Monday, April 13, 2009

Respecting my teen daughter's privacy with her Facebook page

Kate Elaine, my 17-year-old wunderkind, lives in Lander, Wyo. with her mother, so I am geographically separated from her. If you know teens, it's sometimes hard to have a conversation with her, so I tried to ask her for access to herFacebook page.
For now, my daughter will only allow me to see her Facebook page while she is there to monitor me. It's not that I don't trust my daughter. I know from our ongoing conversations that she is very active in her church, has done well in speech and debate and scored an impressive score on her ACT and PSAT.

Yet, I was hoping that she would let me see what she's doing on her Facebook page. Despite the pleas and a heart-to-heart talk, Kate is not budging nor am I pressing her for access.

There comes a point where parents have to trust their children, and I have complete faith in her. Yet, I also realize that 17-year-old girls value their privacy and they don't want their father snooping around.

I should have remembered how my oldest step daughter, Jen, thought of such a request when she was that age. My wife reminded me of that the other day, and she noted that now Jen allows me access to her page.

I have other friends who are fathers of teens in blended marriages. One told me that if his daughter was living at home with him that she had to provide access to the Facebook page and other social media outlets.

Of course, she hates it. And, I wonder too if my friend's required access to his daughter's social media pages has created a bond of trust between them. I believe that by talking to my daughter as often as possible about values that I know that Kate will do the right thing. So, not having access to her Facebook is not a big deal with us.

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