Study: Parents, teens should interact on Facebook

Parents are encouraged to interact with their kids on social media.  Credit: Reuters
Parents are encouraged to interact with their kids on social media.
Credit: Reuters

We all remember the day our parents friended us on Facebook. There was a brief hesitation on whether to accept the friendship, but ultimately you gave in, knowing that your parents would be heartbroken by your rejection of their newfound knowledge of social media.

According to a study by Dr. Sarah Coyne of Brigham Young University, parents should not shy away from connecting and interacting with their kids online because it allegedly helps teens feel closer to them. 

“You can do a lot on social networking sites,” she claims. “Your kid might post a picture, and you might show support by liking it or making a nice comment, or a status update that does the same kind of thing. It gives more opportunities to give positive feedback or show affection.”

The survey of about 500 families showed that teens who interact with parents on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are kinder, more generous and are more helpful toward other people.

“Social networks give an intimate look at your teenager’s life. It lets parents know what their kids are going through, what their friends think is cool or fun, and helps them feel more connected to their child,” Coyne claims. “It gives a nice little window into what’s going on.”

Ultimately, the study revealed that the more parents use social media to interact with their teen children, the stronger their bond is.

Or, you know, you can log off Facebook and connect in person. Just a thought.

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant


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