Should You Be Friends on Facebook With Your Teenagers?

Facebook Friends with Teens

To friend, or not to friend.

Did you know that almost two-thirds of the teens in the U.S. are Facebook friends with their parents? Of the students aged 16 -18 surveyed by Kaplan Test Prep, they found that 38% of the teens said they ignored their friends requests from their parents.

As social networking sites like Facebook become multi-generational, it isn’t uncommon to see parents comment on their children’s Facebook profiles, resulting in a little parental online bickering. There are no rules of netiquette as it relates to parents and children on Facebook, other than make sure you are comfortable in what you are posting.

Remind your children that anything they post can be shared. Parents need to give their children space and set appropriate digital boundaries, however if they notice unusual activity such as cyber bullying, they should talk to their children and immediately report it to their school.

When I polled my friends on Facebook, I received a comment from a parent of a teenager who said, “I like knowing what my children are up to and enjoy seeing their photos that they post. I am so glad that they are comfortable with having me as a friend.” Another mom commented with, “We are ‘friends’, but I don’t check up on them. That would lead to more battling of wills. :)”

Although parent-teen friendships on Facebook are on the rise, it isn’t clear whether the teenagers are using the privacy settings to prevent their folks from seeing specific photos or status updates.

Are you Facebook friends with your children or parents? Has your child ignored your Facebook request? If so, we’d like to hear from you.

Julie Spira is a netiquette expert and social media strategist. She’s the author of The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your  Manners on the Web. Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira and at

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