FACEBOOK.....beginning To Hate This Thing!

Updated on June 15, 2010
D.S. asks from Chesterfield, MO
43 answers

My question is for anyone whose teenager uses Facebook or has a Facebook account. I need some advice on something that I just stumbled upon and I am not too happy about it. We have a 16 year old daughter who has a Facebook account. At this age, as I'm sure you know, the teens just love this thing and are on it 24/7. We limit the time that she sits on the computer to a reasonable level and when the Facebook account was first created, it was done with my help and I was also "friended" onto her pages. So was my husband and numerous other family members. I also have the Login and Password to this account......not sure my daughter is aware of this but I do have it. Last week, my husband went to write a comment on our daughter's Facebook wall and much to his dismay, he saw some weirdo conversation on there to one of her best friends and the discussion got a bit....shall we say.....inappropriate. No boys or swearing were involved or anything like that but let's just say there were comments that were on the ridiculous side in regards to body parts and specifically the friend's chest. it was enough for my husband to pull our daughter aside and tell her that the commentary was not acceptable and especially since she has numerous family members on her Facebook that could easily read what is being said…aunts, uncles, younger cousins, and her grandmother! She deleted the comments right then and there and I thought we were done with it. NOPE! The next thing she deleted is both me and my husband from her Facebook! Yup, I went to write a “hello” message on her wall and found that I was blocked so that I can no longer post to her wall or see anything that is written on it. She did this to my husband as well. I know this was spawned by the discussion about the inappropriate comments that he had with her earlier. Now what do I do? I just found this and frankly, I’m not happy with it. If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Approach her and tell her that there’s no way she’s blocking us or she loses the Facebook entirely, tell her to fix it now, or be a real tart and go in and unblock us myself since I have the passwords? She just turned 16. She is a really good teen but I’m also a good parent because I supervise what my kids are doing…..including her and including Facebook stupidity. Any suggestions about how to handle this issue?

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all the overwhelming support on this question. I believe that only ONE person had something different to say while the rest of you all voted the same way in support of my "unblock that Facebook now or it gets removed and you don't have one" train of thought. THANK YOU for the advice and for letting me know I'm not a crazy mom for wanting things this way. I sat our daughter down, and let her know that she has 2 choices....unblock us or lose the Facebook. She said she did that because her Dad said he doesn't want to see anymore weird comment. I told her that he meant "no comments at all, none, zero, zilch" not that he doesn't want to SEE them, literally. I didn't buy that excuse. I thought it was lame. She marched over to the Facebook, unblocked us and apologized. I told her that if I ever see myself blocked on that thing agaiin, I am just going to go in and delete the whole thing. No more chances and no more messing around. I then told her to live by this rules....."If you wouldn't want what you wrote, what you said, or a photo that you have posted broadcasted on the 5:00 news, then don't put any of it on the internet! I think thats some pretty darn good advice, no?

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N.J.

answers from Dayton on

I would not change her setting myself becasue if you do that then the next thing she will do is change her password and block you.

I would give her the choice that either you are on her account or no account. Also, expalin to her that this is not because you are controlling but because she gave you a reson to do this by posting inappropriate content.

Also, I would then go ahead and dwonload some kind of parental control software.

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M.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

I have two teens and a tween. Only my foreign exchange student has a FB account and that is hers form Germany, it's also in German. She does not have an English one here in America.
My husband is one of those IT people. As of right now he says no FB so that is the law here in this house. They do have yahoo accounts and i do have the passwords. If the girls are inappropriate then I will just delete their accounts, but if they played inappropritae with toys then I took them away when they were little too. I find this no different.
I also extremely limit their tv watching. I am their mother not their friend, incidently my girls come to me with everything the other kids in the HS do that they feel is "wrong", even the foreign exchange student.

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T.N.

answers from Albany on

HHmmm, this is very interesting to me. I have three teenages 17, 15, 13, all with their own laptops, all with their own cell phones, all have FB, AIM, etc...I DO spy from time to time, and it is the electronic equivalent to reading their journals or eavesdropping on their phone calls.....it's more out of curiosity than suspicion, they are all excellent students, great all around kids...not perfect, but I DO aim high. My stance is this, teeangers have been finding trouble of EVERY kind since the begining of time, the computer and the cell are just a new vehicle for trouble if they're looking for it, or an outstanding means of communication if they're not........I do not really HAVE to limit their time on either...I have seen comments made to or by my kids that are awesome, and some that are not so awesome...I find it no different than continuing to guide them on any other level. 'If you say this, people are going to think that, about you'. It's a question of self respect, for which the ground work was layed in very early childhood. I don't think we can blame FB or anyother sight for kids in trouble...Like you said, she's a good kid because you're a good mom for knowing that hands on parenting does not end with potty training........I have a very OPEN door policy in my house, we talk and talk and talk everything to death, they ALREADY know what kind of behavior I expect from them...I am friends with them on every account they have, as are various other family members...none of whom will be SHOCKED to her a teenager brush on a subject grown-ups find taboo.......occasionally I will read a less than Oxford Caliber comment, and will write something like 'uh, language' and they will acknowledge it in the stream..mostly I really enjoy reading their exchanges with their friends...it's a side of them I might not otherwise know, and like in most other things they do, I am rarely disappointed. Hope this helps!

