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different houses, different rules...

(32 Posts)
InFlagranteDelicto Fri 12-Dec-14 23:15:19

Dss has bought his tablet over from his mum's. He's 11, so yr 7. The other dc were crowding round him and saying he was posting their photos- take a closer look and he's posting on instagram. Turns out his mum set the account up.

I'm a bit WTF. Dp has made him read the terms and conditions, and closed the account, and we both agree that dss is too young, irresponsible and immature for social media. Dss had s massive wobble about having his social life taken away, but tbf no 11 yo should be dependent on t'interweb for a social life. I get different homes, different rules, I guess I'm just a bit staggered by the sheer... <insert word of horror>

daisychainmail Sat 13-Dec-14 07:44:13

You just wait until they start posting pictures of you in your dressing gown!!

purpleroses Sat 13-Dec-14 08:02:08

My DD is 11 and has Instagram. So do all of her friends and I can see why your DSS might have felt it was important to his social life - it is big for them. I set up an account myself and followed her so I can keep an eye on what she's been posting. So far it's been completely harmless. We did also have a chart about how things you post could be there forever and might embarrass you later. But really the sort of stuff 11 year olds post is probably a lot less of a problem than when they're teens.

As to whether you can have different rules in different houses, I think whether you have an Instagram account is something that comes under the "primary carer's decision" category - like when you can get your ears pierced. It's not something you can have separate house rules for. You could ban him from using his tablet at your house, but he'd still have an account set up and post pictures at his mum's. So I'd strongly recommend just having a chat with him about it, and setting up an account so you can keep an eye on him.

They are technically supposed to be 13 to have Instagram, but honestly, all the Y7s do have it

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sat 13-Dec-14 08:22:00

I think if you and dp speak to him make sure his profile is private so no creeps get his pics etc. Explain the dangers of online social media and maybe agree that you/ dp get a chance to sift through it make sure it's appropriate and that he knows everyone following him. My dsd (10) has instagram and I follow her I ask her now and again who people are. She doesn't mind. She invited me to follow her. Xx

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sat 13-Dec-14 08:23:43

Also , shehax left her Facebook logged in on my lap top. I done the same looked through her friends and asked her who some people were. And asked if she ever added people she didn't know. And to be careful.

Pooka Sat 13-Dec-14 08:29:39

Dd is 11 and on Instagram.

Rules are, I know her password. If I can't log in, then no Instagram. Her privacy settings are tight. She only adds people she knows. Apart from buddy valastro (cake boss) and lush and so on.

It's been a big thing, what with starting secondary school and settling in and getting to know people. I'm aware that it can be used as a tool for bullying, and that's why we talk about it and I keep check of what's being posted.

slkk Sat 13-Dec-14 09:10:30

We made sure dsd had a rubbish phone just for calls and texts that couldn't get these apps til mid y8 when she got a new phone and she now has instagram. I also follow her. I agree 11 is too young and you need to see a level of maturity and street sense before setting them free in the online world. If your dp feels your dss is not mature enough he should chat with his mum to try and agree rules. The fact he has his own tablet allows him a lot of freedom however and he'll have access to chat and other social functions on games. I would also discuss how and where he uses the tablet.

saintlyjimjams Sat 13-Dec-14 09:18:52

Most year 7's seem to have Instagram.

I think you're going to have to find a way to agree a social media approach with his mother - otherwise the poor kid will be having accounts open & shut all over the place. plus presumably the mum will be pissed off that she's been overruled. Where does he spend most of his time? Easiest way to deal with it would be no instagram whe staying with you, but you can't really dictate what he does at his mums.

daisychainmail Sat 13-Dec-14 10:26:53

I have an older DSD but when she was younger she was very trigger happy with Instagram and Facebook. I had a rule that no pictures of our house, us, or little kids were posted on there!! She did obey. But the rest of it was up to her mum really and her mum handled it really badly and now DSD is addicted to the internet

fedupbutfine Sat 13-Dec-14 11:10:58

did you actually bother to discuss this with his mum prior to deleting his account? YOU BOTH may well agree that he's too young but he has another parent who deserved to be consulted and treated with a little respect before you simply over-rode her decision, surely?

I'm a teacher and can assure you that by far the majority (at least 80%) of our year 7s have smart phones and are permanently attached to Facebook/snapchat/Instagram/youtube/any other form of social media you care to mention. I regularly use a variety of apps the children can download and work with in my lessons (and I don't even teach IT!) Whether you like it or not, social media is a massive part of young people's social lives. It even helps their learning. Of course, there are pros and cons but I'm not sure your partner has any moral 'right' to just delete something without at least discussing it first with the child's mum.

And yes, different rules in different homes. The ex's rule is that her son is allowed access to social media. By far the most sensible approach would have been to ask for the password and to follow him. He might even surprise you with just how sensible (not to mention creative) he is.

springalong Sat 13-Dec-14 16:07:15

Thank you for this very interesting and useful discussion. I have a yr 5 child and I can see this issue coming up for our families very quickly.

Good post from fedupbutfine.

PeruvianFoodLover Sun 14-Dec-14 06:57:00

Easiest way to deal with it would be no instagram whe staying with you, but you can't really dictate what he does at his mums.

