According to a new survey by Retrevo, almost half of parents say that they're friends with their teenagers on social networks.

Many parents see the value in trying to "friend" their kids on social networks, even though it might be a bit awkward at times. According to Retrevo, most parents who are Facebook friends with their kids have teenagers—only 8 percent of parents said kids under 12 should have Facebook accounts in the first place—and they say that they learn a lot about their teens this way.

Retrevo surveyed more than 1,000 adults in the US and found that parents not only want to learn more about their kids through technology, they also have solid opinions on how their kids should use it. Even though parents aren't always as savvy as their kids, they generally know how to wield the social networking carrot and stick within the home in order to elicit desired behaviors.

For example, 12 percent of surveyed parents ban social networking as a form of punishment, and 18 percent ban all Internet usage. This is creeping very close to the 22 percent who nix TV, showing that parents understand how valuable Internet access is to their teens.

Source: ars technica
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/05/report-parents-use-facebook-to-punish-learn-about-their-kids.ars