Q&A: Girls Are Fighting Over My Son on Facebook!
Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on boy battles on social networks and text messages.
Q. I received a voicemail from a mother saying her daughter and another girl are fighting over my son on Facebook and through texts. I mean, really—he's 12! What should I tell him? And how do I respond to the mom who called me?
A. Previously, I answered a question about an 11-year-old on Facebook, and several readers complained that I didn't mention that 13 is the minimum age to join. While this is technically accurate, in reality all anybody has to do is click "Yes I am 13." So while I wish it wasn't true, it's common for younger kids to be on the site. And of course, girls will fight over a boy any way they can. In your situation, thank the mom for clueing you in, then tell your son you know what's up and ask how he feels about it, being careful not to trash the girls. Explain that while it's flattering when people like you, it's also easy to be overwhelmed by the attention or let it go to your head. Also make clear that he should tell the girls in person that he doesn't like what they're saying about each other. And this is definitely the time to review his e-mail and texts every few days to be sure he's not adding to the drama.
Originally published in the November 1, 2010, issue of Family Circle magazine.