Join me in saying NO to Facebook til age 13.

(66 Posts)
weevilswobble Sat 21-Jan-12 08:06:29

Just that really. I'd like DD2 to have a childhood without the drug of Facebook. They can live without it, we can say no!

Bucharest Sat 21-Jan-12 08:12:59

We can say no till we're blue in the face and the skies fall in.

It's just going to make the kids even more determined to have an account. Like fags.

Likewise the having-your-Mum-as-a-friend so she can police it is just going to make them doubly determined to have 2 accounts. <fatalistic>

Asinine Sat 21-Jan-12 08:20:53

I have dcs 13,11,9 and 6. None of them have asked for it or talk about it. Dh and I aren't on it either.

How old are your dcs?

blush I don't understand FB since I don't have it. DD 10.8 is desperate to have it. Apparently I am very unreasonable to say no. ALL her friends have it. I can accept that some do, but all? I doubt it.
DH is a teacher, he sees on a day to day basis the damage (and to be fair the good) that FB does.
She can have it the day she turns 13.

Asinine Sat 21-Jan-12 09:11:09

That's precisely 3 of us, then.

See, I knew everyone wasn't on it.


i have a nearly 12 year old
he doesn't have it
and won't be getting it in the forseeable future

OddBoots Sat 21-Jan-12 09:15:05

I tend to take the view that setting it up on a pedestal as being this thing that you can have when you get to the magical age of 13 (just when you want to start rebelling) is more dangerous.

Both my children (aged 12 and nearly 9) have FB, the email addresses are ones that their dad and I control and they only have family as 'friends'. They get to learn how it all works and we can monitor them. When they turn 13 that doesn't mean we will allow them complete control of it, it will be a gradual thing.

Ds is now 15 and we told him no to Facebook when he was younger. He stopped asking in the end until about 14 when we said yes. It took him about 8 months after that to actually set it up and he rarely uses it. I think he just got used to not having it.

He also doesn't have BBM but he does text and 'phone a lot.

Stick to your guns and don't give in to pressure. They can survive without it!

I also have his email and password. He has access on his 'phone and still rarely uses it. Mainly to talk to my brothers who live away.

sassyTHEFIRST Sat 21-Jan-12 09:20:52

I have an account. My dds don't - they understand that the rules say 13+ and don't moan even though a few friends are on there (might be a bit more persistent in a couple of years?). They are 9 and 7.

mine doesn't have a phone either

we bought him one when he started high school, he lost it and we didn't replace it
he manages absolutely fine without one

FlossieFromCrapstonVillas Sat 21-Jan-12 09:32:35

My 12 yr old son has an account. I police it, he doesn't have a second account ( this wouldn't even cross his or his friend's minds!) he has wonderful, close, sensible friends and his aunty/family sees his photos too. Win win.

It's good for us, I understand if it's not for you, those of us who allow it aren't dimwits without a clue.

weevilswobble Sat 21-Jan-12 15:19:05

I have FB, and so does DD1 who is 18 and living and working abroad. I think my issue is the addictiveness of it, the anxiety to check, the paranoia when people dont comment or care about something you've said.

I think you have to have FB to understand what its all about.

DD1 (18) has gone off abroad and has her whole social network at her fingertips! Its amazing. But when she was without internet access felt v lonely, as most of what she arranges with friends etc revolves around the messaging via FB.

LynnCSchreiber Sat 21-Jan-12 15:22:16

Hmm. Not sure what the thread is about. Are you just wanting people to agree with you or are you wanting to campaign about this?

Fwiw, my DC don't have FB yet, but if they want it then I will set it up for them, with certain provisions. Since we are soon to move away from their friends, it might be that they ask for this soon.

FB is just the vehicle in which to use the internet to keep in touch with friends. Just as when your child learns to drive, you have to teach them responsible and safe usage of that vehicle.

Crazybit Sat 21-Jan-12 15:24:35

DD is 11 and desperate for it, she has no chance, not till she is 13, even though all her mates have it. Those who let children under 13 have it are essentially teaching kids that it is ok to lie about their age as you have to put the wrong date in in order for FB to allow an account to be created.

