Have you tried more than once to friend your teens on Facebook? If they’ve repeatedly ignored or denied your friend requests, don’t worry! You’re not the only parent who has been stuck in friend request limbo or, even worse, straight-up rejected by your kids. According to a Kaplan survey of 2,300 teens, 35% have ignored their parents’ friend requests online.
Just because your kid may reject you online doesn’t necessarily mean they’re hiding anything from you. But it does makes you wonder what you’re missing out on by not seeing their profiles. Put yourself in your teen’s shoes – their Facebook account is probably one of the first online accounts they’ve made in their own name and with their own password. Having their own social networking account can make them likely to want more privacy, and let’s face it – being Facebook friends with your parents detracts from this.
Another reason kids aren’t jumping for joy at friending their parents online is that some parents tend to use Facebook differently than their teens. Kids can feel self-conscious if their parents “like” every picture they post, comment on every status update, or are constantly asking about content in their profiles. Kids are a lot more willing to friend their parents if they still feel that they can maintain the “grown-up” aspect of having their own social networking account – which doesn’t include a parent commenting on everything.
Even if you are friends on Facebook, kids might enable privacy settings making it harder for you to know about certain online activities, including cyberbullying or oversharing that could damage their online reputation. So Facebook friends or not, parents need to find ways to monitor their kids’ friends, photos, wall posts, or any potentially troublesome behavior. And it’s just as important to communicate often with your kids about social networking – if you do, they’re probably more likely to be open and honest about their online activities and interests.
How do you monitor your kids’ Facebook activity if they decline your friend request?