Drunken photos, vulgar status updates, check-ins at places they're not supposed to be - any and all of these things likely deter millions of college and post-college aged kids from choosing to friend their parents on Facebook. Sure, you could just modify your privacy settings and block them out but who wants to go through the hassle, right?
The Facebook Data Science team looked at anonymous posts and comments between parents and their children on the network and produced a pretty interesting report on how families interact on the site. Their first finding had to do with the age of the child as an indicator of how likely they were to be the one to initiate the friendship with their parents.
Spolier alert - kids in their early to mid twenties don't really have the desire to be Facebook buddies with mom and dad.
From ages 13-17, the child is more likely to send the initial friend request. Over 65% of friendships between 13-year-olds and their parents are initiated by the child. But the older the child is when the friendship is formed, the less likely the child is to be the one sending the friend request, with the likelihood bottoming out at 40% for children in their early to mid-twenties. Then the probability of the child initiating increases again, eventually reaching 50% by their mid-40s.
Here's that data visualized:
Once they parent and child become friends, the child becomes more likely to initiate contact via posts or comments as they get older. At every age, daughters are much more likely to initiate contact than sons.
You can check out the full report here.