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V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

I think I would give HER the option. Let her make the choice. Either a) she unblocks both of you immediately and behaves appropriately on the site or b) she loses the account entirely.

It is very easy for kids to get caught up in their comments on things like that... for them it is much like when we were kids and yukked it up in person. But online, they don't have the luxury of nobody knowing how crass they can be when joking around and when we weren't thinking straight.
I would be really ticked off that she deleted me/dad from her account though. That just doesn't sit well. I wouldn't unblock yourselves... call her on it face to face (lol). Make HER do it. If YOU do it, she'll just complain to her friends about what awful parents she has and "can they believe the GALL you have doing that?!" And make you out to be the bad guy. If you make HER do it herself, she will have to explain to her friends that you made her do it b/c otherwise she couldn't have an account... and maybe it will help them ALL to be more cautious about what they are posting.

I just read an article YESTERDAY about how the 16-22 yr old age group is actually the MOST cautious about what they post online and most particular about their privacy settings... but blocking parents wasn't what they were referring to!

Both of my teenage nieces (ages 16 and 17) have accounts, and have had for some time now.. and their parents, grandparents and all the aunts and uncles (me included) are friends on their accounts. They are good kids and don't post rude or inappropriate comments. If they did, (which they apparently have no desire to do) they know that the entire family will know about it. Maybe a bigger discussion with your daughter about how what she does reflects on your entire family might be in order? If there is something that she feels she NEEDs to comment about to someone on there, she can send a private message where others can't see (but you can if you have access to her account with passwords). If your issue is that she posted in view of others... there's where you need to go with that. If you found it rude that she said it at all.. then address that also.
Good luck. My kids don't have accounts yet. And I am kinda hoping that the whole FB fad goes away before they are old enough for it to be much of an issue.

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I would tell her exactly what you said. if you and your husband arent friended, no facebook whatsoever.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter 15, and I have FB accounts. I have her user/password. We are not friends on each other's accounts. I don't do the secret monitoring of her laptop.......we have open lines of communication and there is no need. She knows I check her computer randomly.

I check her page often with her password. She is not one to do a lot of writing, she has pictures of her cheer, etc mostly.

I see some parents on their child's page and it is a little odd when parents chip in on conversations. Also, 1 girl inparticular, posts something everytime she and her mom are fighting ( a lot), then mom starts chiming in. Very childish (but this mom is very immature and living through her daughter) I read a lot of stupid conversations and learn a lot about her peers.

We have a very open dialoge around our house and we communicate a lot and about everything. My daughter talks to me about who is doing drugs, sex, how she feels about things, etc. VERY open communication I am ok with daughter's FB. I monitor her and I also know who I prefer she NOT hang out with and redirect her before it is an issue.

What I am NOT ok about is the website formspring.me where the kid has an account, people can remain anon and post comments which are extremely rude. My daughter does not have a FS page but she was physically threatened on her bff's FS page. I found out through the bff's mom when her daughter went to her with concern then the mom came to me. The 2 girls were under a watchful eye at school, 2 police reports were filed.

Try not to feel offended. Keep tabs on the account but let her know you are, don't do it behind her back.

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W.H.

answers from Phoenix on

You're totally in the right here. I wouldn't go in and unblock yourself on her account though because that is not what you want to teach her to do with your trust. DO tell her she has to leave you guys on as friends or she does not have a FB account, period.

Tell her, You're not her parents to irritate, scold, or limit her but to teach and guide her and help her learn how to conduct herself appropriately in such a way that she can reach adulthood without being embarrassed or worse by her teen self. A FB account, with you on it, is just such a way for her to gain (and prove) that independence and ability to conduct herself appropriately. We see far too many people (kids AND adults unfortunately) who have no mental balance on how to act appropriately. All the reality shows dont help this at all.

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M.F.

answers from Sioux Falls on

I'm gonna sound like a mean mom, but here goes! You need to confront her on this and tell her there is no facebook without you having access to it. It is not that you are controlling, it is for her safety and to protect her reputation. Kids have no idea how this can impact their credibility or how easy it would be for a wierdo to find them. Also, go to Netnanny.com TODAY and download it onto all of your household computers. Only you will have the passwords. It will automatically record any messages containing inappropriate context. Sexual, violence, meeting people, etc. You won't have to worry about monitoring every little thing she does on the computer, it will red flag risky behavior for you. It will also block pornography. The program costs about 65 a year. Very worth it!