BackforGood Sat 21-Jan-12 15:29:34

ds and then dd1 had to wait until they were 13. dd2 will too. You do actually have to be 13 to sign up to it, so surely you are starting the whole thing by lying if you don't ? Not something I want to encourage.

Ragwort Sat 21-Jan-12 15:29:36

I think you have to have FB to understand what its all about - agree grin - I don't have it, and I don't understand it. Perhaps I am missing out but as I don't know what I am missing out I am perfectly happy without it ! My DS hasn't got it - I explained it was for over 13s and he moaned a bit understood.

I do agree with what weevil says, certain (not all, obviously) people seem to be addicted to it - and judging from threads on Mumsnet - taking it far too seriously.

I am probably an old fogey but I do see a trend in the popularity of 'social networking' yet the inability for old fashioned face to face coversations, general social skills etc - the number of people that seem unable to make 'small talk' is quite shocking - yet lots of people seemed glued to their mobiles grin - sorry, gone completely off topic but it is a bit of a hobby-horse of mine !!!

Ragwort Sat 21-Jan-12 15:32:12

Genuine question - do you have to lie to put in your date of birth - when I was explaining to DS that it was for over 13s we actually looked at the 'start up' page (or whatever it is called) - there is a space for date of birth but by the explanation it just said something about needing it so that you only receive 'age appropriate' information, nothing about it being for over 13s only. I would have thought it would be sensible to make this a lot clearer, on the very first page.

tabulahrasa Sat 21-Jan-12 15:35:25

Yes you have to lie if you're under 13, if you put in a correct DOB it doesn't let you continue

Ragwort Sat 21-Jan-12 16:57:10

Thanks for that, tabulahrasa - I still think it would be better to have in clear, bold print on the first page 'over 13s only'.

weevilswobble Sat 21-Jan-12 20:53:34

Hi mmelindor, basicly once your child is in yr 7 the pressure gets stronger to have FB. The whole peer pressure thing, and the sudden realisation that you have become the youngest (having been the big kids in yr 6, at primary) all add to the wanting to be more grown up and not a kid anymore.
Therefore this whole 11-13 age is a phase in itself, so my thread is really about parents in this phase saying no and gaging opinion on the matter. Most of me thinks stick to my guns, but a little part of me wants to give in.blush

rubyrubyruby Sat 21-Jan-12 20:55:54

Mine didn't ave it until 13 and I am not their FB friends.

No many people actually realise why it's 13 though.

SwedishEdith Sat 21-Jan-12 20:56:49

Well, they can set up an account on a friend's computer so not sure how you're planning on policing this

weevilswobble Sat 21-Jan-12 20:59:29

Well i asked DD this evening who did and who didnt and she says over half do. And that in an IT lesson after a show of hands they were told they shouldnt lie about their age on the internet.

rubyrubyruby Sat 21-Jan-12 21:00:34

Of course you can police it.

weevilswobble Sat 21-Jan-12 21:02:43

My DD would be far too worried about having a v angry Mum and the punishment of losing her netbook to set an account up behind my back.

I thought the reason it is 13 is because it is illegal in the USA to hold personal information about under-13s.

TwoIfBySea Sat 21-Jan-12 21:05:26

Thank god, my dts have mentioned it, most of their friends are on it - they're 10.

I've said no, I've told them why and they're also without mobile phones too. Again, they're 10, who the heck are they going to phone?

weevilswobble Sat 21-Jan-12 21:05:27

When i've told my DDs what not to do and why they've generally stuck to it. Like when i said only one Greggs sausage roll a week . grin and you must eat your fruit!

Ample Sat 21-Jan-12 21:16:31

Used to be on facebook, then deactivated it (or whatever deactivated means in fb land). Glad I don't have it now, dh is still on but doesn't use it and dd, well she's only 5 so who knows if fb will be around 10 years from now.

Agree that it should have an age restriction.

LynnCSchreiber Sat 21-Jan-12 21:36:14

You have no way of knowing if your DC have a facebook account set up when they were at a friend's house, which is why I would prefer to set it up myself and monitor it. So that, for example, any emails go through my email account.

