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To worry that I'm ruining my 8yr old's friendships (Social Media related)

(236 Posts)
concernedforthefuture Wed 23-Oct-19 11:48:28

DD is 8 and attends a small ish school (only 8 girls in her year group). Over the past year, most of the girls in her year seem to have suddenly grown up and are very much into fashion, make-up, social media (mainly Instagram & TikTok but a couple have Facebook too), YouTube, gaming (Fortnite and Roblox) and watching TV and films that are generally meant for an older audience (such as Friends etc).
I'm afraid that I'm not on board with the social media and don't allow DD to use it. However, it's becoming very apparent that she is very much being left out of social groups because the other girls all chat / share videos outside of school and DD is not part of this. I have also stopped her from going to sleepovers after the last one she was invited to was a to watch Dirty Dancing (a 15!). The parents (host and other attendees') seemed surprised that I didn't want DD to watch it hmm.
DD remains quite young for her age compared to her classmates and it's sad to see - she has very little in common with the other girls anymore and often tells me she's lonely.
Should I go against my beliefs and give in and let her have access to social media / unsuitable films etc so that she can maintain a friendship with the girls that used to love all playing together. Or should I stick to my guns even if it means that DD is left out?

Windydaysuponus Wed 23-Oct-19 11:54:58

Yanbu to allow you dd it be child a bit longer. My dd's are 12 +14 and aren't allowed fb. Age guide is 13 I believe . Not sure how they have activated an account so under age.
Find out of school clubs for her that are age appropriate.
I am struggling to filter out the friends of dd 12 who are allowed alcohol - which I will never bow to accept under 18...
As my dc know and accept.

Atalune Wed 23-Oct-19 11:58:10

8?! Bloody hell!

I thought maybe y6/7. But 8?!

Stick to your guns and offer alternatives.

You could set up a tiktok account in your name and lock it down on privacy settings.... that might be my ONLY concession.

Lllot5 Wed 23-Oct-19 11:58:12

Stick to your guns. 8 is far too young for dirty dancing. Some very adult topics in that I think.
Surely there’s an age limit on social media too.
My dgd is 8 soon and I wouldn’t let her watch it or have social media.

Sirzy Wed 23-Oct-19 11:58:26

Stick to your guns.

Ds is nearly 10 and desperate for Facebook and a YouTube account but he knows it’s not worth pestering anymore.

He does have a roblox account now but knows I monitor closely and If he can’t tell me who a friend is they get deleted!

FizzyGreenWater Wed 23-Oct-19 11:58:32

Hmm, difficult. Yes she's too young but honestly I think that's a less important worry than her being comprehensively left out at this age - that could have a far worse impact on her.

My youngest is in this age bracket. Our compromise is allowing Roblox on one of our own phones. Youngest is only friends with classmates and friends. No phone/iopd of their own allowed yet, though several friends do have them.

To be fair though it sounds quite different here - the chatting and sharing videos - sounds a different dynamic. I think I'd find a way to let her join in at least a little if she's becoming isolated. No to unsuitable films, but it sounds as if a strictly controlled access to whichever platform they seem to be using would be a good idea, so that she can also have a half hour here and there to see the funny kitten videos or the you tuber they're all on about, so she isn't left out of playtime discussions. That's what I'd do I think.

Tough one!

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 23-Oct-19 11:58:47

Personally I'd move schools to somewhere with bigger class sizes where 8 year old girls aren't standardly allowed to watch 15s.

I think what you describe isn't 'standard' for 8yos.

Insomniacscientist Wed 23-Oct-19 12:05:34

I would be considering another school in all honesty. I switched dd from a school with only 8 girls in her year and she’s just loved it

FizzyGreenWater Wed 23-Oct-19 12:05:36

Agree with the above. My bigger hmm would be parents allowing a 15 film at that age!! We're still checking everyone's ok with PG here...

To provide more context: our youngest will be allowed half an hour or so on Roblox say every two or three days. If none of the friends are playing they come off it and go back a little later, or maybe they'll fix a time in school to play that evening. We're out the majority of evenings at sports and stuff though, where they also see friends.

There will also be the odd request to look at something on You Tube that will have been that day's talk in the playground. 'Mum can you look up XXX on You Tube, Y says it's SOOOO funny I have to see it' - yes great - but that all comes through me or DH. No way would there be access to general SM or You Tube without it having been run past our eyes first - which isn't the case with many of their classmates it seems.

Your dynamic seems more challenging though. I wouldn't say that my child's friendship group are too adult for their age, at all, bar one or two.

Atalune Wed 23-Oct-19 12:06:35

My Dd is 8 btw and your description is not something we are familiar with at all. For my son in y6 though it is.

