Monitoring Your Child’s Facebook Page


Does your child have a Facebook page? Do you ever look at it?

I look at A’s page at least once a day. I look at her status, as well as what everyone else is posting on her page. I am Facebook friends with most of her friends. My best friends are friends with A so they can keep an eye out too. In fact, when I allowed her to get a page, I required that she be friends with me and my two besties. Some might call this spying but I call it being a good parent. She is very aware that we all check her page and pay attention to what her friends are saying.

Over the weekend I noticed that a middle school girl, who we don’t know because she goes to a local Catholic school instead of my daughter’s school, was cussing up a storm on one of A’s classmate’s pages.  M, the classmate, knows the cussing girl who we will refer to as K. She was using every word you can imagine. She was referring to M’s classmates. It was obvious that she was jealous that M had other friends. M asked her to stop but she continued to use the F word and refer to M’s friends as the B word. Another mom actually commented basically asking the girl to clean up her language. Instead, the girl started making inappropriate comments about the mom. Another friend of M’s, L, also asked the girl to stop and said K was being rude. That just made K go off even more. The last time I checked, there were 72 comments on this post, most of them made by K and including very inappropriate language. M also used a few choice words but never used them to call someone a name. It was still inappropriate though considering she is only in the seventh grade and Facebook is a public forum.

As I read this, all I could think is “where are their parents?” I would be mortified if I ever found out my daughter talked like this but to put it on Facebook, out in public for everyone to see, would probably send me to the bottom of a wine bottle! What was amazing to me is this went on for at least 24 hours and no one, other than the mom of a friend, ever stepped in. How did their mothers not see this? I would have seen it within the first few hours or heard from one of my friends. I would have immediately deleted the posts (yes, I have her password), made her delete K, the foul mouth friend, and then called K’s mom. These posts are still up as I write this. I don’t want to harshly judge another parent because I believe we all do the best we can but this really bothers me.

Do you monitor your child’s Facebook? What about their text messages? How would you have handled this situation if your child was involved? Do you think I should have stepped in even though I don’t know K at all and barely know M? I want to hear your thoughts!

 

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5 thoughts on “Monitoring Your Child’s Facebook Page

  1. Like you, I monitor my 15-yr-old son’s fb page daily. I am always amazed at what I see his “friends” posting – it is clear that many kids do NOT have parents who supervise their social networking, which I find horrifying. I have seen 7th grade girls bragging about how drunk they got at a summer festival, and 8th grade boys & girls commenting openly about sex. REALLY??? While I am always tempted to immediately “unfriend” these kids, I have learned that it is actually much better to leave them alone and instead use their posts as springboards for discussion with my son. “Did you CS’s post about drinking and smoking?? What do you think about that?” This has led to some very positive and open talks, and also reinforces to him that I AM paying attention to what goes on in his world. It also allows me to keep a “pocket list” of kids that I would not want my kid hanging out with. As for your particular situation, it’s true you are in a tough spot since you don’t know K or M very well. But don’t forget you can always report K to fb as “harassing or bullying”. This would at least send her the message that people are watching, and there are boundaries to allowable behavior in a public forum.

  2. Tottally agree with jacasa3. My kids aren’t old enough yet to have FB accounts, but I’d do the same when they are old enough. Its the same thought I have as that I like having their friends at my house so I get to know them and overhear their conversations when they are playing in the next room. Plus, you know that anything said on FB can also be printed out and shown to the parents, even if it is deleted off of FB. Might be something you want to consider pointing out as a lesson.

  3. I monitor my sons facebook daily he’s 12 years old. I agree with above, I wouldn’t delete the people..it’s better to be able to see what is going on and just not comment on the page. Since you don’t really know the mom/family personally, I would use it as a learning experience for my son too. As in discuss what is right and wrong and what do you think your grandmother would say if she saw those posts from friends on your facebook or that you posted something with curse words. I have also explained to my son that Facebook is out there for the world to see..so don’t write or say anything about another person that you wouldn’t say face to face. If you call the mom, it might make it bad for your daughter at school..the other girls will find out and maybe make fun of her for having an overprotective mom. Junior high is rough already 🙂

  4. I have 3 teenage girls all with fb accounts. I fb stalk them daily. The older girls don’t really post that much unless it is pictures or are commenting on others. We have had to remove a picture here or there but otherwise they and their friends are very aware that a recruiter of some type may be looking. I have commented a few times with just the word “language” on a couple of the friends posts and they have all been very embarrassed and apologized to me. They are kids and forget sometimes. Now, the 13 year old likes to post everything she does. I have to watch hers all the time because it does get hateful between girls and I have no problem calling parents or even commenting back. If I don’t know the child and they are being nasty, I will call the school. I will not tolerate a bully and will do what it takes. I am not one to sit on the side and watch something happen and I would hope that if my child was doing something inappropriate that someone would step in and let me know before 24 hours.

  5. Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your feedback. I did use this as a learning tool with my own child. Kids need to realize that Facebook is permanant and could impact them later in life…

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