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Facebooking with Teens

34 Being the super-cool mom that I am, I didn't let my oldest daughter have her own Facebook page until this week. She's 14 (15 in August). Even though everyone else that she knew had one.  My husband and I just never felt comfortable with her having one before this.

And can you believe she survived all this time? It was touch and go, there for awhile, but she pulled through. : )

And since I'm the super-cool mom that I am, she had to agree to a list of guidelines before setting up her facebook. In this ever-changing world of technology and communication-overload, my husband and I have learned that we need to try to anticipate what kind of things could come up that our children need protection from. It's a new world; one that we did not experience and so had no previous guidelines set by our own parents.

So, without further ado, here are the guidelines we set up for her and all future children in our home:



• Pre-approve your friends with parents
• Be positive in your status postings
• Remember that a few words on Facebook can be the whole impression the people have of you (and your family)
• Represent yourself and your family well


• Share your exact location if away from home or share plans to leave, such as “We’re leaving town for the weekend!” Posting about being excited about upcoming events is okay, like “Yay! Cotillion is tonight.” or “I can’t wait to go visit Sydney this week.”
• Say when you’re home without parents (as in babysitting, etc.)
• Post very personal info
• Post your home address or phone number publicly (this should be done in private messages)
• Have a public fight with friends or post frustrations with a friend or family member

You may check/post on facebook twice a day, such as before school and after. This should only take about 5-10 minutes. Other facebook time must be part of your computer time each day.

Important: If you have a friend on your friends list who is using inappropriate language or behavior (determined by parents) you will be required to unfriend them.

I helped her set up the account, so the privacy settings are set up so that only friends can see her page. And of course, I'm her number 1 friend.

On a side note, I have made it a practice since I started facebooking to add her friends to my friends list. This helps me get to know them better and she and I both can read their status postings. There have been a couple of occasions where we learned things we didn't know, and it has helped open up discussions on many topics, including the choice of friends in general.

So, do you have a teenager in your home who uses Facebook? What are your house rules? Did I miss something important?

* By the way: Facebook actually only approves kids 13 and up. The only way to get around that is to enter a false birthday. We feel that honesty is the best policy. : )
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