It’s Tuesday, so I’m going to redirect you to Off Our Chests, this time to confirm what you already knew—I’m a jerk. I’m mean! All of the other parents are cooler than I am!
[Aside: Chickadee has one friend who thinks I’m awesome. I have no idea where she got this idea, but I’m not about to disabuse her of it. Every time I give her a ride somewhere or she comes over or I see her at a school function or whatever, she laughs at my lame jokes and tells Chickie I’m the coolest mom ever. I’ve started calling her My Favorite Daughter and I’m SURE that’s helping the already-strained relations ’round here, right? Because the only thing better than one of your friends thinking your terrible mom is actually a human being is your mom making it clear that she’s lapping it up. Heh.]
Anyway. Tomorrow my darling daughter turns 14 (related: HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??), and I have many presents I need to go wrap for her. But the thing she wants the most—and still isn’t getting—is Facebook. Because I’m a monster, obviously. C’mon over and weigh in. (I give it about an hour before someone with a creative name like “Anonymous” tells me how wrongishly wrong and stupid I am.)
My great-nephews, who are 14 and 12, keep trying to friend me. I just ignore, ignore, ignore. I don’t know how old is old enough, but they aren’t old enough to find out how weird I am.
No, you are right. Hang tight. I am witnessing firsthand what teen-aged students do with FB and it’s not pretty.
You’re giving it an hour?? ;-) Yesterday DD and I were just discussing what she thought of me at that age. Thank goodness we’re on the other side of that now!
There are some privacy settings that would prevent others from even seeing her wall, let alone post on it. Only approved friends!
But if you give in (I won’t call it caving), disable all the freaking games! That is one sneaky way others can see your info.
Mean or not – you are right, right, RIGHT! And you are also awesome – always! ;)
@Suebob — my nephew and a frew friends’ kids continuously send me friend requests. Um, I’m an adult. Sometimes I use adult language and talk about my nonexistent boobs. Lemme be.
Mir — my oldest daughter also has “one” friend who feels this way about me. Her mother says to me when she picks her up, “You know, I DO cook. She comes home talking about all the wonderful things you cook and well, stop being so great.” Huh. My daughter complains about my chicken all the time. Hers can stay.
I discovered that the secret to being the ‘cool mum’ is making sure your kid have really fun, nerdy friends. Also ensure that they don’t know the truth about your autocratic tendencies.
Had one darling little thing tell me that she wished her mum would do rules the way I did. ‘Rules are, like, cool,’ she said, ‘because then when I screwed up it’d more fun ’cause I know what I’m doing, and if my dad freaked out would I know I’ve earned it.’ Teen logic is FUN!
My instinct is that I will probably let my son have an account when he’s 13 if he wants one, but since we’re not actually there yet I’ll have to see how I react when the time comes. Parental access to it will be non-negotiable though.
remind her that she has a HUGE online presence already. since even the smartest kid seems to put too much personal info on their FB she might inadvertently lead friends here and BOOM, they know all of the humiliating details of her toddler years. or even worse, she undoes all the anonymity you protected her with and creepies from here manage to find her there.
i vote for staying mean, being hated and having a safe child.
My 14 year old isn’t on Facebook either, but she’s not super social, go us!
Happy (almost) birthday to Chickadee!
I’m feeling more and more grateful that this stuff wasn’t so popular when my children were younger. By the time it became more readily available, my youngest was in her late teens and promptly friended her father and me. Her philosophy was to never post anything she wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.
Stand your ground. Another year or two to mature (probably) won’t destroy her socially, while youthful bad decisions could come back to bite her.
I probably would let her have an account with ALL of the controls. And you can be her friend and monitior anything that is out of line and poof…she loses the privilege. C’mon, Mir—it’s the new wave of coolness!!! :)
Welcome to Meansville! Greetings from a longtime member!
You know, I’m not sure how I will decide the Facebook decision. But I was thinking about it this week, and realized that even if I allow them a facebook page, I will probably encourage them to delete their “kid” page when they’re 18. The teen years really should be erased from your adult life, IMO. That’s why I moved 1000 miles away. heh.
But see, if that’s really what I’d plan on doing, they shouldn’t have one at all. True?
I have a 12 year old brother who has been on facebook for 2 years now. I have had VERY heated arguments with my step-mother about how I am 30– and ALLOWED to cuss like a sailor on facebook, regardless of what the 10-11-12 year old may read, I’m sure he hears MUCH WORSE at school. (after all, the kid is more devil’s spawn than angel)
But, no. My children won’t be on facebook until 16. Or 17. Or, quite possibly, NEVER. I haven’t decided, yet. My oldest is 6, I have a few years to figure out how much I want her life to suck.
