How does your 12 yo explain to someone that he doesn't want them as a friend on FB?

(43 Posts)
beachyhead Wed 28-Aug-13 18:27:02

Boring boring FB question, but we have just allowed our 12 yo ds to have it, as he turns 13 soon, and wanted to contact people over the summer... He has a bit of a being bullied history at school, so I've been very aware of who he has accepted as a friend and who he has rejected...

I know when he returns next week that he will be asked 'why did you say no to my friend request?' by a couple of the lads in the 'it' group who are not very pleasant to him. What's a good response?

He could go the 'well, you and I don't get on' or the 'I'm only having a few people on it'...

What has worked for you? (and yes, I know he is only 12, but..)

pizzaqueen Wed 28-Aug-13 18:33:45

as far as I know they won't know he's rejected the friend request so he could just say 'oh I haven't checked it in ages' or say he just forgot?

PavlovtheCat Wed 28-Aug-13 18:37:11

If you are even worrying about this, and he has been bullied, what an earth are you doing letting him have an account? It is legal at 13, but it's not compulsory .

beachyhead Wed 28-Aug-13 18:38:17

I know one little shit lovely boy has asked twice, so I'm assuming he knows he's been rejected the first time... Just want to arm him up for his return... but you are right, saying he hasn't checked is good, I just don't want it to become an issue (equally I don't want the unpleasant ones to have 'access' to him at home)

beachyhead Wed 28-Aug-13 18:58:57

It must be possible surely to have a FB account and NOT be bullied? It was to enable him to chat to his actual real lovely friends while they were all on summer break....

It's just how to explain to the bullies that he is not accepting them as friends, in a way that doesn't lead to more bullying?

Any ideas?

TheFallenNinja Wed 28-Aug-13 19:01:33

How's about I don't want to be your friend because you are a tool.

Pretty unambiguous.

Kaluki Wed 28-Aug-13 19:01:39

Could he add them as friends then restrict their access to his page.
I did that with my SIL as I really can't stand her but would cause a row to delete her. To her it just looks like I don't have any pictures or statuses. She just sees my profile pic and a few basic details.

monstermissy Wed 28-Aug-13 19:04:25

You could accept the friend request but put them on a restricted profile so they only see his basic info rather than all his comings and going, you can make a friend list with settings customised to only see certain stuff. Then hide them from his news feed so he won't see their news without going looking for it. Lots of faff tho...

Moxiegirl Wed 28-Aug-13 19:05:17

I would suggest accepting for an easy life then ditch and block them later, they probably wouldn't notice. Or accept and put them on limited profile viewing. Or just say (tbh this would be the toughest option to do) say 'I've only got people I'm actually friends with in there!'
With kids the logical option is not always the easiest to carry out!

JohnnyUtah Wed 28-Aug-13 19:11:36

What would happen if he accepted the request now, then unfriended them later? Would they get a notification? They probably wouldn't ever think to check their friends list for his name.

purpleroses Wed 28-Aug-13 19:16:00

If he accepts and then unfriends them later they won't get any sort of notification and probably won't notice.

pizzaqueen Wed 28-Aug-13 19:21:55

kaluki you just prompted me to put my own sil on a limited profile. will she know? she doesn't post much so I think she might have me on one?

IrisWildthyme Wed 28-Aug-13 19:22:12

On FB you can put friends into different groups - I have "real-life friends" "distant friends" "friends of friends" and "colleagues". He could have "Actual friends" and "classmates" - You can then set the default for most status updates and other actions to only be available only to Actual friends rather than all friends - perhaps putting an occasional thing on that is visible to everyone. The as far as the less-nice people in the class know, he's just someone who doesn't bother with facebook much.

AmberLeaf Wed 28-Aug-13 19:23:59

This is why it isn't a good idea to have facebook at that age/or if there have been bullying issues.

I really don't think accepting them as friends but restricting what they can see is wise either, that's starting off having people you don't want on there! better to stick to trusted people. even if you restrict what they see, they can still private message him which is where the bullying often is.

It's just how to explain to the bullies that he is not accepting them as friends, in a way that doesn't lead to more bullying?

There probably isn't a way.
Why do you think they want to be his 'friend' on facebook though? because if they have already been arseholes to him, they aren't going to suddenly be nice are they?

Happychick1 Wed 28-Aug-13 19:28:06

On Facebook you can set his settings so that he may only request friends. You can also set it as no message until friends. This would be the best way your child can then pick who he requests as friends. When these people look him up they would have no way of contacting via the site x

beachyhead Wed 28-Aug-13 19:39:13

I've set it up as no messages unless from friends, so he is safe on that score... and only friend requests from friends of friends...

I like the 'you are not my friend because you are a tool' but I suspect that might lead to a swift fight smile

I like the restricted nature of certain friends, but like Amber said, I'd prefer him to just have his real mates on there...

But yes, they all ask to be each others friends, even if they don't like each other, think it is a numbers game at that age.

Moxiegirl Wed 28-Aug-13 19:39:56

That's a really good idea happychick' then he has total control.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 28-Aug-13 19:53:06

It is legal at 13, but it's not compulsory

its not actually illegal to have a fb account at any age.

I'm stating this so people know they are not breaking the law by allowing under 13's to have one. I'm not passing comment on whether it is or isn't a good idea.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 28-Aug-13 19:53:42

It is legal at 13, but it's not compulsory

its not actually illegal to have a fb account at any age.

I'm stating this so people know they are not breaking the law by allowing under 13's to have one. I'm not passing comment on whether it is or isn't a good idea.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 28-Aug-13 19:54:11

oops sorry. Hit the back button blush

Viviennemary Wed 28-Aug-13 20:01:29

I think if you even suspect your child is being bullied Facebook is not a good idea. Of course in an ideal world this shouldn't happen. But reading posts on MN it is obvious even adults can get quite upset over things on FB.

exoticfruits Wed 28-Aug-13 20:09:26

Reading posts on MN you wonder why anyone is on it- it causes major upsets!
I would just get him to hide his friends list so that no one knows who he has and then say that he doesn't bother with it much and didn't notice their request- sound vague and bored if they mention it again.

exoticfruits Wed 28-Aug-13 20:10:33

I can't see the point in having different lists- if you don't want certain people to see things then don't bother having them as friends!

PavlovtheCat Wed 28-Aug-13 20:10:39

I stand corrected by the legal age of it. But stand by the comment about it not being compulsory.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 28-Aug-13 20:15:03

I genuinely wasn't having a dig at you Pavlov.

It just winds me up when its bandied about as being illegal as dd's headteacher did when she was in yr 6.

Poor kid came home in pieces as she thought we were all breaking the law.

I think Cameron & Co have a bit more on their plates than debating age restrictions on facebook accounts grin

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