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S.K.

answers from Denver on

I think you are doing the right thing about monitoring and talking with her. It's such a difficult line to walk between letting kids at this age do their own thing (make their own choices and mistakes, and have their independence and express themselves) and trying to control or limit or whatever. I struggle with this with my teens. Overall, I am trying to explain the consequences (or potential consequences) of their actions so they can fully understand what might happen if so-and-so... In this case, your daughter is old enough that she might be looking for a summer job, or will be looking for jobs soon enough perhaps. She should know that some employers and schools look at people's facebook sites, and there have been many who don't hire, or who have fired, people based on things they see there. You could let her know about that. Is it really worth it to her to have conversations like that online where they might get picked up by people in schools or jobs? And does she really want her other relatives reading that kind of stuff?

I would consider giving her the choice - either she can keep you and your husband as 'friends' and know that you will be monitoring sometimes, or she'll have to close the account.
If you do that, though, there is a risk that she'll set up a new account (different name/ pw) that you would not have access to - and then that could be a worse situation.
If she doesn't agree to reinstating you and your husband, yes you could do it yourself, and let her know that you did.

But I would try to talk with her about it further so she understands your concerns and limits, and hopefully you can agree on an outcome. You may need to accept some forms of expression you aren't crazy about, and accept that she'll deal with the consequences if other people see what she's doing.

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O.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would not give her a choice.. confront her..she needs to understand that the things that r posted on face book affect your future decisions for schools and jobs..pull up some new article on that and show her but either way, she is still the child and u r the parent, u have the control...take it back

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J.L.

answers from Chicago on

You are not being a tart!!!!! Frankly with modern technology, and all the sexting, bullying and pedophiles out there, exposing yourself can lead to problems. Monitoring her FB is ABSOLUTELY APPROPRIATE. Until she is on her own paying her own way you and your husband are the parents and set the ground rules. You have every right to be concerned. You do need to set boundaries and the rules for her to follow. If she doesn't then she loses the priveleges that come with maturity and responsibility. Of course a tactful approach on your part is best. Hold your ground you are doing the right thing.

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C.A.

answers from Atlanta on

Well I don't have actual teenagers as of yet but mine are 7 going on 17 if you know what I mean. I dread these days because not only will I have those teenager problems to deal with I will have it times double since I have twin girls. bah!!!!
It is your "right" as a parent to have her passwords. Yes, you need to protect your kids from all the bad stuff but you cannot protect them from everything and sometimes you need to just let go and let happen because it would be a learning lesson to them.
That being said it is a totally different world for us moms today. I mean our parents never had to deal with the "cell phones" or Facebook/MySpace, Twitter, etc. We are in a new age and some of us are at a loss of what to do because we are the ones to shape the rules and regulations on this whole deal for the future potentially! Wow! That is a lot to think about really. Our grandparents and parents pretty much had the same type of issues to deal with (sort of) and most parents just went with what rules applied to them....but this is a whole new game these days.
I don't know what I would do in your situation because quite honestly I'm not there yet. I don't want to be the overbearing "controlling" parent but I also need for my girls to know that I'm not here to be their friend-yes I want to be friends with them but there is a fine line there. I am also their mother and that part needs to be respected but enough communication there for them to basically tell me everything as they would a friend.
I talk very openly with my girls and have since they were about 4 years old. I tell them ALL the time that they can tell mommy ANYTHING that it doesn't matter how bad it seems that they can come to me. I need and want to be their safety net and help them help themselves when the time comes.
So putting myself in fast forward in a few years (OMG!!!) I would have to say that I personally would tell my girls that having and using FB is a privelage and not a "right". A privelage that has to be earned and respected by them. Although I would want to respect "their" privacy they also have to understand and know that in order to get respect they have to show respect.
For her to "delete" you and your husband in my opinion is disrespectful. So what do you normally do when she does or says something disrespectful to you? Well I know each situation has its own set of scenarios but I think I would have to let her know she disrespected me and that she needs to add you back onto her friends list and because of her actions she is grounded from the whole facebook scene for however long you feel is fair. Advise her that she is still a "minor" and YOU are still responsible for her as well as her actions and that you are only trying to protect her from the idiots out there. Be up front with her and let her know this privelage could be taken away from her for good if she abuses it again and stick to it. Don't accept any excuses from her if something else happens. Let her know she needs to advise her friends or whomever that her FB is monitered and that if they want to continue with whatever they do on there that there needs to be NO inappropriate things that my parents could see.
Another option for you is to give her the choice to add you back on. Keep that same conversation open about you knowing she did so and that you felt it was disrespectful for her to do and that you are not telling her to add you back on as a friend but make sure she understands and knows you have access to the account and you will make random checks on the account since she deleted you and that the whole FB thing is a privelage for her at this point. Advise her that she could lose this privelage if her actions prove otherwise that she isn't responsiable enough to have one.
If she rebels against you and changes the password. Cancel the internet no questions asked and when she goes to get online and comes back saying she can't get on tell her "Oh yeah I tried to log onto your FB account and you changed your password so I cancelled the internet until you can be respectful to us and not go behind our backs". That might sound mean and controlling but I don't know what other options I would have if in your shoes.
:()(
I think I'll continue to look at this posting to see some other responses because I'm sure I will be in your shoes sooner than I think! Arghh! Good Luck!

