After my stomach knotted a bit and I started a silent prayer, I agreed that he might want to open a Facebook account. However, I explained to him there would be positive “situations.” Like any baby these days, Nathan regularly comes to parents with requests for this issue or that factor he virtually cannot live without. And he usually comes prepared with convincing arguments. He desperately needs a cell phone, the present-day gaming innovation, or some other 15 songs from iTunes.
His cases are strong. However, my husband and I are united in our function that Nathan should not get everything he asks for. If he did, what might there be to look ahead to, to work toward, to dream about? That’s why Nathan doesn’t have an Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii. He doesn’t personal a PSP and in no way has had a GameBoy.
All that being said, Nathan has constantly had a pc. Starting at 3 years antique with a kid’s VTech pc bought from ToysRUs, he’s upgraded every few years to the cutting-edge, best, yet affordable model. But the creme de la creme turned into his iMac that he was given for Christmas the last yr. He does not actually pass over out on a whole lot. He nonetheless gets to play video games (only it is those made for a pc). Additionally, along with his computer, he creates music using his guitar, data and enhances songs with GarageBand, adds unique soundtracks to his personal iMovies, and uses it to do his homework. Though not too extra, we inspire his laptop interest.
While Nathan came to me with his Facebook request, I said “yes,” albeit with some trepidation. Like maximum dad and mom, I have heard the horror stories and knew the danger that the Internet and websites like Facebook and MySpace could motivate an inclined teen. But I’m also a proposal to inform and instructing our kids that they mature; they could make the right selections for themselves in the order they mature. It’s just that in-among time, from a toddler to a young person, this is so perilous nowadays and causes us, parents, to go gray, especially with the added risk of the Internet.
So it is why the “situations.” I defined to Nathan it becomes loads like using a car. His father or I could not be brilliant to hand over the keys at sixteen or 17 and anticipate him to operate a vehicle effectively without proper schooling, coaching, and steering. The equal is true with the Internet and, in this situation, having a Facebook account. There are matters he desires to know to keep himself secure, guard his privacy and that of his buddies, and understand the “ins and outs” of safe maneuvering thru a teenager’s social network.
So what had been these “situations?”
1. The electronic mail that Nathan registered his Facebook account with changed into one I had access to. That supposed at any time I should cross into his account, take a glance and make sure the whole thing on his Facebook met the “Mom and Dad Everything Looks Okay” check. Also, something that was written on his wall got here to me through email notification.
2. He agreed to “Random Facebook Reviews” in which we’d ask him to take us thru his account. These had been meant to be educational, essentially amusing, low-key opinions of what he shared in his profile, photographs (if any) he displayed, what turned into written by his buddies on his Wall, bumper stickers he gathered and other matters he would possibly have to be had for view with the aid of his buddies.
3. He may want to most effective “Friend” youngsters he knew, and simply no adults (except for his dad, me, and his Aunt Carol).
4. The pc that he used might be placed in a public spot in our residence and in no way in his room or behind a closed door. We continuously adjust as things trade like Facebook updates and new functions, but the operative word here is “we.” It’s a “family affair.” Nathan is aware that mothers and fathers are involved because we’re most worried approximately his protection and now not approximately seeking to seize him doing something incorrectly. It’s not continually smooth cruising; we do have conflicts. However, the critical factor is that we keep the conversation traces open.
And you realize, I’ve visible a few fantastic effects with the Facebook enjoy, as nicely. The teenage years are regularly difficult territory to move. Specifically the early young adults. You have some young adults maturing fast, while others were no longer so much. And it’s hard on both the boys and ladies. But what I’m picking up via the messages and different Facebook conversations from Nathan’s “friends,” each boy and lady, is the ease with which they communicate through this medium.
Bypassing that awkwardness that we encountered as teens. I asked Nathan about that if Facebook made it less difficult to talk to women or to different human beings he might not typically meet in his institution of friends. He agreed it turned into a pressure-loose, amusing way to talk to someone who he might not commonly sense relaxed speak to.
Facebook also allows all to personalize their space, encouraging our kids to be creative and giving “pals” an image into what makes our kids so special. Finally, it provides a backdrop on which to have educational conversations with our youngsters. For instance, a pair of weeks ago, I turned into seeing a few emails coming in that we’re no longer favorable towards a positive young female. I used it as a getting-to-know opportunity, emphasizing empathy and reminding Nathan how he might not want others to speak approximately him how his friends had been speaking about this young girl. Actual gaining knowledge of opportunity that, without Facebook, we probably could have missed.
As I’m scripting this, Nathan comes into my office and asks, “Hey, mom, there’s a humorous bumper sticky label about (a few marginally inappropriate saying). What do you watch? Can I position it up on my FaceBook? I think it’s hilarious!! “Alright,” I agree as I remind myself that that is a predictable developmental milestone. I’m now not too vintage to bear in mind what I was like at that age. Pick your battles, Susan; select your battles.