Do not think that they will not do this, the lure is incredibly strong, and when they are being pressured by their friends they may well give in.

rubyrubyruby Sat 21-Jan-12 22:12:16

Oh - I would know MmeL wink

LynnCSchreiber Sat 21-Jan-12 22:15:12

How can you say that?

I would imagine that my DD would not do it, but I would not stake my life on it.

I don't see how anyone can say for certain that their child would not do something that was not allowed.

rubyrubyruby Sat 21-Jan-12 22:21:04

I would know. I am friends with their friends parents, their parents are friends with their children. My older DC's are friends with their friends and their friends parents are friends of mine grin etc etc etc

..... honestly, I would know.

Emmielu Mon 23-Jan-12 20:03:38

I set one up when I was nearing 13. My parents didn't know till 5 years ago. I was friends with obviously my circle of friends but anyone I knew whos parents or who knew my mum I blocked. It's easy to do behind peoples backs. Hense why there are the weirdos that have more than 1 account on the run.

ravenAK Mon 23-Jan-12 20:10:06

I'd better not tell you how many of my year 7 tutor group have an account their parents don't know about, then! It's SOP.

My ds had an account at 6. He uses it to chat to his uncle occasionally & plays on the odd game. I know this because I set it up & I log in every so often to keep tabs.

Emmielu Mon 23-Jan-12 20:17:02

RavenAK I love the games on there! Diamond dash is the best one. Terrible with scrabble though. sad

weevilswobble Mon 23-Jan-12 21:06:20

Ravenak, you are a yr 7 tutor and you condone lying about your age on the internet? Whats happened to standards, rules and discipline? And your son at 6??? So you've put on his profile that he's 13?

rubyrubyruby Mon 23-Jan-12 21:08:50


LynnCSchreiber Mon 23-Jan-12 22:06:35

Oh, Weevils. Don't be daft.

How can you talk about standards, rules and discipline? You would think she was sending him out begging or sending him up chimneys.

It is FB. If it is well policed, and lets face it with a 6yo it is likely to be, I don't see the harm.

My DC are 7yo and 9yo and I would set up a FB account if they asked for one. Would rather than than them go behind my back.

And anyone who thinks that they would not find out is deluded. They may well register under another name, that is what my cousin did. With a neutral photos, her parents didn't know for ages.

weevilswobble Tue 24-Jan-12 07:49:33

Mme, i'm not being daft! She's a teacher! I'm just saying teachers are supposed to be about standards, rules and discipline! Or is THAT just daft? Are teachers just about avin a larf these days?
I seem to be one of very few who think kids DONT call the shots!

OnlyANinja Tue 24-Jan-12 08:25:40

It's more important that you pay attention to what they are doing on the computer and teach them about how to be safe and what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour than that you stick to an entirely arbitrary age limit.

It's not as if 12 and 364 days in unsafe and 13 and 0 days is suddenly safe to go on the internet by themselves.

LynnCSchreiber Tue 24-Jan-12 11:45:38

My kids don't call the shots, despite them thinking they do.

She is a teacher when she is at school. How she parents her child has nothing to do with her profession (unless she is horribly abusive, and allowing FB is not in my opinion abusive).

It is not possible to lock the PC down and then think, fine. I have protected my kids. Over 60% of children are thought to have been exposed to porn - in school, at their friends' houses, when they got passed child protection software.

Our kids are often more internet and technology savvy than we are and if they want to access something on the internet, they will find a way.

I guess the comparison is how we used to have a sneaky fag when we were out with friends. I know my mum was absolutely certain that my brother didn't smoke, but he did.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 24-Jan-12 11:52:40

Nope, I won't be joining. I'm all for kids having FB accounts while they are young enough for their parents to set it up for them & teach them some net ettiquette. Both mine have accounts & we do it together. I have their passwords, I help them upload photos, our PC is in the family room, so I know what they are up to.
Social media is the way forward & I want my two to understand how to use it wisely, to know which friends are being stupid on it, what things are really unwise to do, how to manage "friendship" issues on it etc etc etc. They are much less likely to listen to my words of wisdom at 13, than they were when I first set them up on it (at 8 & 10).