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J.B.

answers from Atlanta on

She's 16. She needs some freedoms and privacy! In two years she's most likely going off on her own to college or somewhere. You say she's a good teen, so trust her a little. I think you and your husband were a bit over-the-top about comments regarding boobs. 16 year old girls are as fixated on their boobs as 16 year old boys are! Are they big enough? Too big? Will boys like them? Do they make me look fat? etc. It would be different if they were posting about sexual acts or drinking and drugs.

Personally I don't think parents and teens should be "friends" on FB just like I don't think most co-workers or employees and bosses should be. Everyone needs some privacy and the opportunity to express themselves without fear or censorship. If she starts having real problems or causing real problems, don't let her have her computer time or a cell phone with internet capabilities, but until then -ease up a bit! It's good that you supervise your children, but your 16 year old deserves some privacy and trust -and discussing boobs isn't a big deal.

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L.A.

answers from Austin on

I like what Victoria said about It is your daughters choice. Keep it clean on facebook, or she cannot use it.. You can still take her computer privileges from her if she does not follow the rules. Tough cookies if she does not like it. She obviously is not aware of what she is doing for everyone to see.

The deal with facebook is that there are 3 different ways to use it. The open wall where all of her "facebookf friends" can see it. Real time chat, which only she and the person she is chatting with at that moment can see and the "send a message" which is like email where you send a private message.. Remind her to use the more private tools for her saucy or colorful language and conversations.

In our family, we are all on facebook, my mother, father, cousins, daughter, nieces nephews and we are about to do a page for our grandmother who is 90 and wants to have a page so she can also keep up with the family.

The kids are also friends with teachers, church people, work people, and neighbors.

Remind your daughter if she would not curse in front of an adult in person or speak about inappropriate subjects face to face with these people, she certainly should not say it in black and white on the computer where everybody will know all of her business.

We make specific rules about the use with our family since we can all see the wall posts, to remember people of all ages can see everything!

All people speak differently with their closest friends than they do their parents, just remind her to keep it in mind that she represents herself, but more importantly the entire family.

She will be in college soon and then you will have no control over how she represents herself. This is a good way to have a conversation about her reputation.

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M.B.

answers from New York on

I do not have teenagers yet, but I wanted to comment. If I were in your shoes I would sit down with her at the computer, have her log into FB, and tell her to give both you and hubby back the ability to see and comment on her wall. If she says no, I would say OK, I'm asking you one more time, if you don't want to do it then I am deleting your FB page all together.

This computer age is just so crazy. My husband and I are constantly saying that we would've gotten into so much trouble if we had access to the things these kids have access to today. It is crazy. Every second of their lives is documented - either through pictures/videos on their phones, social networking sites, blogs. There is just no privacy anymore. But, if they are going to put themselves out there on the world wide web, they need to know that mom and dad will be watching what they are doing!

If you continue to have a problem, maybe you could call your local police department and ask to speak to the technology sergeant/officer. I say this out of experience as this is what my hubby does. He has made several trips to houses of preteens and teens to talk to the parents alone and then with parents and kids together about social networking and the responsibilities and risks that are associated. Most of the time the teens are like "WHATEVER", but at least they know that mom and dad aren't messing around. Usually having a cop in your house logged into your FB account is pretty intimidating and at least will make them think about it even if they put up the front that they don't care!

Good luck, I am soooooo dreading getting to this stage!

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K.L.

answers from Tampa on

I also have two teen daughters who did the same thing to me, block me from their facebook. I told them both that Facebook would no longer exist for them if I was not allowed to see their pages. I was "friended" again. I also told them that it is important to see what was going on. I also have friends of mine and family members that keep me updated too. I don't check my facebook often and it is very helpful for me to have my "village". Stay strong, one day your daughter will realize that you are looking out for her best interests.

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K.M.

answers from Kansas City on

I'm with those who say delete the account and computer priviledges. She can earn that trust and responsibility back.

Sixteen is still very young. Sixteen year olds still need guidance from their parents and sixteen year olds still need to show respect for their parents.

My daughter is approaching the teens and I, like you, supervise her. Please let us know what you choose to do. I'm sure I will be facing this one day soon too. Good luck...