I agree - if electronic devices are being used for games or social media that you don't agree with, then either prevent their use in your home, or limit them to supervised use only.

supermariossister Sun 14-Dec-14 08:07:54

I think if you and your husband really disagree with its use then you can limit it or not allow it at your house especially taking photos of your dc but I think it was out of order to delete it without even speaking to mum first as she obviously doesn't see a problem with it. a lot of things now depend on social media as pp says it isn't an uncommon thing for someone his age.

Hakluyt Sun 14-Dec-14 08:19:05

Like it or not, a secondary school child with no access to social media will miss out. So much of their social lives are arranged via or takes place on the internet. He just won't know what's going on. Think back to being a teenager and imagine not being allowed to ever use the phone. It's like that.

I would sit down with him this morning, explain that you have thought about it overnight and that he can set up the account again, but that he has to give his dad the passwords. Talk through a few rules together- not adding people h doesn't know, no posting anything which show where he lives - that sort of thing. And glance over his shoulder occasionally. If he was happy to involve his siblings than he can't be doing anything worrying!

PeruvianFoodLover Sun 14-Dec-14 08:31:45

Like it or not, a secondary school child with no access to social media will miss out. So much of their social lives are arranged via or takes place on the internet. He just won't know what's going on.

According to my teen and her group of friends, social media is favoured by a particular "type" of DC, not by all - she and her friends didn't have it when they were younger and now they're in their higher years, just aren't bothered.

I think it's easy to believe the cry of everyone else has it! - we all tried that on a kids, didn't we?

43percentburnt Sun 14-Dec-14 08:53:59

Peruvian I am intrigued as to what 'type' of child favours social media and what 'type' of child doesn't favour it.

Back to the op, what may now happen is child goes home to mum, resets up Instagram. This time he doesn't bother telling dad or step mum about it. In fact he doesn't bother telling them about anything they may disapprove of. Even worse he sets it up himself and doesn't tell his mum either then none of you have any idea what he is up to. He just accesses it via friends phones.

Then going forward new social media site appear, he joins them and again doesn't tell you about it, if you don't keep up to date with social media you will have no idea what he is up to.

Like it or not social media forms an important part of teenagers lives. We use it to contact dd when she is at friends houses out in the sticks with poor mobile phone reception.

At 11 it's a fine balance, they are growing up. No doubt from speaking to his teacher at parents evening and his friends parents you will know if his friends do have Instagram.

saintlyjimjams Sun 14-Dec-14 09:06:14

Lol at a particular 'type' of child. Looking at ds2's account (year 8) and asking who people are it seems 'the cool kids' (as he calls them) and 'the geeks' (probably more his group) have them. It seems to be the most popular app - that and snapchat (which needs a closer eye kept on it IMO). Ds2 rarely posts anything btw - he comments on others & screenshots teenage angsty/motivational quotes. Also seems to follow a lot of football.

If you make all this stuff forbidden fruit then you will just make him use it sneakily. And actually it is possible to use these apps sensibly & for fun. I find it interesting seeing which quotes have meant something to ds2 for instance. And if you start them young you CAN nosey in at what they're doing - before their need for privacy has kicked in.

And you really can't just overrule his mother. You can decide what he's allowed at your house & she can do the same.

saintlyjimjams Sun 14-Dec-14 09:08:26

DS2 also has friends scattered around the country (from activities he has taken part in) & he keeps in contact with them via Instagram & snap chat - and to a lesser extent facebook.

Hakluyt Sun 14-Dec-14 09:15:52

"According to my teen and her group of friends, social media is favoured by a particular "type" of DC, not by all"

grin and what "type" of child is that?

daisychainmail Sun 14-Dec-14 09:25:27

Peruvianfoodlover I would love to know more about this as I don't want my DC (only 2) to end up as hooked on banal online stuff as the older kids but am not sure how to go about it.

saintlyjimjams Sun 14-Dec-14 09:29:50

I would love to know more about this as I don't want my DC (only 2) to end up as hooked on banal online stuff as the older kids but am not sure how to go about it

Slightly ironic posting that on mumsnet??? confused

Hakluyt Sun 14-Dec-14 09:35:07

"Peruvianfoodlover I would love to know more about this as I don't want my DC (only 2) to end up as hooked on banal online stuff as the older kids but am not sure how to go about it."

I have a 13 year old. He has several groups of friends, both in school and out of school through various activities. One of the groups in particular involves other kids from lots of different schools and a geographic spread of about 30 miles. They are all on a Facebook group and chat online a lot. If they lived nearer they would probably hang out in somebody's bedroom, but they can't. The online group is just like that. He also plays a couple of online games with friends- it is just like playing a board game with friends, but virtually. Yes, you have to monitor what's going on. But a lot of it is just online versions of things that kids have always done.

saintlyjimjams Sun 14-Dec-14 09:39:35

Ds2's main online activity is gaming while talking to his friends on Skype. I used to talk to my friends on the phone. The main difference is skype
is free & doesn't block up the line for everyone else. Ds3 who is 10 plays games with his cousin online. They live at the opposite ends of the country & see each other about once every 2 years. They wouldn't have a relationship without Skype. With it & minecraft & roblox they are friends - & laugh & argue just as they would if we lived close enough to see each other regularly.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 14-Dec-14 09:42:31

This should have been sorted out by the adults and not involve the child at all.

The very best dad could do is to not let him use it at his house, but to determine what goes on in his ex's house by deleting the account - No!

Hakluyt Sun 14-Dec-14 09:50:47

Absolutely, saintlyjimjams. I don't get the "my children will only communicate via two tin cans and a bit of string" think at all.....

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