Monday, April 18, 2011

Facebook for Kids?

My 11 year old just started asking me a question- Can I get a Facebook?

And my gut reaction is "no." This is simply because I know some of the things our relatives post and they are not necessarily bad, but more like inappropriate for his age. I told him this and his response- You can tell me who I can be friends with. 

His other argument- All my friends have one. This is not true, of course. Not ALL of his friends have a FB account, but some do. And I have to admit, I think it would be fun for him. I love social networking sites. I am a blogger, I am on FB personally and in business, I tweet. I am most certainly influencing his desire to be on FB.

But, my gut says no. AND apparently so do the rules on Facebook. I wasn't certain of the age limit until I checked today. Kids must be 13 to have an account. This means that his friends are on Facebook with false ages entered. Seriously, I love this. It gives me an out and makes me not the bad guy. Now I can say- It is against the rules, would involve lying and giving false information. What do you think the RIGHT thing to do is? 

What are your thoughts about kids on Facebook? 


MamaMonki said...

A lot of the kiddos in my class have facebook accounts - and they're 10 or 11. It has caused problems here at school because we already have cyber bullying at that age and the gossiping. I definitely think it's better to wait.

2 Moms of a Feather...Stick Together said...


Ok...I do have strong feelings on this...
I have 8 children (4 married),
they didn't OR don't get cell phones until they could(can) pay for the phone and the monthly bill too.
They didn't get(or won't get) emails until about the same time.
I would go by the rules on FB. I thought it was 16(for some reason). kids have been homeschooled, so they didn't need to keep up with their friends @ school. They use my house phone to talk to their friends. Plus with having 4 kids still at would "tie up" my computer alot.
So I may have different rules than most because of the number of children that I have to "keep track of". 8-)
Just my 2 cents. 8-)
Take care,

Bea said...

I think is better to wait until they are adults. Plus, Facebook is so addictive, I don't want my girls to spend half of their day on FB.
Great blog by the way!!


Valerie said...

Hi sweet friend! I've been away...playing house! :) Actually, Luke the Duke moves non-stop ( 8 1/2 months) and keeps me on my toes.

Thus, very little time for FB...or blogging...or email...etc.! ;)

I'd say no to the FB.

I've had several former students (now in junior high/high school) who have friended me and it sort of creeps me out. (Not that I post anything inappropriate...but they do. Seriously. I guess they're parents aren't their "friends" on the FB. I finally had to "unfriend" one little gal b/c her language was so inappropriate.)

My niece seems to get into all sorts of trouble on FB. Inappropriate comments from boys and other girls on her page...too much time on FB and not on her studies, etc.) She's 16. *sigh*

Not looking forward to this stage of parenting!

Take care of yourself! Can't believe your little man is 2!!! He sure is a cutie!!!!


Kathy said...

I'm with you, absolutely no! There is no need, I think 13 is even too young. There is a time and a place for everything. I can't stand it when parents will complain about facebook or their kids computer use but let the kids do it and say well, what are you going to do. My answer, say no! Just my opinion! Thanks!

Tina Hollenbeck said...

I am on FB and love it. When my girls get to be 13, we'll consider allowing them to have accounts as well - but I will be their first friend, always know the password, check their walls daily, etc. Not because I won't trust them (I won't let them have accounts if I don't feel I can trust them) - but to keep an eye on what they are being exposed to from others.

I have a huge problem with parents allowing their kids under the age of 13 to join - because they are purposely breaking the rules and teaching their children that lying is okay. I've had to deal with this in several instances from friends and family, including one relative's daughter who joined at age 11 without her parents' consent, told them and was allowed to keep the account - even though it had all been done on the sly. The girl requested me as a friend - and I told her I'd be happy to accept...WHEN she turns 13 and, thus, isn't breaking the rules. That did not go over well in the family, of course, and who knows if she'll want to be my friend when the time comes. But I had to stand up for what is right. What's more, my children became aware of the situation; if I'd accepted the niece's lie, how could I tell my girls that lying is wrong?

jennifer Dennis said...

I feel your pain sister :) we have same debate here-
to many things being let out of the bag! :) Wish I could keep Natalie off- 13 might still be alittle young- but I am afraid I already told her she could get an account then :(

Joybird said...

Freaks me out, I remember all of the bullying I went through before social networking. It was bad enough. But there's another issue I see as well when I see what younger friends and relatives post. Lack of maturity/discernment and the very real permanent record the internet creates is not a great combo. I'm purposeful when I share vulnerable feelings and info on my blog. I carefully weigh those moments. Those random status updates, tagged photos etc. can be searched by insurance companies, colleges, potential employers, you name it. I'm not sure I want to put that kind of record keeping in the hands of a 13 or even 17 year old.

Brigetta's Mom said...

With 2 more children (teenagers) committing suicide.
It was all over the major news stations this morning. All over cyber and school bullying. I don't think it's a good idea for them to be on any social network.

Children have fragile egos and parents are given the responsibility to protect them as much as possible from abuse of all kinds!

So be that responsible parent with wise choices for your children...That's why YOU are called the parent.

I was bullied a a young age because i have red hair, but I had an older brother that always protected me.