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answers from Phoenix on

We grounded my daughter from FB for a year at a time when she "misused" FB after we'd talked to her about it. She didn't think she could live without FB but she survived. She may be 16 but she's still young enough to need to be monitored. =) Good luck!

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R.C.

answers from Albuquerque on

Oh wow, you have a lot of responses. Sorry I don't have time to read them all, so I apologize if I'm repeating. I don't have a teen, only little ones. But I love facebook... and I think it is like anything, not good or "evil" in and of itself, but rather in how it's used. And I think it says a lot about individuals' characters, because people tend to say just about anything on there. (You either get to know people for "real," or you run into people who very carefully manage their image...) I don't think "Facebook" is the issue here. I think this is an issue of your daughter's heart. Facebook just happens to be the medium by which you discovered a less-than-desirable trait via a conversation she was having. and, btw, I do think you are a good mom for monitoring and being involved. Too many parents step away from their children as they approach the teen years.

Anyway, I think I'd probably put my foot down and insist of being "friended" and NOT as a "limited" friend either. The consequences of not doing so are losing the account. However, I'd probably try to do this in a diplomatic way, at least at first. I was a teen once, and a good one, but even so, I'd probably just keep my facebook acct without your knowledge and access it at a friend's house, or school, or library or whatnot. Since you can't really watch her twenty-four-seven. I'd explain that there shouldn't be anything she writes on that page that couldn't be read by her grandma or you. That she should live her life authentically and be real. And I'd discuss the original incident some more, why it was upsetting and the impression she gave others. And, we're a christian home, so I'd ask my child if they are living for an Audience of One, is this situation a pleasing one?

I don't know, I'm not a mama to teens yet. But I think a combination of respectful conversation and explanation, along with some firm guidelines and expectations, would be appropriate. I'd definitely be interested in hearing what you do and how it turns out, as I look ahead to those years!

Blessings!

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N.J.

answers from Tampa on

If it were my sixteen y/o daughter, I would sit her down and tell her either you and dad get added back on...or there will be no computer. To me, this is non-negotiable. You and your husband are legally responsible for her until she's of age and setting that aside, it's a matter of protecting her on your end.

As a teacher, I see some of my former students on FB...who are now high school kids...who I KNOW for a fact...have loving, caring parents...and they are doing much the same thing. Really discussing things that in my opinion, are rather crude and do not allow them to shine in the brightest light.

Remind your daughter that while this may seem like "what everyone is doing," I can assure you...not everyone is doing it. Remind her that once it's "out there" it's out there forever and when people (relatives...parents of her friends) peek at her page, it's their most recent "snapshot" into her character or how her character is developing. Ask her if this is really the picture/impression she wants to leave with others.

I'm sure she does not see it as seriously as we do, but that's because we've been down that road and she hasn't. Besides, she's a member of your family and what she does as a contributing member...counts. When she's an adult or of legal age, you may not have a say in it...but right now, you most certainly do and a legal obligation to boot! She won't like it...she'll say you're making too much of it...but it's her reputation at stake and you sound like a caring and loving parent who wants to make sure her reputation stays shining and intact.

Put your foot down. Either remove the block or forget the computer for the next two years. She's entitled to trust and privacy...but she's not entitled to blind trust and especially now since she's done something which is out of her character. In this case, it's much better she "hate you now" and thank you later....and believe me...she will thank you later. When you give kids boundaries, they say they feel imprisoned...but the truth is...they feel loved and safe. It just might come out of her mouth as: "I hate you and you're ruining my life." Just turn a deaf ear...and do what your gut instincts are telling you. They are right on the money.
Good luck!

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G.B.

answers from Tulsa on

I am a BIg fan of FB and would normally tell you to let her have her fun, but not in this instance. You need to move her computer to a family area and only let her have access when there are other people in the room. She is setting herself up for bigger issues.

All my grandkids have FB accounts, my grand daughter chats to her father and my ex, her siblings, etc...and has friends that I know on her account. The reason I let the kids have accounts is for the fun applications. They all play Farm Town, FarmVille, and YoVille. We had a speaker at General Conference a few years back talk about how to make internet usage safer for the whole family. They suggested all computers be in a family area, such as the family room, living room, dining room, etc... and to place a picture representing Christ over the monitor on the wall to remind everyone that Christ is always there. I have a huge family portrait over my monitor and the kids are never on the internet if there is no one in the room.

I would tell her that she has shown that she is not responsible enough to handle an account and that until she understands the bigger issues that she just isn't allowed to be on unless you or your husband are present. The other option is you having control of the account with her knowledge.

She will, of course, use other friends computers and do stuff anyway, but at least on this account you can monitor her.

You should always be on her friend list, no questions asked. She is a minor.

