with adults.

    Also the development of the school system and institutions which raise children in a distant manner has proven to be terrible for the emotional, psychological and moral development and the wisdom-,cultural- and skill-tranfser of the latest generations of mankind.

    Certainly in a society that becomes increasingly more complex, larger and connected, Methods of participating accompaniment (not as a friend or horizontal relationship but with a close, ethical correct and responsible vertical relationship) should be used instead.
    Baden Powel of Gilwell understood this already in the beginning 20th century when he returned from the army(in the colonies) and saw the English youth drinking and hanging around on the streets and developed the (original) scoutingmethod with this at its base. (But this had become more somewhat diluted in the second half of the 20th century as a result of the typical strict(authoritarian) and distant way of raising children by the Christian institutions in that time. (nowadays the overall time spirit dictates a more lose(permissive) and distand approach for handling children, while a close and authorit’ative’ approach is best for a childs development)

    Sophisticated generation-transfer of information is the most important basis of mankind’s success for becoming the most intelligent and dominating species on the earth. And 20th century visions and evolutions on more separation (!not statutory or legal difference) between the different age-groups undermine that. It’s the dominant cause of the development of a lot of unhealthy habits in modern youth-culture and the drastic rising of emotion en psychological problems with minors in modern times.

  • Niele Geypens

    Can an admin change my emailadres in the name of the previous post to ‘Niele Geypens’? This was by accident. And I don’t want the spam that I will get when it is left online. (the admin may also delete this notice)

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  • yeah offcourse we can join our children to the face book due to this we can become a friend

  • Of course parents should have a face book account. Although it is not for spying on your children, at least you are aware of what they are up to.

  • It is a good idea for the parents to have their account on facebook as this allows them to know what their children are up to. On the other hand parents should also respect their children’s privacy.