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Parent’s Friend Requests: Should Tutors Accept Or Ignore

Did you just open your Facebook and saw a friend request from the parent of your student?

Well, what should you do? Should you accept it or ignore it?

Although teaching is most effective when you have strong relationships with the students and their parents, you should also know that you need to a boundary and not mix your personal life with your professional life.

Thus, a lot of tutors worry that if they start adding the parents of their students on social media, they are crossing the line. But, there is no denying the fact that communicating with the parents on social media will strengthen the relationship between them. This is going to benefit the students as well.

So, in the end, what should a tutor exactly do? Should they accept the friend request from the parents or ignore it?

If you are also torn between the decision, then keep reading. We have prepared a detailed guide for you below that will help you in making a better decision.

Do Not Forget Your School/Culture's Policy

Before you think of adding the parents of your students on Facebook or not, you might want to consider your school/culture's policy. It will not only answer a lot of your questions but will also make things simpler for you. There are many schools/tuition cetnres out there that have a policy regarding adding the parents of the students on Facebook.

Some schools restrict it completely while others may allow it as well. On the other hand, some schools/culture may not have any policy at all. Thus, it all depends upon the country that you are living in. So, before considering adding the parents of your students on Facebook, you might want to review the policy of the environment that you are currently residing in.

Pros Of Accepting The Friend Request Of The Parents

Although you might not want to add the parents of your students on Facebook because of personal reasons, some tutors do not realize that there are many pros associated with it as well. Want to know what those pros can be?

We have listed a few of the pros for you below. Let’s take a look at them.

  1. A Platform Where You Can Talk

If you are looking for a place where you can interact with the parents of your students freely, then Facebook might be the best place to do so. You will be able to talk freely with the parents and they will also be able to discuss anything that they want with you on Facebook.

Facebook messenger is one of the most preferred choices of people when it comes to interacting with others. So, it will be great if you use this platform to interact with the parents as well. On the other hand, if you try to interact on emails with the parents, there is a high chance that the emails might get lost among other emails.

  1. Helps In Connecting To The Students And Their Parents

Want your students to take more interest in studying and learn better than they already are? If yes, then you should try to befriend your parents.

Wondering how befriending the parents of your students can actually help the students to learn better? Well, it is quite easy.

You can reach out to the parents of your students on social media and discuss their progress on the messenger as well. If a student is not doing well, you can discuss different ways to improve their academic performance with their parents. Thus, Facebook can help you in connecting you more to your students and parents.

  1. A Form Of More Equitable Communication

According to a survey conducted, parents of the students often change their numbers every three to four months. As a result, it can become quite difficult for the tutors to reach out to the parents if they want to discuss something with the parents.

But, this will not be the case if you have already added the parents on Facebook.

No matter how many numbers they change, you will easily be able to contact them whenever you want. Moreover, you will also be able to see if the parents have actually received your message or not.

  1. The More You Know The Better You Connect

When the tutors know the families of their students better, they are personally able to connect better with the students. This is why some tutors tend to add both the students and their families on social media.

Thus, the best part about adding the parents of the students on social media is that the tutors can learn about their students through what their parents post. Additionally, the tutors can also keep the parents of their students updated about different schedules and meetings coming up.

  1. To Fulfill Your Duty As A Mandated Reporter

In some states, it is the duty of the tutors and teachers to report any abuse or neglect happening to the child to the law. Thus, if you accept the friend request of the parents of your students, you will more likely be able to keep an eye on the activities that are going around the students that you are teaching.

If you notice any cyberbullying or neglect, you can report it directly to the law and fulfill your duty as a mandated reporter.

Cons Of Accepting The Friend Request Of The Parents

Just like a coin has two sides, there are pros and cons to everything. Thus, accepting the friend request of the students that you are teaching has many cons as well. Let’s take a look at some of the cons below.

  1. The Need To Censor

One of the most prominent cons of adding the parents of your students on Facebook is the need to censor yourself. If you are using Facebook to express your views on politics and religion, then there is a high chance that the parents will not agree with you.

As a result, a conflict between the points of views may arise. This is why some tutors try to avoid this conflict and not add the parents on Facebook at all.

  1. Complicated Boundaries

To some tutors, boundaries in teaching are complicated enough. Some tutors are always trying to build a line between the relationship with a student. They do not want to be the friends with the students.

They want to be their mentor instead.

When the parents will send a request on Facebook, the tutors will have to take care of these boundaries on Facebook as well. This is one of the reasons that the tutors try to avoid the friend request of both the students and their parents.

  1. The Burden OF Being A Mandated Reporter

In some states, it is the duty of the tutors and teachers to report any abuse or neglect happening to the child to the law. Thus, if you accept the friend request of the parents of your students, you will more likely be able to keep an eye on the activities that are going around the students that you are teaching. Some tutors find it a burden. They would rather not add the parents on Facebook instead of fulfilling their duty as a mandated reporter.

  1. Parents Might Ask For Unjust Favors

One of the most serious cons of adding the parents of your students on Facebook is that when they become too friendly with you they might ask for unjust favors with you. But, it is your duty as an educator to treat all the students equally and provide everyone with the opportunity to grow. Thus, if parents ask for unjust favors for their children, you must refuse them immediately.

Some Alternatives For You

Due to the cons associated with adding the parents of the students on Facebook, some tutors may try to avoid doing it. They try to find alternative ways instead. These alternatives are suitable for those tutors who do not feel comfortable adding the parents to their Facebook profile. Let’s take a look at some of them below.

  1. Emails

Emails are one of the most common alternative methods that can be used for correspondence. Although this method is a bit unreliable and slow, a lot of schools and teachers use it. Thus, you can also consider using this method of correspondence.

  1. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are one of the most effective alternative methods of communication that is gaining quite a popularity these days. The tutors can add both the parents and the students in the Facebook group and post notices for them. The parents can also post their queries in the Facebook group and you can respond accordingly. This is the reason that these groups are gaining so much popularity nowadays.

Thus, it is quite complicated to decide whether to add the parents on Facebook or not. So, make sure that you go through all the pros and cons before you make the decision.

 

More informative articles:
At what age should I let my children go online?
Reducing exam stress in Singapore: Should Grades Define Worth?
6 ways to handle a disrespectful student

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.

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