The Unofficial Cool Parent Test
Are you a cool parent? It all depends on whether or not and under what circumstances your teen has “friended” you on Facebook. The following ranking is principally based on real experiences of parents I know. Here we go from the most cool (1) to the clearly not cool (10):
- Your teen sought you out and invited you to be their friend on Facebook. Kudos to you, you’re cool. You’re in the top 10%.
- You signed up with Facebook and invited your teen to friend you. After 6–12 months, your invitation was accepted without any intervention from you. Congratulations! It took awhile, but look at it this way – after extensive diligence, you have passed the cool threshold. Congrats.
- You invited your teen to friend you on Facebook. You have been accepted – but the content on the page looks thin. You have been accepted with limited information access – real friends have full access. Look at the bright side, at least your child doesn’t mind his/her friends knowing that you exist. You’re not explicitly cool, but you’re not a total embarrassment either.
- You have not been friended by your teen, but they have friended a close friend of yours. They know that your friend will probably let you check in online every once in awhile through their account. Your kid thinks you’re cool enough for some access, but he/she’s not ready to go public with that sentiment. Ask your friend why he/she is cooler than you.
- After the 6–12 month wait, you coerce your child through a mix of threats and gifts (like a car) to accept your invitation. Your invitation gets accepted with your child under extreme domestic pressure. Not cool – stop taking parenting tips from 24.
- Your invitation to your teen to friend you on Facebook has been flat out declined. It’s got to sting, but look at the bright side – at least he/she was honest with you.
- You invited your teen to friend you. You have heard no response. You keep waiting. No response. 6–12 months have passed – you’re afraid to bring it up. Your invitation may have been “ignored” by your teen – which is the polite way of saying “No Way!”. Look at it this way, at least your kid cares about your feelings enough to not neg you outright.
- You have no idea what Facebook is. Not cool, but there could be worse.
- Your teen friended you on Facebook, and the very same day you clicked to every friend they have, looked at every friend’s links, pictures, videos, etc. Not cool – that is parental stalking. You give parents a bad name. Beware of the next one:
- You were friended by your teen, but you have been subsequently defriended. Ouch, you screwed up somewhere along the way.