Facebook and My Kids

by Jan Geronimo on August 1, 2010

Guest Post by Roy Dela Cruz

Online social media can make or break any relationship, and yes including families. We all know how those tweets, status updates, and the likes can be picked up and blown out of context – those are the types that can break relationships.

In my case though, whether I admit it or not because I do not really like my kids spending too much time online, Facebook has provided us just another venue of communication. What’s funny is that we still live under one roof and that we’re actually using just one computer.

The ‘communication,’ however, happens when I leave the computer to my kids. Either I need to go to work or I have to attend to some matters.

Being connected in FB, as we should be, they can easily see what I have been up to, what was in my mind, or what could be happening to me lately.

A case in point was when I was in a “deep state of depression” that I carelessly shouted out that I no longer wanted to write, and that I wanted to quit blogging. It was picked up by my son Ralph, and he fired off an anxious but perfectly reasonable retort in his blog.

Whoa! Wake up call! I felt an alarm clock rang in my ears! The loudest I have heard so far.

Don’t get me wrong, we maintain open communications in the house. My children can say anything to me, they can tell me anything, and they can ask me anything. But FB sure is a good icebreaker for those topics that are tough to handle.

I, on the other hand, have been able to follow my kids without really acting like an overprotective father. I came to know who their friends and classmates are, and have seen how they communicate with each other.

Some of their friends even added me in their contacts. There’s nothing really better than knowing your kids’ friends. Quite reassuring I tell you.

Now that I know that social media can really be a good parenting tool after all, I look forward to put it to good use, and at the same time be mindful of my own rants… er, status updates.

About the Author: Roy is a prolific blogger, poet, short story writer and entrepreneur. He pens The Struggling Blogger and presides over a constellation of 12 other blogs covering his varied interests. Roy is a widower and practices brinkmanship daily as he doubles as a mother to his three kids.  It’s his latest revelation as regards his true identity, however,  that’s been causing quite a stir in Blogland.  Apparently, he’s Blogging Wolverine as well.

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  • social networking sites really make communications so fast.. but then, it's also as dangerous as a sharp knife if not properly used..
  • Jenaisle

    How are you? Huminga ka naman. Matagal ka nang di nag e-exhale to write.
  • Gem
    My dad is a good writer. He's technically better than I am when it comes to writing. Before he suffered stroke, I kept on repeatedly convincing him to blog, and to at least join social network such as Facebook. I don't know the reason why he doesn't want to.

    He knows how to use at least a word processor, internet and email. I already told him that I'd take care of the technical aspects of the blog so he could just post as often as he wants to. Oh, and he also reads other people's blogs and he interacts through email with the author of the blogs too.

    I don't know, maybe if he regains full use of his hands and could type again, then he may want to write on a blog or interact through Twitter or Facebook.
  • Social Media like almost anything else, as long as it's used in a good way can become a useful tool, not only in business but also for the family. It's good to know that you and your kids are connected not only in real life but also in the web. I know of some kids who don't want to add their parents on Facebook because they don't want them to know what they're up to or to see some of the stuff they're posting.

    Lastly, its good to see you Roy "breathe" some life into Jan's blog, letting it "inhale" for a change because I think it's "exhaled" too much that it lost all its air. LOL

    Anyways, I hope this will convince our friend to get back to blogging.
  • Roy
    Hi Jaypee! Here's hoping that I was able to inspire Jan, somehow, to write again.

    FB is just another medium for us, it's cheaper than "pasaload" haha!
  • Jenaisle
    I'm late for the train, but better late than never, so the Wolverine is all over the blogosphere, what's your mode of transport? A supersonic laser beam?..he he he,.,,you were just at FB seconds ago..way to go Roy...

    Jan, asan na ang post mo? Sa lagay na iyan , di ka na humihinga? lol
  • Roy
    Hi Jen! Yes, you're late. This post was during the "guest posting marathon" and I am now on my poetry marathon lol!

    But as they say, better late that later :)

    Thanks for reading
  • Interesting post. My dad is on Facebook now, and he's 69 years old and I'm his only friend (on FB)... he's watching everything I'm doing, that's why he joined, at least it looks that way.

    I'm just waiting for my kids to start using Facebook, hopefully I'll have to wait a few more years, my daughter is 6 and my son is 4. Their not on Facebook, but they're awesome at YouTube :)

    I have put the computer in the living room, that's the only way I can control what they're doing online.
  • Camille7523
    Wow, new post. :D Heheh. I missed reading here. I've been so busy lately. 7am-7pm sched at school. Hahah.

