Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > The Web/Virtual Worlds/Social Networking

Using Facebook to Keep in Touch with Your Grandchildren

This chapter shows you the best ways to use Facebook to get closer to the youngest members of your family.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

This chapter shows:

  • → How to Engage Your Grandkids on Facebook
  • → Responding to Your Grandkids’ Posts
  • → Five Things Not to Do with Your Grandkids on Facebook

As popular as Facebook is among seniors, it’s even more popular among younger generations. This makes Facebook an ideal place to meet up with your grandkids, especially those who don’t live nearby. There’s nothing better than signing into your Facebook account and seeing a new message, photo, or video from your favorite grandchild.

How to Engage Your Grandkids on Facebook

It’s likely that your grandchildren are on Facebook. (The older ones, anyway; you have to be 13 years old to sign up.) That means that you can add your grandkids to your Facebook friends list, and see their posts in your News Feed.

Using Facebook to keep in touch with your grandkids isn’t as simple as all that, however. That’s because younger people tend to use Facebook differently than do older ones. You need to take care to nurture a comfortable relationship with your grandkids, without stepping over any boundaries they might set up. There are rules to follow.

Make Friends with Your Grandkids

The first step in using Facebook to connect with your grandkids is to add them to your friends list. It shouldn’t be too hard to find your grandchildren on Facebook and then send out the necessary friend requests. When your grandkids are on your friends list, every post they make should show up in your News Feed.

  • circle-01.jpg Facebook might suggest your grandchildren (and other family members) as friends when you first sign up or when you click the Friend Requests button on the toolbar—especially if you have their addresses in your email contacts list. If so, click the Add Friend button.

  • circle-02.jpg Alternatively, you can do a simple search for your grandkids on the Facebook site. Use the search box in the Facebook toolbar to search for people named john doe and your grandchild’s name should pop up.

Share Your Posts—Selectively

Just as you can read your grandkids’ posts on Facebook, they can also read your status updates in their News Feeds. However, your grandkids might not be interested in everything you post, especially those posts that deal with issues of interest to seniors.

The solution to posting items that might turn off your grandkids is to not send all your posts to the youngsters. You can use Facebook’s lists and privacy functions to send only certain posts your grandkids’ way—so they’ll be spared the embarrassment of having to read about your elder moments.

  • circle-01.jpg Start by creating a new Facebook friends list that contains all your grandchildren. Go to the Timeline page for your first grandchild, click the Friends button, and then click Add to Another List.

  • circle-02.jpg Click New List.

  • circle-03.jpg Enter Grandkids into the New List box and press Enter to create the list.

  • circle-04.jpg For each of your other grandchildren, go to his or her Timeline page, click the Friends button, and then click Add to Another List.

  • circle-05.jpg When the menu changes, check Grandkids.

  • circle-06.jpg Now you can configure your privacy settings so that your grandkids don’t see the bulk of your posts. Click Privacy Shortcuts on the Facebook toolbar, select Who Can See My Stuff?, and then go to the Who Can See My Future Posts? section.
  • circle-07.jpg Click the privacy button and select Custom to display the Custom Privacy dialog box.

  • circle-08.jpg Go to the Don’t Share This With section and enter Grandkids into the These People or Lists box.
  • circle-09.jpg Click the Save Changes button.

  • circle-10.jpg By default, all new posts you make are sent to all of your friends except your grandkids.

  • circle-11.jpg To send a post to your grandkids only, click the privacy button and select Grandkids.

  • circle-12.jpg To send a post to all your friends, including your grandkids, click the privacy button and select Friends.


Send a Private Message

Facebook status updates are public, but sometimes you want to send a more personal message to your grandkids. That’s where Facebook’s private messaging system comes in. You can easily send a private message to your favorite grandchild, and no one else will see it.

  • circle-01.jpg Click Messages on the Facebook toolbar to display the menu of options.
  • circle-02.jpg Click Send a New Message to display the New Message dialog box.

  • circle-03.jpg Enter the name of your grandchild into the To box.
  • circle-04.jpg Enter your message into the Write a Message box.
  • circle-05.jpg Click Send to send the private message.

Share Photos and Videos

Just as you can read each other’s status updates, Facebook also lets you share photos and videos with your grandkids.

  • circle-01.jpg Encourage your grandkids (or their parents) to post photos and videos of themselves to Facebook. This provides you a constantly updated photo album of your loved ones.

  • circle-02.jpg Make sure you post the occasional photo or video of yourself, for your grandkids to see. Don’t limit yourself to posed pictures, either; your grandkids will get a big kick out of any crazy or silly picture or video you upload.

Chat via Text and Video

If you’re on one side of the country and your grandkids are on the other, or even if you’re only a few states away, you might only see your grandkids in person one or two times a year. Now, with Facebook text and video chat you can visit with each other several times a week, if you like. It can truly bring together distant families.

  • circle-01.jpg Schedule time for a weekly video chat with each of your grandchildren. This is especially great for talking to your younger grandkids who are sure to appreciate the one-on-one time with their favorite grandpa or grandma.

  • circle-02.jpg For the teenagers in your family, Facebook’s text chat might be more up their alley. Chatting on Facebook is just like texting on a mobile phone, and you know your grandkids are down with that. Next time you’re on Facebook, check to see if your favorite grandchild is also online (she probably is) and then open a text chat and say hi. If she wants to turn it into a video chat, you always have that option.

Play Games Together

Here’s one you might not have thought of. If your grandkids are like mine, they love to play games—board games, card games, video games, you name it. Well, Facebook is chock full of social games that you can play with other Facebook users. That means all you have to do is pick a game and then invite your grandkids to play it with you, online.

Consider Using Other Social Media

Facebook used to be the cool place for kids to hang out online. Things change, however, and Facebook is less cool than it used to be—especially now that everybody’s grandparents are also signing up. (It’s a double-edged sword!) This means that some teenagers are migrating away from Facebook to other social media, so you might need to look elsewhere to connect with your grandkids online.

  • circle-01.jpg Instagram (www.instagram.com) is a photo-sharing smartphone app that’s very popular among the high school crowd. Kids use Instagram as a kind of mobile visual social network.

  • circle-02.jpg Tumblr (www.tumblr.com) is a microblogging network, where users create their own personal blogs, and post short text messages or photos there. Teens like Tumblr because they can personalize their blogs much more than they can with their Facebook Timeline pages.

  • circle-03.jpg Twitter (www.twitter.com)is a social medium that is especially popular among older teens and people in their twenties. Users post short “tweets” (140 characters or less) that are then viewed by their online “followers.” It’s more like text messaging than posting on Facebook, which makes it more suited for mobile use.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020