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How much privacy do you give your Year 7's re: social media?

(24 Posts)
BeachysSnowyWellieBoots Mon 06-Mar-17 21:05:52

I've always been fairly trusting of how and when my dc chat and use social media with their friends as they've grown up. They had FB and Instagram at 13 and I had the passwords so I could check up on what they were doing.

I must have been worn down or technology speeded up, but my youngest, who is now in Year 7, has Instagram and Snapchat, as do most of her friends and year. I'm still able to check her accounts, but seeing some bad language and inappropriate chat.

Do I just shut them down? Do I warn, take away devices for a period of time and admonish? (This is what I've done so far).

What social media is OK for Year 7's to chat to each other, pass each other homework's when they've forgotten their bag and make plans for meeting up?

I want to give her some privacy, I want her to be able to have chit chat with her friends, I don't want to have to snoop on her all the time.

I know the age limit for Instagram is 13, but I also know that the vast majority of her year use it regularly to message each other.....

What do you do?

BeachysSnowyWellieBoots Mon 06-Mar-17 22:16:34


Voice0fReason Mon 06-Mar-17 22:35:05

Does she know you are checking what she does?
I don't think it would help taking the things away from her. When you say bad language and inappropriate chat, what do you mean? Do you really expect no bad language from her when she is chatting to her friends?
Taking things away wouldn't teach her anything. I would talk to her about what is and isn't appropriate and acceptable.

ispymincepie Mon 06-Mar-17 22:40:51

What do I do? Honestly? My 13yo ds texts his friends to find out homework/make plans.

taptonaria27 Mon 06-Mar-17 22:43:04

My 12 year old has both Instagram and more recently Snapchat. She uses them both to communicate with her peers - a lot!

AgentProvocateur Mon 06-Mar-17 22:49:53

I wouldn't allow snapchat. It's mostly used for nude pics and bullying. My friends who are teachers all say that it's a constant source of grief and kids shouldn't be allowed it.

Brokenbiscuit Mon 06-Mar-17 22:53:21

My dd is 11 and in year 7. She communicates with her friends by text or WhatsApp. No Instagram or Snapchat - I think they are too young.

I know that she is in the minority at school, and I did wonder recently if I was being too strict. I did some research and asked on here as well. The views were mixed here but I concluded that, on balance, I still feel that they're too young.

Fortunately, dd is very sensible and can see where I'm coming from - she has seen a lot of her friends having problems online and so she is happy to accept my stance for the time being. We'll keep it under review.

babyunicornvomit Mon 06-Mar-17 23:05:26

It was different when I was 11, I was allowed a laptop but not a password on it. We didn't have smartphones then so apps weren't really a thing. I was allowed MSN and allowed to have private conversations (I'd liken this use to Facebook Messenger now really) however my parents did check my friends list every so often as my friends and I used to chat to 'Internet friends' - at the time they said they were 12 and 13 year old girls and boys and sent us pictures and stuff and we sent them back, but looking back makes me cringe as 90% of these people were probably creeps online trying to talk to children. I was never inappropriate or anything but I was made to delete them.

I think it's all about trust. I'd say allow FB and Instagram as long as they are both set to private accounts and you know they only have friends on there. snapchat is a different story, definitely no. Photo sending very quickly turns rude and out of hand. Read a story recently about a 7 year old asked to lift up her top and show her 'birthmark' on her ribs and without realising she had sent a topless photo to someone and a 30 year old man somehow ended up with it... so sad and worrying sad

Voice0fReason Tue 07-Mar-17 08:30:32

I wouldn't allow snapchat. It's mostly used for nude pics and bullying.
No it really isn't! Nude pics and bullying does happen, but to suggest that is what it is "mostly used" for is nonsense scaremongering. It's how my teens communicate with each other.
The only bullying I ever had to deal with was on Facebook private messaging and group chat.

Seeline Tue 07-Mar-17 08:36:02

Bad language I would ignore. I know my DCs come into contact with it at school, and most likely use it at school. They need to learn to know when to use it/not use it.
My Dcs have Instagraom, WhatsApp and snapchat. My DD gave up on Snapchat because she said friends used it too much for silly stuff and she couldn't be bothered to keep track.
WhatsApp is used a lot for sorting homework issues and arranging social stuff.

ScrapThatThen Tue 07-Mar-17 08:46:08

I have not yet let her have social media, even whatsapp, yet, but that is because we had some issues with secret accounts. I do reserve the right to monitor social media, and look at older dcs occasionally. This means I can talk to them about issues arising. I also think that they need to know that even if their parent doesn't look, other people's parents will, or their messages could be shown to friends/parents/headteacher/stranger.

TheTartOfAsgard Tue 07-Mar-17 08:57:19

Dd13 yr 8 and DS12 yr 7 both have Instagram, Facebook, Skype, twitter and tumblr, ds also has snapchat. They're 'friends' with me on all platforms and I have their passwords. I check what they post but have never logged on to their accounts, but just knowing that I can has hopefully deterred them from acting inappropriate. I've had no cause for concern yet.

They watched 'Kayleigh's Story' at school and the school seem to dedicate a lot of time and effort into teaching all about internet safety at the moment. I know that dd spoke to one of the school counsellors re a friend she was worried about who was talking to a 16 year old boy on snapchat.

Mittensonastring Tue 07-Mar-17 09:05:29

DS school had 2 dc sending nudes to each other in year 8 they got sent around the whole school when they fell out, school dealt with it well.