My kids have been on FB since before they could read well (the youngest) but I can’t begin to presume to pass judgement on your decision. FB was (and continues to be) right for us but that doesn’t mean it applies to everyone. Look at all the insane adults out there. :)
I teach middle school, so I am faced with this daily, and I have a 12 year old (no Facebook) and a 16 year old (has had Facebook since 14).
My experience is that when parents refuse to let children who feel (rightly or wrongly) “justified” in having a Facebook when they reach the magic age of 13 or 14, the kids find a way around this anyway. Children make up a fake profile hidden from their parents, but available to friends. I see it a LOT.
I’d rather grant permission, make sure her Facebook has the appropriate privacy controls, monitor content by having a password, than to deny and have her navigating the waters alone.
My 14 year old daughter does have a Facebook account which she usually has disabled because she is so frequently annoyed by the absolute drivel her friends and friendly aquaintances post. Also, she gets her feelings hurt because she sees everything everyone is doing that she wasn’t included in. That fact that everyone posts all the good fun things they are doing tends to make her feel like she is the only one at any given time not being included. Of course that’s not true but Facebook doesn’t ever show the whole story.
lauren has had one for 18 months or so. deal is… i know user name and password and she does NOT friend anyone that she doesn’t personally know thru school or her activities. no friending friends of friends. *i* have found it to be a handy little tool to keep pulse on what her buddies are up to. ;0) i don’t ask to friends her friends but will accept a request from them. (see previous sentence for reason). she doesn’t spend much time on it. checks it occasionally. once she had it the novelty quickly wore off. kinda like my son when he had his eyebrow and tongue pierced. there are worse things and i’ve learned to pick my battles. 6 months after getting them he pulled them out and never looked back.
Heck- I’m 30 and I don’t have a facebook. :-)
Sharon, I’m 32 and I’m right there with you! :-D
I’m right there with you because she’s your kid and it’s your choice, and you should do what works best for you and your kid. And I’m right there with ME, who gave her own daughter a FB page even before she turned 13, and thinks it’s JUST FINE for her, and is tired of all the judgement over whether or not FB is The Devil because…not so much in my world. And I could tell you all about the reasons I think it’s OK and the protections I’ve instituted, but…that’s not my point. My kid, my choice; your kid, your choice. No judgement here!
No, you’re not stupid. I love Facebook but I don’t think it’s good for kids. And don’t you worry, you can still be the coolest mom ever even if you don’t allow her. he,he
I thought about my own adolescence and I decided I have one more opinion, worth exactly what you paid for it. If I were you, I would come up with a nice firm reason for not letting her have it now, and a way of judging when exactly she will be old enough for Facebook. My mom tended to make decisions based on what “felt right” to her, and when I was a teen it drove me absolutely nuts, because how do you build a case against someone’s feelings, or even predict when and how they will change? I’m not saying you should let her have it, I’m saying it might be easier for her to cope with not having it if she understood why she didn’t, and she had a better idea of what had to change before she could. Again, worth exactly what you paid, and only inspired by my own vividly-remembered teenage frustrations.
I gave my daughter a Facebook account when she turned 12 (yes, before it was “legal”, but with the strict rules that she could only friend her relatives and out-of-town friends, and of course, I always have the right to log in as her to check up.) After she took a school trip to France (still age 12) we added the stipulation that she could friend the kids she met while traveling. It’s turned out to be the best way to keep in touch with her French buddies, and practice her social French, too. That year was a great experiment and it demystified FB for my kid. She’s still on it occasionally, but it certainly doesn’t rule her life.
The downside: she can see the comments that sometimes are less than polite. But hey, that’s real life, and I’ve used that as a learning opportunity, as well, letting her know that anything that’s out there in cyber world is out there forever.
Looking back, besides keeping up with her French friends, her life would not be lacking without FB. Stick to your guns and do what’s best for your kid, even if it means changing your mind later. :)
I was waiting for the 13th birthday, but when he found out I would be his “friend” he lost interest… Btw, I am the meanest mom in the world. The only one in the neighborhood who requires helmets while biking and sleeping during sleepovers!
p.s. I commented on the OOC site, but I forgot to congratulate you on your election as Mayor.
Facebook sucks and it’s really boring after a while. But as a teenager, it REALLY REALLY SUCKS not to have what everyone else has.