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Five rules for the Facebooking father

Author James Dunsford
Submitted 19-01-2010

It’s not always easy to determine the point at which to allow your children their personal space and take a more passive role in parenting. Though the world of social media has largely been dominated by high school and college students and young professionals, increasingly more parents are making their way onto Facebook. The new trend has given rise to any number of embarrassing events that spring up when the techno-phobic father tries to make a few online friends.

So if you’re going to join Facebook, just know that the generational gap is very real and can be very startling to the unsuspecting Dad. For the friending fathers out there, here are a few rules to minimize damage in your new online life:

1.) Be forewarned. Friending your kids on Facebook is the Pandora’s Box of parenting moves. Clicking through your child’s Facebook page is like digging through a woman’s purse. There’s no limit what you might find or how stressful the event may be. In the end, some men may choose to avoid it altogether.

2.) Familiarize yourself with the lingo. When someone says they "wrote on your wall," put down the paints and relax – it’s just an expression. If someone throws a sheep at you, do not be outraged – no animals are harmed in Facebook friendships. If your news feed repeatedly says that someone is "poking" your daughter – well, then maybe it’s time to get upset.

3.) Posting baby pictures of your 25-year-old is downright nasty. Cute to you, utterly distressing to the up-and-coming businessman who just set his relationship status to "single."

4.) If your child unfriends you, don’t take it personally. They are trying to spare you.

5.) If someone else unfriends you, take it personally. It’s a clear indication that your favorite books, music, and TV shows, photo posts and occasional non-sequiturs simply are not worth stalking.