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S.B.

answers from Gainesville on

This is a tough one ! I found out not too long ago that facebook was evil...although i am a hypocrite and keep mine so I can stay in touch with family across the country...seems if I didn't have facebook they wouldn't even know if I was alive or dead :-/ I am sure her deleting you two was out of frustration that she doesn't have any privacy. The truth is, she is 16 and although you absolutely should monitor what she does, at that age remember how we felt when we just wanted to be able to have a little breathing space without our parents breathing down the back of our neck every move we made. I think she probably feels she wants to be able to "talk" to her friends on facebook without having to worry about who is reading it, and to be honest if there was anyone on mine that I didnt want seeing what's on my page I would delete them too, family or not. I would pull her aside before you do anything, and between the two of you talk to her about it. Explain to her that for now these are your rules, and if she would like to continue having a facebook while living at your house that you would like to be able to see her account not because you are nosy, not because you are trying to limit her, but because you care about her. When she moves out and deletes you guys off again, well, then I guess there's issues there. Good luck ! Im sooo not looking forward to mine growing up.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I despise Facebook. She's not thinking about her entire audience. It almost would have been better to have Grandma, Aunts, Uncles and (older) cousins respond to her poorly thought out comments and then have to live down the shame. Why is it when people talk (type/text), the mouth (fingers) start moving and the brain stops working? Tell her to get you re-friended (and are you sure she hasn't changed the account password?). She might be a 'real good teen', but the comment shows how she thinks (and fails to think) and you might want to address some developing character flaws as well as deal with the media by which you found out about it. Child is still growing, and you still have some power to prune and shape her development.

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K.W.

answers from Miami on

I have to agree with Nancy M. I raise my kids in the same way. My daughter who is 2 weeks away from her 16th birthday and is given as much freedom as she can handle. When she demonstates behavior that proves that she cannot handle all of that freedom, some of it is taken away. I have simple rules in my house and at the base of all of that is love, self respect, and contributing positively to society and the community. Does your daughter know that all posts on Facebook or anything online is permanant? Maybe by placing the inappropriateness of those comments back on her may make a difference. "Hey you've compromised some of your reputation by saying these things...etc"

I hope this helps, but as Nancy says, parenting doesn't end with potty training and Facebook isn't the vilian.

Good Luck!!!

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K.S.

answers from Miami on

I believe you probably went over board on responding to her about her face book but since she has taken you off she has probably said other things you didnt like. I'd just cancel her account right now all internet and tell her since she felt it was appropriate to cancel you you are cancelling her internet privilages and then I'd ground her for the week. Tell her she can have it back in 3 months if she behaves. And when you give it back to her and you check it daily dont go all crazy when she pts some stuff down. Also you need to appologize to her for going overboard on what she said.

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

I would go on there and delete her account. What she did is disrespectful and she has now broken your trust.

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L.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have a 15 year old, and the same problem. I was constantly checking her page and finding inappropriate things. She is no longer aloud to go online without permission. (Each time she must ask if she can and for how long)... You absolutly have the right to have her password, as I have my daughters. Although she has never tried to block me, that would send me over the edge. Teenagers are in a constant battle for independence, however, while they live with us, and we are still their caregivers, we have every right to dictate their activities.
Once they are an adult, and can handle themselves accordingly, then we can release the hold and let them do as they please. Hopefully by then they will have learned enough from us to make the right decisions. If your daughter were to do something illegal, YOU would be obligated to pay her fines, answer for her, etc. So make no mistake about it... you have every right to do whatever you want when it comes to the internet or parenting in general.
When she is the one who has to answer to others, thenshe can do whatever she likes.
Good Luck in the neverending battle of the teenager...

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M.W.

answers from St. Cloud on

Delete her account and take away her computer privileges. However, you will have to watch as she can re create a new account at a friends' house and hide it from you. So you should keep checking her name to see if an account shows up......

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F.M.

answers from San Antonio on

I say that you should give her the two choices- put us back on as friends or lose Facebook completely. She is 16, yet not an adult yet. If she's living under your roof, she should abide by your rules - like them or not.

But the truth is, she's going to find another way to talk like this to her friends - be it texting or email or twittering- if she loses Facebook. She needs to learn that these sort of conversations (and pictures too) can come back to haunt her later, be it when she applies for a job or applies for a college scholarship. She needs to stop it now before it gets worse. SHE needs to ignore it when friends speak inappropriately and she herself should stop too.

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

Facebook and other social networking sites, computer in general, tv and cell phones are PRIVELEDGES NOT RIGHTS of our kids!! Any misuse should warrant suspension of priveledges! I would have another talk with her - it was good that you addressed your concerns with language/subject matter - but her response was to block you! No way is that acceptable.

