Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Mom’s Facebook Dilemma: To Tattle or Not To Tattle

fbAs kids, we all had times where we had to decide…Should I tattle or not…? 

Facebook pages now offer us more opportunities to agonize.  My friend sent me the following guest post, and boy, can I relate!  I bet many of you can too!   

I’m in a conundrum.

I am connected on Facebook with the child of a friend, and I don’t like what I see.  I’m sure my friend would not like it either. 

But, this parent is one of those people who throws up her hands and says, “I hate computers”.  She’ll use one at work, but keeps it out of her personal life.  So, I see what her child is doing on Facebook, and she doesn’t. 

I’m left wondering,  do I tell my friend what I see?  Or do I just let it go?

The phenomenon of technology is really new ground for parents.  My parents didn’t have to monitor my online activities, cell phone or texting.  When I was a teenager, texting didn’t exist and few people owned cell phones.

The internet?  I think it was this bizarre thing that only real computer geeks used. 

Part of me thinks that if my friend really wanted to know what her child was doing, she’d get on a computer. After all, isn't it a parent's duty to know what her child is doing? 

The other part of me understands why she chooses not to.  I’ve recently deactivated my own Facebook account, because it is a drama creator and a time sucker.

I also haven’t seen this friend in a very long time.  She could be very aware of her child’s actions, and a message from me could just be rubbing salt in a wound, or she could wonder why I'm not minding my own business.

Today I received news from an acquaintance about some misbehavior on my child’s part.  I wasn’t where he was at the time, so I didn’t see it.  It’s nothing major, but it is behavior that is unacceptable and could become dangerous.  I’m grateful that I was notified and I can address this issue with with my child.

Which brings me back to my conundrum. 

I think I have my answer.  I think I’ll reactivate that Facebook account too, so my child knows that momma is watching.

--Mom 2 Boys

I agree!  Although I rarely post a status for myself, I try to keep an eye on my son’s page.  And he knows it.  Because we made a family rule when he signed up that I would have his password and complete access to his page.

One time, I noticed he messaged a friend about something he thought might cause trouble.  I was proud that he not only thought about the consequences.  But that he handled it so discretely.  

Still, I think it’s wishful thinking that “friends messaging friends” will keep our kids out of trouble.

The few times I forced myself to take a chance and talk to a parent, they each thanked me.  However, I’m not certain to this day whether they REALLY appreciated it, or were secretly annoyed with me for butting-in.  (Maybe they were both!)  But I followed my heart.

And let’s not forget about how whatever we do affects the relationships among our children.  

I’m not seeing any easy answers. 

But I do know we need to pray for our kids and their friends. 

What do you think about the facebook minefield? 

I’m guessing that if you haven’t been there yet, you probably will be at some point!



About Mom 2 Boys 

I was one of those girls who loved all things pink and frilly. My grandparents owned a beach house near the former beach house of the family of Grace Kelly. I became a big fan, and really believed that a girl like me could grow up to become a princess. I married my "prince charming", who didn't come with the official title. We became the parents to two very active boys. Now "pink" is a bit sparse in my life, although I often wear the color and enjoy listening to the pop star. My childhood didn't prepare me for the role of Mom-to-boys, so I'm learning as I go.

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