Should I friend or follow my teen on social media?

You can ask, but don't insist on it. Some families are connected on social media and it works for them. Some teens don't want their parents seeing everything on their pages (and will block you from seeing things, which kind of defeats the purpose of being friends). Following your teens online opens up a can of worms, and you'll have to figure out how to negotiate that new relationship. If your teens let you friend or follow them, stay in the background (don't comment or "like" their posts unless they want you to), pick your battles, and make sure to address anything important face to face, not on their pages in front of their friends.

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Teen, 13 years old written by strangerthingsl...

I think it is okay as long as you don't stalk them. If you stalk them they will most likely block you. And don't talk about it too them unless they made a really bad decision on it. We do these things called story games and sometimes you reply with an emoji and they do a little profile for you. Sometimes people respond who you are acquaintances with so you put "don't know you" and parents will question every move. Don't do that since it doesn't hurt the other sides feelings, they know that you were going to say that.
Teen, 13 years old written by SpaceKitty105

I think that it is important to ask first. If you don't and your kid just gets a notification one day that says that you're following them, they feel a sense of betrayal. They might see you as 'controlling' if this is what you do a lot. Even if you do follow them, don't 'stalk' them. Don't like all of their posts unless asked to or comment on everything. I believe that they deserve a safe place to be themselves without worrying about you not liking something you post.
Teen, 17 years old written by johnwellser

I think it's fine. For example my mom and freinds mom both follow me on instagram and it kinda makes you think before you post something like "would i want them to see this?"
Teen, 16 years old written by honesttruthfromateen

Hi there ! Yes personally I think it's great for parents to see what their child is posting. Without that kind parent supervision the child is more tempted to post bikini or sexual photos of them self. Instagram, Snapchat, musical but with Facebook, I highly suggest not using tagging your child in photos you post because it directly shows up on your child's friends page. Hope this helps!
Teen, 13 years old written by gabeb

yes, for instagram and snapchat to look at their posts and see what your child is posting. but, not facebook because if you have old pictures that they would be embarrassed by, her friends wouldsee that they are friends with you and would find those pictures and she would be embarrassed.
Teen, 13 years old written by Natalie_Grace_1112

I would ask them first. my parents are friends with me on social media. My best friend is even friends with my mom on social media. Some people want to have a part of them to be separate from their parents. I know I act differently around my parents than I do my friends. Not in a bad way. XD . But just having that little part of you private is ok and should be allowed. If you trust them to have social media then you can trust them to be able to make the right choice about comments and what kind of pics they deem appropriate. If they let you make sure not to comment or be the first to like the a post. I dont mind the comments. But make sure there are at least 12 likes before you like. But don't comment on everything too if you have to comment. You don;t have to write CUTE! on every post.
Adult written by MiketheTzar

"Friend" them yes, comment on their post or pictures no, if you see something that you don't like or find disconcerting remember it, save it on your device DO NOT make a direct comment or response. Think of catching them doing something when they are in public, you can admonish them but they will only think of the embarrassment not the lesson itself, talk to them at home or pull them aside if it truly calls for it. Also be aware that most if not all social media outlet have privacy setting, which means that they can hide any number of things from people including you so just because you are following them doesn't mean you see everything.
Teen, 17 years old written by broadway.obsessed

If your kid seems comfortable/willing to add you on their social media, then that's fine. For some families, that kind of connection may help one another to be involved in each other's lives. But for a lot of kids and teens, myself included, social media sites offer a haven away from different forms of stress, such as school and family. If your child doesn't want to be connected to you online a) Don't suspect anything odd of them. Just because they want their privacy doesn't mean they're off doing drugs. Teenagers often want and even need their space; that's what helps them to function well in adulthood. b) Understand that they are likely not trying to keep you out of or separated from their life. Life is very divided for a lot of people, and in the same way you may see your office as strictly a work space, they may see tumblr as a place to interact with their social circle.
Kid, 12 years old

Around the age children get into social media, they begin to become embarrassed as to their public association with their parents. Friending is worse than following, as with following it is all deniable. If they are using a social media service that shows followers, you might want to back off or create a secondary account.
Teen, 13 years old written by Booklover1231

I think you should ask. As a teen, if a parent just follows you without telling you it gives off the message that you don't think we can handle social media or that you don't trust us. It is quite hurtful so I think asking would be best.
Teen, 17 years old written by perfect_disaster

As a teen who is very socialy active on the internet, I have both my parents on facebook but nothing else. It feels like an invasion of privacy if I let them onto my tumblr and stuff because thats like my own personal safe haven
Parent of a 9 and 13 year old written by jasminesmom

I "friend" my daughter. It helps keep her accountable for her actions. She is less likely to use bad language or post inappropriate things if she knows her mom might see it. It also opens doors for us to talk about inappropriate actions of our social media friends. She brought up how ridiculous one of her friends looks for constantly posting sexy selfies to get attention. We were able to discuss how "other" people see your posts differently than intended.
Teen, 16 years old written by EatingGayChickens

I agree. Ask. If they decide to let you, then grand, but if you force it upon them they are able to block you or prevent you from seeing things without you knowing it.