C.F.

answers from Portland on

It looks like you have made up your mind on what you are going to do.
I will just say that most likely, she is going to change her privacy settings, if not make a separate facebook account.
I have made it so that my family can not see certain things I post or things that my friends post because my family are all conservatives and Republicans.
My friends and I are Liberals and Democrats.
So to cut down on drama and people fighting each other on my facebook page, I made it so certain people can't see what other people are saying

and at times certain people can not see what I am saying....

It is very easy to do. My husband has two facebooks, one for ALL friends and family, one for just me and close friends.
So, you know, go ahead and threaten her, but she is just going to be hiding more things from you in the end, or at least that is what a typical teenager would do... shrug.

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R.W.

answers from Tampa on

For starters if you read the rules and regulations for Facebook it states you must be 18 to have an account with them. So tell your daughter she either adds you and her father back to her account or you will have Facebook shut her account down for being under age. My nephew and niece had their accounts removed for being under age. So I know this can be done. As far as what she is saying on Facebook goes it's really hard to control. If she's not allowed a little freedom with Facebook she will just start MySpace or Twitter or one of the many others out there. Just let her know that you are the boss until she turns 18. I would not go into her account without her permission. That is totally wrong. I would never consider doing that to anyone. My daughters are 22 and 24 and both have given me their paswords for their Facebook accounts and have nothing to hide from me. Some of their friends write things on there that I don't think should be on there but you can't control everyone. Wouldn't you rather lay off a bit and be a friend on Facebook and see what your daughter is doing then to be out of the loop entirely. Because to be honest if you have Facebook shut her account down she will just open a new one. And if she finds out you have her password she will just change her password. I think you are freaking out over nothing personally. At least she isn't trying to hide things. That could be worse...

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N.E.

answers from Boca Raton on

I worked for AOL for years and saw the horror that can happen online. Adult males pretending to be teen girls and so on. This is serious. I saw some nasty stuff happen. Take this very seriously. I won't even allow my children a computer in their own bedrooms. Our computer is out in a very public venue (kitchen) and our children are not allowed to close out windows when we walk by or they lose computer time. I suggest you do a cyber safety course with her. Teens think "it can't happen to me" but they need to understand they should put no photos or comments up (texting included) they don't want shared with others they know and don't know. It's a VERY public venue. And if she acts inappropriately, their must be consequences. The computer is not a toy...and can have lifelong implications. Trust that I know I am not overreacting. I wish more parents were as careful as you in your consideration of this communication device. Think of it this way...would you have ever tossed your child into a swimming pool unsupervised and without lessons? That's the internet.

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K.K.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi Momtoteens, I have 3 teenagers 19, 17 and 15. I'm friends to each of my children on facebook and to many of their friends. I would let your daughter know that one of the conditions to her having facebook and access to a computer is that you and her father are her friends. I've told my kids many times to be careful what they write because it can follow them in the years to come. When something like this arises with my children and it does, I remind them that I'm looking out for their best interest. It doesn't hurt them to remind them that Grandma has a facebook too.

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T.B.

answers from Miami on

Delete her account. You are her mother who is in charge of her until she's old enough to be in charge of herself. She is acting like a child by removing her parents from her page, knowing full well why you and your husband want to be on her page in the first place. She believes she is exercising freedom that she is entitled to. She is not entitled to such freedom. Delete her account and explain to her why you did it. If you still have access to her account, you can go into her account and BLOCK those individuals from her page to prevent further communication with your daughter. I have a friend whose 17 year old daughter discovered a fake profile using her daughter's name and picture. It's a long story but the person used to be friends with this girl and somehow things turned bad and to get even with her, she created a fake profile page using her real first name but a fake last name with the girl's real picture. She created the profile to portray my friend's daughter as a free spirited lesbian! Facebook is a dangerous place if you do not know how to protect yourself so you have every right to cancel your daughter's account.

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L.W.

answers from Miami on

Got to this a little late. Hopefully the advice you got helped :)

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T.A.

answers from Tampa on

hi, i am a mom of one son. i totally see both sides here. personally, i think with you reminding her of the "family monitoring" of her page, that she would hopefully keep that in mind and watch what she rights/and or responds too. if you can think back to your teenage years, + you knowing how she is as a person, might help you figure out what the next step is that you want/ or should do. i think that going ahead and "unblock" yourself would do more harm than good, because she can always do it again,then change the passwords,+ then possibly not trust you/be mad/ and or give her the idea that you dont trust her. i think the final call is of course up to you. i dont see anythink wrong with a "facebook" time out!

