Being ‘Friends’ with your Teenager Online

Being friends with your teenager on social media can be a very positive thing. It can help you demonstrate positive behaviours online, and creates a shared experience. When ‘friending’ your children online, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • This is a personal social space. Just like when they hang out with their friends offline. Try to give them space and privacy by not liking or commenting on every single thing they post online.

  • Talk offline about their online behaviour. If something happens on your teenager’s social media page and you feel like you need to step-in, do it offline. Commenting on social media about personal issues is not really appropriate, and won’t encourage trust and respect in your relationship. Instead talk in person about what happened online and how they could react or respond in a more positive way.

  • Your teenager might not be showing you the whole picture. That’s okay. Young people are pretty savvy with technology, and they may have worked out how to block you from seeing some posts. It’s important that you respect their privacy, and have a chat with them if you feel that they are not being open or transparent enough.