Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Who should parents not friend on Facebook?

Story highlights

  • A parent's Facebook newsfeed is a relations minefield
  • School politics can make friending teachers uncomfortable
  • Family doctors should not be a part of your social life

If you're spending all your time wading through risqué photos, crazy rants and awkward posts, it's probably time to reassess your posse of Facebook pals. "Ask yourself what your true motivations are for being virtual friends," says Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and author of "The Friendship Fix." Keep this handy cheat sheet as a guide when you next log on:

Who: Your kid's teacher
Why friend?: You hit it off at the school fair, so friending her could be the next logical step.
The
lowdown: Sharing on Facebook could become uncomfortable, especially if an issue arises at school. "The teacher may feel it's difficult to be objective about your child or that you're asking for special treatment," explains Bonior.

Parenting.com: 30+ iPhone apps for kids

Who: The weekend babysitter
Why friend?:
She's sweet with your kids and lives down the block, so what's the harm?
The lowdown:
It's fine to poke around online before you hire -- many potential employers do this -- but decline her friend request. "You're bound to see a post or photo that makes you cringe, and it could ruin your relationship," says Bonior.

Who: The moms in your kid's class
Why friend?: It seems like a good idea to meet new people and keep tabs on your kids.
The
lowdown: This one's a yes, but be selective. Pick (and accept) only the moms you're already friendly with. You're not going to bond with the whole parent body online and shouldn't risk annoying potential future playdates with your posts.

    Just Watched

    Mobile ads boost Facebook revenue

Mobile ads boost Facebook revenue 07:00
PLAY VIDEO

Parenting.com: Is media violence damaging to children

    Who: Your family pediatrician
    Why friend?:
    Between sick visits, vaccines and earaches, you're in her office every month!
    The lowdown:
    Aren't those exams enough sharing? Facebook isn't the avenue for medical communication, and unless you go out for drinks regularly with your kid's doctor, she simply shouldn't be a part of your social life -- period.

    Parenting.com: Do you ever experience "Facebook Envy?"

    Who: An old boyfriend
    Why friend?: He was a hoot in high school! He's still kind of cute! It's only Facebook, right?
    The
    lowdown: If either of you is married, then no. The posts or pictures could hurt your partner's feelings. "Many people have a hidden agenda for finding and friending an ex, so be honest about why you're reaching out," says Bonior.

    Parenting.com: How to handle awkward mom moments

    Plus: Facebook's privacy controls have been revamped. Here's the takeaway:

    • A new icon links directly to privacy settings, so it's faster to use than the current drop-down arrow near the home tab.
    • A Request Removal tool allows you to ask whoever uploaded unauthorized photos of you to delete them.
    • Notices can alert you if content you want to hide from your timeline might still appear in news feeds.
    • Facebook apps now have to make two requests to access your info and post to your account.

      Find yourself at CNN Living

    • Travis and Joyce Miller started producing hickory syrup as an experiment. Demand for the unique flavor has turned into a full-time business.
    • These happy couples kept the campfire flames burning, and turned summer flings into lifetime commitments.
    • MIAMI, FL - JULY 22:  A model walks the runway at the Beach Riot show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2014 at Cabana Grande at the Raleigh on July 22, 2013 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by  for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2014)

      Bikinis might dominate the beaches, but style editors and trend forecasters say the one-piece is the "fashion-forward" choice this season.