Emmielu Tue 24-Jan-12 19:33:27

Ah yes friendship issues is common even on my fb! Some of my friends rant or bitch about their friends on there & they're grown women! I agree if the child is shown properly what it's REALLY for then they can get the most out of it.

weevilswobble Tue 24-Jan-12 20:30:22

I agree with everything being said, BUT you have to lie about their age! Thats my problem!

weevilswobble Tue 24-Jan-12 20:33:26

Bellabeariswideawake said earlier on the thread that is it illegal to hold personal information about under 13s in USA. Is this the only reason for the restriction? I dont know. Anyone?

rubyrubyruby Tue 24-Jan-12 20:51:41

What I am trying to say is that 'Yes' my DC's could feasibly set up FB accounts without my knowledge but there would be little point because of our social network we have.

ravenAK Sun 29-Jan-12 05:22:46

Hi Weevils,

I'm all for lying on the internet. I'm not really called ravenAK, for example. & if I'm filling in details on an internet form that doesn't need to know my postal address, but would quite like to so that it can sell it on to junk mailers, then obviously I'm going to make something up...& I always give a fictitious DOB.

I've taught my ds to do likewise - never, ever, give out genuine details on t'internet if it's avoidable - leave unrequired fields empty, & fill out the required ones truthfully or not dependent on whether the you need the company to have that info...

So yep, I was quite happy to create a FB account for him & give an inaccurate DOB. The DOB on my own account is deliberately wrong too.

The U13 rule IS very much about US legislation re: what data they're allowed to hold on minors. It's not a legal restriction. I daresay it's quibbling, but as far as I'm concerned, the hotmail account & password which are associated with ds's account were both set up & are both controlled by me.

Actually, ds got bored with FB months ago - I probably log into his account more than he does ('Oi ds, you need to reply to Uncle Ben!').

As for how it relates to my profession: well, I'm pragmatic AS a result of what I do for a living. My 'standards, rules & discipline' are different to the extent that I make sensible judgment calls when it's my own kids, as opposed to following external guidelines when I'm working with children. My tutor group thought it was outrageous that I wouldn't let them watch a 12 film the day before we broke up for Xmas - I'd absolutely have let my 7 & 5 year olds see it, but when I'm at work, that isn't my call to make.

So - I'd rather my own dc learnt about the internet under my aegis, than be one of the parents who regularly & smugly inform me that no, their child could not possibly be a cyberbully - because they don't allow FB - until they're confronted with a screenshot of the evidence.

hellsbells99 Sun 29-Jan-12 06:38:32

My dd set up Facebook behind my back when she was 12 - luckily her cousin told me! I deactivated her accnt and grounded her at the time. Having seeking advice from her ict teacher I let her on when she was 13 with me being a friend. Didn't no much about fb at the time - like the private messaging side. She has had problems - been 'fraped' by so called friend etc. I now have her password and she has made this clear to her friends - no longer any nasty stuff and used for making social arrangements, chatting and help with homework. Don't check it v often now as all calm - for now. Sorry for long post. I hate fb really ;)

hellsbells99 Sun 29-Jan-12 06:39:32

* sought not seeked!

cumbria81 Fri 02-Mar-12 15:52:52

The 13 age barrier is totally arbitary and based on some random US law about data protection. Do you really think that at midnight on a child's 13th birthday they instantly start to use the internet resposnibly? No, they don't.

I totally agreee with the posters who allow (closely controlled) access at a younger age. Facebook is great when used correctly

Chirpychick2010 Thu 08-Mar-12 21:26:38

I say No I've seen the bullying and the harm it does at a close hand and I wouldn't want my dd to go through what my friends dd went through. So it's a no from me!!

effingwotsits Thu 08-Mar-12 21:31:00

DD aged 13 got it at 10. Big mistake. She no longer has it and is now 13 and a half (of course we are the parents from hell and she has no life etc etc...). Her other siblings will not be getting it either.

differentnameforthis Fri 09-Mar-12 09:09:59

It is FB. If it is well policed, and lets face it with a 6yo it is likely to be, I don't see the harm

Facebook is over 13, because as a previous poster mentioned, it is against federal law in the USA to hold info on under 13s.

