I’m not a fan of Facebook. Ask my friends.
Facebook gives me heartburn – both because I don’t understand the ever-changing features, and because I’m not a chit-chatter.
But I’m on Facebook, nonetheless, and I’m sure my 11-year-old son will be some day. If he wants to “friend” me, I’ll probably accept. But I’ll be careful what I write about him that others could read.
Recently, I saw an article titled “11 biggest mistakes for parents who are Facebook friends with their kids.”
“Step 1: Don’t embarrass them!” it says.
Good advice. In a child’s eyes, a parent can commit few sins greater than embarrassing them. Facebook comments we think are cute could mortify them.
“Do all 1,200 of your son’s friends need to know that he still sucks his thumb at night or that he bombed his driving test?” asks the article by Kim Lachance Shandrow. “No and no!”
She continues, “Respect your child’s privacy online and off. It shows them you care. It also teaches them to respect their own privacy.”
I feel a little busted here. I write about my son, Connor, often on Single Dad House. But, so far at least, he hasn’t objected. He occasionally checks the site and says he likes the articles that mention him.
Of course, his attitude may change when he becomes a teenager. Then, I’ll probably need to be more cautious what I say about him on this site and on Facebook.
“Tread lightly and always remember that all your children’s Facebook friends can view every single comment you oh-so-lovingly post on their walls,” Shandrow writes.
Don’t make these Facebook mistakes
Here are her 11 Facebook mistakes for parents to avoid:
- Don’t over-share
- Don’t pry
- Don’t get too personal
- Don’t tag your child in photos
- Never assume your child can chat just because he or she is logged in
- Never, ever reply to comments for your kids
- Don’t nag kids to do their chores
- Don’t stalk their significant others
- Don’t chide or punish them
- Don’t ‘like’ too much
- Realize that everyone sees your comments
As if parenting weren’t hard enough, now we have proper Facebook etiquette to worry about too. But the writer obviously makes some good points.
Inevitably, we’re going to embarrass our kids at times. The less we do so, the better for our relationship.
“Be considerate and always treat your kids how you want to be treated on Facebook,” Shandrow writes. “When in doubt, leave it out.”
If your child wants to be your Facebook friend, you may feel flattered. You may think you have a special bond. But that bond can be broken instantly if you make a Facebook comment that embarrasses your child. Be discreet and keep your finger on the delete key.