    Yes... Cool dad, indeed. I admire adults who have this kind of account on the internet. :D

    My father never joined any social networking site in his entire life. Hahah. All he knows is make a word document :). I love him though I get irritated because of him sometimes. He is still my father. <3 :)

  • Hi, Camille. Thanks for dropping by. As regards your Father: perhaps you've not told him he could reconnect with his old friends and colleagues in Facebook? That might interest him. Or perhaps FB games will. :)
  • LOL. I forgot to log in. Hahah.
  • elmot
    wow, what a cool dad you are Kuya Roy. For now, my kids are not yet into Facebook, though everytime I surf on the net, they always love to push that "on/off" button of my CPU, heheheh!

    It is really difficult nowadays to somewhat protect your children with the power of social media and the net influencing them alot, without actually policing them harshly.

    What a way to see a new content on your blog bro, a prolific writer to grace the pages of your blog...ah...exhale...relax...and happy for you LJ.

    Congrats Kuya "Cool Dad"
  • Roy
    Thanks Lil' Bro! I remember the time when my old PC would always crash down because my kids, who were still very young then, were trying to turn it on while I was at work hehe... until it wouldn't run anymore.

    Now, the worst I can get is an online virus hahaha!

    There's that "P" word again :)
  • Hahhaha, the "p" word...man, sorry the late response to this thread...good thing my kids haven't yet infected my pc with any virus, or else I would have my own share of echoing the "p" word...ehehehe
  • Dave Michaud

    You make a great point that few parents address: Teenagers communicate whether we like it or not. Suppressing children's communication takes us out of the loop as parents and they'll do it anyway. You likely are not old enough to remember passing notes in school, or having the teacher intercept one and read it aloud in front of the class.

    Communication happens and I've also been able to know my children's friends better on FB. I seldom post on their wall but I'm grateful for the opportunity when I feel the need.

    Nice to know someone else is of a like mind.

    Thanks Jan, a guest blogger was an interesting surprise.
  • Roy
    Thanks Dave!

    Work both ways. My kids get to know a lot about me without really being so inquisitive, and I became conscious of my behavior online haha...

    Yes, we should use technology to our advantage. Social media can be an effective parenting tool, just like 'rock & roll' if you know how to 'jam' with them :)

  • So true, Dave. I think it may have been awkward for my kids my daughter's age to share Facebook and such with their parents AND their friends, but I wonder if kids my son's age even give it a second thought. As more parents have become more knowledgeable about the Internet, and formed their own social circles and developed their own interests, I think kids are less self-conscious about sharing the space. (As an Internet dinosaur, I'm not sure how thrilled I was when the kids invaded! But it's become comfortable, and it does provide an easy "icebreaker," as you say, Roy. Sometimes it's easier to write it on each other's walls, or email, than to start the conversation face-to-face. Whatever it takes to START the conversation - keeping it going is the easy part.)
  • Dave
    Holly, I never envisioned kids as participants either during the early paleo-ethernet period, AOL, Compu-serve, etc. Your daughter is a little older than my kids but William is a bit younger. I think there are big differences and challenges for children that have transitioned between 1999 and 2010--that was a huge social-shift in communication for everyone. My kids have accepted it the same as having to wear a wristband at DisneyWorld.

    Roy has an easy-going style and his post reminds me that I can always talk with my kids via any venue and should only reprimand privately. Hard to tell a boy he needs a haircut on FaceBook, I can't imagine what my Father would have said but he would have coped--that's what parents do:)

  • Well Roy, just like politics, social media is not dirty or evil for that matter. What makes it dirty is the way how people are using it. And it's a relief that you and your kids are using social media in a very positive way. :)

    BTW, I had read your son's retort; and your are very lucky to have Ralph :)
  • Roy
    Hi Madz!

    Thanks! Indeed I am lucky with my kids, save for some BP raising moments which are very normal hehe...

    FB indeed has been very positive for thus far ;)

  • Roy
    Thanks Jan!

    You're a real pal!
  • Are you kidding?? You revived his blog! It's inhaling - as well as exhaling - again! Great post, Roy.
  • Roy
    not really wanting to brag about it, Holly... but now that you mentioned it :)

    good thing I did not need to beg on this one, well at least not that much, that's why I am very grateful that he gave me the honor to 'break the ice'

  • jangeronimo
    My pleasure, Roy. It pays to be on the good side of Blogging Wolverine. Works like a charm. :)
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