So to let your under 13yr old on it is breaking federal law. If facebook were to be found to be holding info on under 13s, they may get prosecuted & that may well put the future of facebook in jeopardy. So then perhaps no one will get to use it.

imnotmymum Fri 09-Mar-12 09:14:06

I police my DD1/DD2 facebook we have an open relationship and are close and talk about safety etc. It is cheaper than providing them with endless credit for texts !! I know their passwords and often it is used simply for putting up cute photos of the puppy and chit chat about homework etc. They are 11 and 13. It also helps them keep in touch with cousins overseas

GrimmaTheNome Fri 09-Mar-12 09:22:21

I didn't have to face this issue - my DD didn't ask for underage FB and now she's turned 13 she still doesn't seem interested.

Instead she does this really weird thing called 'Real Life Friendships' grin

If your child lies about their age to sign up underage, does that age then roll forward or can you correct it? I would be worried if a 12 year old was apparently 16 on FB.

HSMM Fri 09-Mar-12 09:24:33

DD wanted Facebook in yr7 because all her friends allegedly had it. I was faced with the choice of setting up an account for her that we both have access to or one of her friends showing her how to set up an account herself. I went for the supervised account. There was one spate of bullying where I got involved with blocking people, but mostly it's just waffle. There is some chat about homework too.

imnotmymum Fri 09-Mar-12 09:25:57

My kids have real friendships but just a quick way of arranging meeting points etc. We have real life friendships do we not but here we are conversing on Mumsnet . No need to be worried about age if your child is sensible enough to only accept people she knows ! Mine also have skype and twitter and a phone !

GrimmaTheNome Fri 09-Mar-12 09:28:07

>There is some chat about homework too.

DDs school has its own chat/email system - so they can do this sort of stuff which is useful, but its only other pupils, and if there was bullying there (unlikely, they'd have to be eejits to do it there) then the school would sort it out.

M1ssBerta Fri 09-Mar-12 09:31:19

imnotmymum has nailed it really. It's just an extension of friendship. It's the way of the World now so best to embrace it, sensibly and with common sense.

imnotmymum Fri 09-Mar-12 09:34:11

Yes there is the secret FB my DD2 friend was told not allowed and set one up as "all" her friends have it and she was a bit left out with the games etc on their. Surely this is worse !! Thanks M1 sensible and common sense and do not listen to the media scaremongering !

Theas18 Fri 09-Mar-12 11:54:33

I have a 12 (13 in may) and she has been told no and doesn't have it. Not sure if she'll even ask then TBH but I shall probably encourage her to have a highly supervised account then so she can learn to use it, and it's ups and downs.

DS set up a secret account at 12. Boy did he get bollocked! He wasn't very good at covering his tracks and had made his elder sis a friend! We didn't force him to close the account though as I figured he would do it again and in a much more underhand way if he wanted to, so I'd rather he was secure and heavily policed by me than spending all his time on their hidden.

I have seen the positives- the elder kids are friends with kids from primary for instance who went to other schools. I also know, in a very "hands off" way a bit of what's going on with DD1 at uni. Which is she's partying like mad but always appears, in the photos at least to be the least drunk of them all! I had a slight turn when she appeared in one photo with a huge black eye- looked very real but was for a dressing up thing-later photos emerged with friends dripping blood etc!

Bramshott Fri 09-Mar-12 12:03:41

I'm pretty relaxed about internet-type stuff and probably would let DD1 have a FB account once she goes to senior school (in the same way I'll probably let her watch a 12-rated film before she's actually 12).

Social networking via the internet isn't something that's going to go away, and is something our kids will need to learn to be savvy about and do sensibly. Better IMHO to discuss these things with them at a young-ish age when they still listen to you!

imnotmymum Fri 09-Mar-12 12:38:35

Yes would not have an account at primary that not necessary at all same as I would not let my kids have a mobile in primary.

nev308 Fri 13-Jul-12 21:45:16

I agree entirely, no way my children are having Facebook accounts until they are at least 13.

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