If you don't allow social media they will be out of the social loop but yes they should be monitored. Worse is allowing phones in rooms at night as too tempting,.

I think we all need to remember how devious dc can be. I wasn't allowed a key nor did I need one as I used to meet my Mother at her workplace after school as a year 7/8 pupil. I did however skip school sometimes and leave an upstairs window unlocked. I was very good at climbing up the outside porch and across to get in that window. Got caught eventually when I put my knee through a window. grin.

BeachysSnowyWellieBoots Tue 07-Mar-17 09:57:30

Thanks for all your responses....yes, I think this dc is a little bit more savvy than the others were and more interested, IYKWIM.

I think we will move forward with one private Instagram account, where I can check who she has as contacts. I think Snapchat needs to go (although she is very handy at telling me what her big sister is up to at uni grin).

She's not allowed her phone or ipad in her room, but on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I have found her curled up in bed watching something or other....

I'm generally not that concerned about bad language, per se, it's just that the topics and language used is quite adult (and this is just talking to people she knows, not randoms).

I think she might actually be quite relieved in a strange sort of way. On the days when we do manage to limit screen time effectively, she does actually get up to all sorts of good stuff in the garden and with me, so it will be worth any potential tantrums we experience......


pinkish Tue 07-Mar-17 10:26:25

My dd has both. Her Instagram is on my phone and I've always checked it (including private messages). The deal with Snapchat is that I can tell her to show me it at any point (have done this three times in a year but will probably do it again now I've thought about it).

We've been through a lot with Instagram and she's really learned how to deal with social media without swearing, being nasty or posting pouty shots. Her friends ALL do this and do not have their accounts monitored. There have been many underwear and cleavage shots, one nude shot, and many many bullying incidents (y7). When I check dd's messages now she is the one staying calm and kind while some pointless row rages on.

The trick is to be absolutely calm but unrepentant about checking. Don't get into discussions about privacy but say you pay for the phone and will continue to check it etc. And don't expect support because most parents don't know and don't care what their kids do online.

Voice0fReason Tue 07-Mar-17 12:04:37

Don't get into discussions about privacy but say you pay for the phone and will continue to check it
Up to what age would you do that?

BeanBabies Tue 07-Mar-17 12:18:35

Parental controls...? I don't know why they aren't used more! My SO is a techy and we will have parental controls on everything. We will also monitor ALL wifi traffic and possibly jailbreak their phones so we can view even more. Until they are 16/18 and have bought their own phones or devices - those belong to us. We will monitor how they are used.

My SO was arrested for hacking at 13, about 20 years ago. I'm also fairly competent when it comes to tech (used to know basic 'hacking') and we have seen how people can be SHOT and homes can be RAIDED due to misuse of simple devices by kids. As parents we are responsible for their online presence - similarly their presence in a playground. I'm not going to let my child pick up a rock and begin bashing another child - so why be so relaxed about technology? SWATTING is a massive issue and can be done so easily - resulting in people being arrested or killed due to this "pranks".

I know it's very different from IG or Snapchat, but it doesn't take more than a day to cross that line. MONITOR YOUR CHILD AND THEIR DEVICES! It's a parental responsibility! Just google how to set up controls and what else you can do! Put a keylogger on their device for all I care - whatever you need to do to make sure your child isn't sending nudes (circulating child pornography in the eyes of the law) and bullying other children.

BeanBabies Tue 07-Mar-17 12:19:49

VoiceOfReason until they're old enough to pay for their own phone and their phone bills! Or until they're 18, is what I would say.

pinkish Tue 07-Mar-17 13:02:41

im saying 16 atm voice but I doubt I will actually do that. It's just an easy way to close down discussion, and not have a big fight about it all. In reality she's dealing much better with social media and but the fact i have said I will check stops the temptation to swear and post some stupid comment (like so many of them do).

Like a pp said my dd is relieved to have some boundaries. It was crazy in y7 - much worse than when my ds was at school 5 years ago.

user1488902838 Tue 07-Mar-17 16:53:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Breadnroses Sat 11-Mar-17 12:33:23

DD, 11, has messenger, but not facebook, snapchat or instagram. She knows I check her messenger and texts. At one time she would delete messages, until I told her not to. Consequence is that I will remove messenger, and limit phone time.

It is difficult, and obviously I can't guarantee that she doesn't delete messages still.

It's difficult isn't it, but she knows that I am checking for her protection more than seeing what she is up to.

RiverdaleJughead Sat 11-Mar-17 12:37:44

I was 14 when I was finally allowed on - I'd tell her she can have it but you have to know the password then check it at random - don't get mad at her if she's been virgin about you to her mates or they've been talking silly or swearing just keep an eye out for predators, inappropriate pictures etc both from and to her, any sexual language or bullying x

Wrestpin Tue 14-Mar-17 14:37:28

Snapchat just has way too much potential to be abused imho, not necessarily by your daughter, but by the person on the other end - teens are easily enough convinced by peer pressure as it is, without being further encouraged by knowing what you send is 'supposedly' going to disappear in a few seconds.

Buttercupsandaisies Tue 21-Mar-17 09:30:08

DDs and her mates use snap chat - more to send funny pictures - so far no issues at all with it

They also have Instagram and musically. I know both they're log ins and as such I am also logged into their accounts on my phone so I don't need to ask them to check- I can check anytime from my own phone.

We are also linked via email on our iPhone messaging so all their message threads come through to my phone too - bloody annoying though as it beeps constantly!!

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