Need to Know: Parents, Kids and Facebook

by Barbara J. Feldman on March 2, 2011

Does your child have a facebook page? Are you concerned about their online safety? Do you know what your child is doing on the social media site? Parents can often get out of the loop with the new technology that their kids are being exposed to. While Facebook and the internet may not have been around when you were in high school, it is here now and your kids are dealing with it.

Facebook is a great way for kids to connect with their school friends and even family members. Parents can also benefit from the way you connect with your own friends on facebook. Parents will also be able to connect with their kids and you might even learn something about your 13-year-old that you didn’t know before.

Facebook is the safest of all the social media sites but even with the privacy features it has you still need to be concerned for your child’s safety. You must find out what type of information they are posting on the social media site and if they have a profile that is private, which can keep unwanted people from viewing their information. In addition to the information they are posting you must also be aware of what is being said on their facebook wall and what type of information they are being exposed to.

The wall on facebook allows your child to share small bits of information like what they are eating for lunch and so on. It is also a place with their friends can make comments to them and so forth. With a lot of teens being caught up in drama, you need to be very cautious about their facebook page and to be sure that they are interacting with the right type of people. You also need to check it, especially if you have a child that suffers from depression and low self-esteem as many cases of teen suicide have been linked to hurtful comments left on social media sites. While it’s not the actual social media site itself that causes these problems, teens often do not understand just how vulnerable they are.

Talk to your kids about facebook and make sure they are using sound judgment. Saying things like “off to New York for the week” can leave your home open to robbers that scan social media sites to see when people are away from home. Make sure they are starting private chats with their friends when they are discussing this type of information.

You also need to be sure that your child isn’t posting inappropriate pictures and other things. It’s a good idea to see what type of networks they are joining so you can scan them as well. It is important to see what your children are interacting with as they could get into something that causes identity theft or other concerns.

Any time your child posts on their friend’s wall; it shows up in the newsfeed so anyone can see it. It is very important that your children try to avoid drama when on social media sites. If they are sharing opinions about others, they need to be very careful about doing so and should not post anything in emails or on facebook walls. It’s always preferable to avoid this type of talking altogether but there are just some kids out there that will get dragged into this type of drama and behavior even if they try to steer clear of it.

Understanding what Facebook is and what the wall is all about along with the privacy settings will allow you to help your child be careful. If you do get a facebook page, be sure to check up in your child’s page from time to time but you should avoid leaving comments and other things that may embarrass your child.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Need to Know: Parents, Kids and Facebook." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 2 Mar. 2011. Web. 31 Aug. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1534/need-to-know-parents-kids-and-facebook/ >.