First in a three-part series on parents, teens, and Facebook.
by Toni Birdsong
One of the most common questions I get asked by parents is if it’s okay to let their son or daughter have a Facebook page. The first thing I do is gage where they are emotionally with social media. Then I listen. To their concerns. To their hearts. It’s a really big deal. Facebook has added an unexpected—and sometimes overwhelming—dimension to parenting today.
The good news is that God has given us as parents everything we need to lead these beautiful, expressive, swift-moving digital natives He’s entrusted to our care.
To clarify, this series is written to Christian parents in general and does not address the exceptions that exist in every family.
In general my answer to the Facebook question is yes. You should let your teen have a Facebook page if and only if you intend to monitor it—consistently. For teens today, Facebook is a vital connection channel where life, friendship, art, memories, music, and conversation intersect hourly—whether parents agree with that, or even like it.
That doesn’t mean that Facebook is a free-for-all graffiti wall for kids to write or post anything they feel like. Proverb’s directive to Christian parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go” extends to the digital hallways and hangouts.