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(8 Posts)
Noregrets78 Tue 03-Nov-15 08:17:17

I'm bracing myself for the backlash...

Facebook has a minimum age of 13. DD is 11 and would like an account. Facebook blames the US laws for the min age, but actually it's just that they don't have any parental consent laws set up...

I'm minded to set DD up. I'm of the view that things like FB are integral to the way we all operate these days, and I'd rather start early teaching her the safe way to be online than hiding her away from it all.

She's very mature and sensible, and has been on a range of sites with full respect for my rules, eg no giving out personal information, no talking to people you don't know. She understands the risks of seeing things that might upset her, cyber bullying, people thinking she's older than she is.

Any thoughts? Either on what an awful mother I am, or on rules I can put in place?

PigeonPie Tue 03-Nov-15 08:24:35

Well, I figure those rules are a great guideline and that I don't think children can handle the fast moving world of Facebook until they are more mature.

It would also mean that you would have to lie about their age to set it up which to me is not setting a good example. And I would have thought that they will then be saddled with the wrong date of birth (I haven't tried to change my DOB) forever, which is surely not a good thing.

OldBeanbagz Tue 03-Nov-15 08:29:11

Has she asked you for Facebook? In my experience kids hardly use it any more. It's all Snapchat & Intstagram.

I didn't let my DD have FB until she was 13 (last year) and apart from an early burst of activity, she's hardly been on it. She mainly uses FB messenger to keep in touch with friends & relatives abroad.

If you do set up an account, make sure you set the security up tightly and insist that she's only friends with people she actually knows.

Dotty342kids Tue 03-Nov-15 13:39:43

I set up my 12yr old on it a couple of months ago. You make a very good point, OP, regarding helping them through it whilst they're still quite open and honest with you and aren't a secretive teenager!
However, if you are going to do this, do make their "fake" age, as near to their real one as possible. One of the main reasons for this is that it makes a difference to the amount and types of advertising they'll be subjected to. As soon as FB thinks you're 18, you'll be subject to much more adult appropriate advertising.

OldBeanbagz Tue 03-Nov-15 14:19:20

Dotty342kids i've got an adblocker on my computer and i don't see any advertising on my FB page (or on MN for that matter).

shebird Tue 03-Nov-15 18:20:21

My DD is a similar age and has Instagram. I gave in after lots of pestering and there are strict guidelines about who she can follow or allow to follow her. I have full access to her account. No posting of pouty or posing type pictures of herself. Like you OP, I wanted to delay it as long as possible but also be there teach her about the pitfalls.

I really don't like many elements of social media for young girls. There is a huge emphasis on being popular and pretty with online validation in the form of likes. It's all about social validation so you need to be sure that your DD is ready for this.

Hulababy Tue 03-Nov-15 18:37:26

Facebook has a minimum age of 13.

So does Mojang who run Minecraft, but many people allow their much younger children to have accounts on that without the backlash and angst.

You know your own child.

I allowed DD to have Facebook at 12y and she has Instagram at 11y. I have always monitored her use of the internet and continue to do so - she is 13y now. I have access to passwords and dd knows that I can, and will, check what she is doing online and who with. She is only allowed to have friends who she knows in real life. Etc...

We have also done a lot of work on online e-safety type stuff with her, from being young.

Fairylea Tue 03-Nov-15 18:41:42

I can see your reasoning but I have a dd of 12 (in year 8) and I don't allow her to have any social media. For me it's the whole bullying thing / selfies stuff I don't like. I have seen the accounts of her friends on Instagram etc and the type of photos they post and I don't think it's appropriate so I've said no. Okay she may do it behind my back and I do talk to her about safety online etc but I don't want to condone it and if I did find out she did it behind my back I would be really angry. She has an iPad and we know all the passwords to it and she has to leave it downstairs plugged in when she goes to bed, we don't want her on it all hours.

She does iMessage her friends and they all chat on FaceTime. It hasn't harmed her friendships at all, she's still very social and gets invited out to everything. In some ways I think it's helped her to stay friends with people more as she doesn't get caught up in all the drama !

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