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S.L.

answers from Tampa on

My kids are still young so I don't have to worry about this situation yet but I am familiar with facebook. Have you thought about the fact that maybe your daughter is a just simply a little embarassed to be "friends" with her parents on facebook? I totally agree with you that you should have your daughter's login name and password and log into her account regularly to see who's messaging her and writing on her wall but do you have to necessarily be friends with her to see what she's doing? I'm just trying to think back to when I was a teenager and that would be somewhat embarassing for me to have my parents writing on my wall and saying cute stuff to me like that all the time, simply because all of my friends would see it. I think it's extremely important to know what our children are doing online but just trying to suggest another alternative for you.

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T.M.

answers from Kansas City on

I was surprised that so few mentioned that you can communicate on Facebook without others seeing it and BTW you only have to be 13 to be on facebook. I'd just like to say if you're really concerned about what's going on you can buy programs that will monitor everything they are doing and some that will contact you if there seem to be a problem. I'm not sure of the names, but my husband gets all the tech magazines and I have read about some of these programs, also seen them on news programs. They will even monitor the 'chats'. I have a 17 y.o. we've had take some silly things off like beer bottles as a backround reminding him that he wants to show a more professional front. A neighbor was contacted by the school letting her know that her son had some inappropriate content on his FB, I still don't know how they saw that. I'm friends with my son and have been pleased to have been asked to be freinds with his girlfriend and several of his school friends. My daughter set up an account for her husband and wanted to friend me and I reminded her that he might not like to be friends with his MIL, but I'm pleased that several of her friends have asked to be my friend. Facebook is many things to many people, a nephew seems to think its a forum to air his relationship with his wife, they are destined to divorce, this has caused endless problems with TMI and his mother. Another niece seems to think it is her job to research and post everything that is wrong with the world, toxic immunizations, global warming, BP is giving her things to post daily! I just love hearing news of relatives I don't see daily, connecting with old friends, getting to know people better through their everyday happenings. My mother and MIL are now on because they got tired of hearing that I heard something on FB, now I get lots of phone calls from them needing help doing something on FB, my hubby got so frustrated trying to talk his mom through something that he finally told her to go watch TV! LOL! Just remind your daughter that she is being seen by more than just her friends, somtimes they get so caught up they forget that they are actually 'talking' with however many people she has friended.

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N.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

A 16 year old will just rebel and hide more things from you. I think it is all in your approach. Talking to her and saying do you think that was okay. It would make me happy if you respect yourself more and don't talk like that. Let her see you are a little disappointed and hope she makes the right choice. If you take it away altogether, she will just find a way and hide more things from you. You say she is a good kid, you have to trust her a little and remind her of things that are inappropriate.

I would log in without her knowing and check on her -- but don't let her know. If she knows then she will get angry. You can always say so and so commented on your post and they didn't think it was right for you to be saying those things.

Don't let her know that you are upset not to be her friend either. She wants you to be upset.

I have a 17 year old daughter. She says the more I say no, the more she wants to do it. Like I don't think you should be friends with that person, it makes her want to be friends with them more.

Also, you can remind her when you get a job later, they might be able to see your old facebook stuff. Do you really want future employers to see that stuff.

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L.J.

answers from Roanoke on

Glad it worked out well. I totally agree. I would tell her to unblock you or will delete her account. She is too young to be unsupervised and she proved that by her prior actions Plus there are so many scary people on the internet even if your daughter is doing what she is supposed to-someone else may not be. GIve yourself a big pat on the back. You are a great mom!

Updated

Glad it worked out well. I totally agree. I would tell her to unblock you or will delete her account. She is too young to be unsupervised and she proved that by her prior actions Plus there are so many scary people on the internet even if your daughter is doing what she is supposed to-someone else may not be. GIve yourself a big pat on the back. You are a great mom!

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A.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I know this is late and you did what you wanted on the situation, but as a funny note you could have gone in changed the password, deleated the account and told her she was no longer allowed on it bc she wants to be inappropriate lol. I think what you did was very wise and very good mom! I am on FB and am 19, I watch what I post bc I have LOTS of family and 1)know people take things out of context and 2) dont want to affend anyone! I comend you for supervising your daughter and being there!

D.P.

answers from Gainesville on

sorry im answering a little late.but im 22 and i though me being closer to her age would help some. i agree with some of the post.i know when i was 16 i wanted privacy yes i know my mom was concerned but if she trusted me which she did she didnt need to spy on me or look through my internet account.if i were you i would let her have some privacy as someone said below use it to get to know her while she is still at home,soon she will be leaving to go off to collage.you want to have an open relationship with her if she has a problem let her come to you with it,dont just go over board about it.believe me if she is such a great teenager as you say she is she will do the right thing.but i dont think she should have to have mom and dad as friends on her fb account if anything it will cause her issues about bein made fun of by her friends for having her mommy and daddy on ther because they dont trust her.believe me it happen to a friend of mine.but i think if you trust her she will do the right thing and it will just give you the oppertunity to get to know you daughter a litte better without having to spy or snoop in her account or stuff.hope this help from someone closer to her age point of view..

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