So, we have covered a lot of ground in this series, but like I said in our very first post, this is not a comprehensive list of everything you can do to be prudent when it comes to your teen and social networking. We cannot overlook the important role that prayer, training your teen’s heart, and instilling Christ-like character play in preparing your teen to handle all areas of life with dignity and self-respect. These are things that hopefully you have been doing for years, and will see the benefits of as you enter those murky waters of the teen years and the changing world of technology. Stay on top of it, be alert and informed, and communicate. Most importantly, keep Christ the center of your home.
To wrap up, I want to share with you the two best parts of Facebook in my opinion:
1) Facebook is a FANTASTIC way to find out who your teen’s friends really are and to keep you in-the-know about what is going on at school, in sports, etc. It can create some great dialogue between you and your teen. Don’t be afraid to be Facebook friends with your son or daughter’s friends. As moms, we can all help each other to keep our teens safe and keep an eye on them, but it is also a great way to create relationships and stay in touch with those kids that we don’t see as often. Several of my friends are Facebook friends with my kids and vice versa.
2) Facebook (and technology in general) is a great privilege to be earned or taken away for a time if situations warrant that! Quite simply: Facebook can be a great motivator.
Now for a word of caution when it comes to “mom etiquette” on Facebook: be sensitive to your teen and resist the urge to comment on and “like” every single one of their posts. Also, ask them before you share a picture or mention them in a post. Talk to your teen and see how they feel about you interacting with them. Some don’t care, but some will! We want to supervise them in a healthy way, but not be intrusive or (gasp!) embarrassing! Communication and clear expectations can prevent a lot of conflict in the future, and showing your teen respect and understanding will help build a relationship of trust between the two of you.
I hope this series has been of some help to you!