Ravenrob Wed 23-Oct-19 12:07:52

My 7 year old has Roblox and I monitor the account and keep it on restricted mode. I wouldn't be happy with anything else you've mentioned at that age!

thiscouldbethehill Wed 23-Oct-19 12:08:11

I think I would consider moving schools too. My ds is 8 and while the girls in his class are starting to be interested in make up and clothes etc they do not have tiktok/Facebook etc. My friends little girl is able to message and FaceTime her two best friends on their iPads but even that is strictly monitored and only allowed at certain times. My son doesn’t have any social media accounts and I don’t think any of his friends do either.

Trewser Wed 23-Oct-19 12:08:35

The school sounds super weird.

WhenISnappedAndFarted Wed 23-Oct-19 12:09:10

8? YANBU.

There's a reason there's an age limit for social media accounts.

michaelbaubles Wed 23-Oct-19 12:10:06

My 8yo is allowed to watch Youtube (in restricted mode) on the TV and play Minecraft and Roblox with any communication switched off. He has a tablet but I hid the web browser and he's not allowed to use it at all so to all intents and purposes he has no internet access. Definitely no social media!

Chickychoccyegg Wed 23-Oct-19 12:10:27

This isnt standard for 8 year olds, and i wouldnt allow most of that either.
My 8 year old does have roblox and tiK tok but on my phone, with privacy settings and closely monitored.
Are there any age appropriate classes/clubs she could join and make more friends who she might have more in common with?
Those parents are very irresponsible with the age 15 movies.

Bluntness100 Wed 23-Oct-19 12:10:41

As much as I understand your thinking, I would find the penalty to her of being friendless too much to justify my stance, it's something she may not easily recover from, and impact her for a long time. Being the excluded one is not fun, and something you always remember,

Personally I'd allow it, but also keep a watchful eye.

Enb76 Wed 23-Oct-19 12:11:09

I'd also consider moving schools - my daughter is in Y6 and none of her friends have social media or generally watch age inappropriate stuff. A few of the girls are into make-up etc... but the vast majority of her friends are not.

She's in a large state primary, 90 kids in her year group.

whywhywhy6 Wed 23-Oct-19 12:15:57

Very strange. I’d be looking at other schools for her, to be honest.

RedskyToNight Wed 23-Oct-19 12:19:37

8 is too young for social media.
And you've just discovered the problem with small schools - with a tiny friendship group, you are less likely to find others that share your interests.
Like others on the thread, I'd consider moving her to a bigger school. This will only get worse.

LucileDuplessis Wed 23-Oct-19 12:22:27

This sounds unusual to me. My DD is similar, but she's 12! She and her friends only became interested in these things in year 6. Is another school an option?

elaeocarpus Wed 23-Oct-19 12:23:02

I think this is really tough.

As a kid, if you miss out on something that everyone else has/seen you usually find ways to socialise through other means. But it sounds like your dd is missing out on all the opportunities to share in things which is tough. I dont think you can underestimate how isolating this must be for her and the effect this may have on her socially, emotionally, mentally.

I think you need to find a balance. We also have small school, and combined year class groups mean they do get exposed to things sooner than they might otherwise. id prefer to keep it all at bay until later; but its out there in the peers.

I wanted to start small , supervised access so we can have mistakes now, talk about good practice etc in a more controlled way to hopefully be more responsible by secondary.

I looked into roblox and set it up with the parental limits. I have free access on looking at chats, friends are only real friends etc. Only used in the living room. Youtube is watched only in the living room and i get to veto what is watched .

Penelopeschat Wed 23-Oct-19 12:24:27

No way! Stick to your values, imho they are being very irresponsible parents. Those kids are completely at risk of cyber bullying and getting into all sorts they shouldn’t. My DC were some of the last to have phones and honestly it’s been great overall. In year 5 and 6 something very serious happened and only the couple kids that didn’t have phones weren’t involved and thus weren’t part of a police investigation.
Can you find your DD other ways of making friends? Brownies? Art classes? A family rambling group? Dance? My DD’s best friend’s have come from outside of school programs, and a couple of them have ended up at secondary together which has been lovely.
You are giving your DD a gift. And sound a brilliant Mum!

concernedforthefuture Wed 23-Oct-19 12:25:24

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I don't know if I'm more relieved or saddened to find out that this isn't the norm. Moving schools has crossed my mind but where we live, most of the alternatives are also small schools and the bigger schools tend to be oversubscribed. I've been very surprised that so many of her peers have been allowed this kind of freedom. The parents are all well-educated, seemingly nice people..... just very naive about what their DDs could be being exposed to. They've grown up so quickly.

Trewser Wed 23-Oct-19 12:25:54

My dd was 8 5 years ago. She had no social media until this year. She's super popular and cool.

The school and other kids sound horrible.

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