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Do you check your 12 year old's Instagram/internet usuage

23 replies

Grinstead · 09/08/2015 09:16

I am very concerned about DS's use of internet , Instagram Etc and how obsessed he seems by it and I no longer have his passwords - I am not sure how we got to this point, I always thought I was a sensible parent ! Anyway I checked his Instagram and DMs and was shocked at language that all the kids were using and how horrible the 'banta' was. I am out of touch with 12 year olds or so I need to speak to him about how he uses internet?

OP posts:
TheFirstOfHerName · 09/08/2015 09:31

A condition of them having social media accounts is that I have the current password and they know that I check them regularly. The younger three's instagram accounts come to my phone and I check them several times a week. I am happy with everything they have posted, but the stuff some of their friends post can occasionally be eyebrow-raising.

The worst has been a direct message conversation in which one girl accused another of sharing a secret. Half the class joined in to add their opinion, and the language from two or three of them was shocking.

I no longer check the 15 year old's account because he has demonstrated over the last couple of years that he is sensible about social media and can be trusted to make wise decisions.

I can see why parents don't let their children on social media at all, but I have changed my mind about this. I think that a supervised account can teach them how to use social media safely at an age when we still have some influence over their decisions. The best way to learn to use social media wisely is through experience.

I can see everything the 13 year old posts, who he follows and who he allows to follow him. I can ensure his account is set to private.

StrumpersPlunkett · 09/08/2015 09:35

I check my 11 yr ds internet history randomly. But he doesn't have his tablet in his room so whatever he looks for is with then possibility that someone wanders by at any time.
I am not authorising Instagram for a long time but when I do my sister and dh will be compulsory contacts.

CambridgeBlue · 09/08/2015 09:46

I think that a supervised account can teach them how to use social media safely at an age when we still have some influence over their decisions. The best way to learn to use social media wisely is through experience.

This makes so much sense - they are going to want social media because it's what kids do now so better to let them but monitor it sensibly IMO.

My DD is 13 and has had Instagram and Pinterest for a while but only recently FB. I'm horrified by some of the stuff that gets posted but to be fair she is too and has quickly worked out how to unfollow people.

CambridgeBlue · 09/08/2015 09:48

Oh yes - as well as always knowing her passwords I have subtly encouraged her to befriend a couple of 'cooler' family members - my brother and niece- who I know will keep an eye on her without it being too obvious.

123rd · 09/08/2015 09:55

Instagram is actually given an age restriction of 13. Same as FB. My 11dc doesn't have Instagram or FB account. Although 90%of classmates do. DC has literally just got a phone but has had an ipod for one year. We have a written list of agreed rules for electronics. Such as I am told passwords, can check friends list etc. and if there is any rude disrespectful behaviour then electronics get banned. This goes the same for DC2 and play station.

Anaffaquine · 09/08/2015 10:00

Having had experience of my dniece having a ridiculous amount of followers on Instagram, some with names like "Can I touch you" I think it essential to supervise and guide kids on social media.

DontCallMeBaby · 09/08/2015 10:03

DD's 11 and has been on Instagram since the beginning of the summer hols, to keep in touch with friends from primary school. She follows me, I follow her - both private accounts. That allows me to easily see what she posts and what comments are made on her stuff. However most of her friends have private accounts too, so I need to be on her account to see what they're posting and saying, and to see her DMs, so I check her iPod as well. Both phone and iPod go wherever she wants during the day, but neither is in her bedroom overnight.

All innocuous so far - she's a bit too fond of 'how much do you like me?' memes, but the Queen Bee who's going up to secondary with her is being mostly kind, if a little patronising. DD's not that tech savvy, but is good on safety - she retook a pic of one of our cats cos the original had our car reg plate in the background, not something I think would have occurred to me!

WeAllHaveWings · 09/08/2015 10:08

ds(11) has had instagram since around Xmas. I check now and again and it full of WWE, football and silly stuff, videos of them doing silly boys things. Nothing nasty at all.

He had facebook setup too, but doesn't use it.

We've had occasional chats about using instagram and being nice, the problems with sending out photos or comments and everyone seeing and not being able to take them back. Also if anybody's takes a photo or says something bad to let me know and he is still good at doing that whether its on social media or real life.

I expect it to become more of a challenge as he gets older.

Hulababy · 09/08/2015 20:45

Yes, I do. DD is 13y and I continue to do so. She knows I do and will be doing so. I monitor all her online use where possible. I don't do it every day but every so often, and if DD was showing any signs at all of stress, upset or anything suspicious it would be my first call. I also monitor her texts/e-mails every so often to.

More importantly I've done a fair bit of e safety stuff with DD as I feel that is key. She also comes and teaches e safety one week a year, for past 2 years, at my school, to younger pupils - so this really backs up the education side of it.

DD knew this was non negotiable when she was first allowed social media, or indeed a phone.

Hulababy · 09/08/2015 20:50

Instagram is actually given an age restriction of 13.

It does, yes. But then so does a Minecraft account too. Its the same law used - most parents have no issue with younger children having Minecraft accounts though.

I let DD have Instagram when she went to secondary as most of her friends did and it is how they were communicating outside of school. She got FB when she was 12.5y. I used my own judgement of my knowledge of these - I got Instagram at the same time to learn more about it. And my judgement of my own dd too. One of rules is that she has to have a fully private account, and she must be friends with me on them.

Muskey · 09/08/2015 20:56

I didn't I am ashamed to say until dd got into a lot of bother for saying stuff she shouldn't. I went ballistic and took anything electronic off her for a month. After that we had a very long chat about the fact that once you say something on social media it is there forever. I now randomly check what she is up to. She is on Instagram but not on fb.

forgivemeengishisnotmy1st · 16/08/2015 01:15

My dd1 has instagram since beginning of yr7. Kids can have any account so easily so to say if I don't let her then she may just have any account without me knowing anyway. So I rather be open and make her feel easy to share with me about her online activities. We do often talk about the dangers of internet and how they must behave or not say.

Vernonon · 17/08/2015 08:10

Mine's 11 and I check it often (it's on my phone so easy to do). We have rules about not saying anything even slightly mean and not accepting followers she doesn't physically know. A few issues have come up and I think it's great that we've been able to talk them through - better than letting them loose on social media in their teens.

Caprinihahahaha · 17/08/2015 08:19

A condition of mine using social media is that I can see anything I want.
I follow her on Instagram, as does her adult brother, and I sometimes take her phone off her while she is using it to look at what she's doing there.

We have conversations all the time about it. She comes to me sometimes if a fall out is brewing or if she's spotted a friend being weird/rude/aggressive.

She is also not allowed to accept follower requests from anyone she has not physically met. That's a condition too.

forgivemeenglishisnotmy1st · 17/08/2015 11:46

Also to add i have access to my dds emails so i can check their online activities easily.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding · 17/08/2015 11:52

Yes girls can be mean. The hot/not be ate is discussing as used to bully the less popular kids. They post their sleepover who x y z wasn't invited to, and new iphone6 phones sassy brought them for passing a spelling test. Lovely.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding · 17/08/2015 11:53


Pepperpot99 · 17/08/2015 11:56

I do not allow my 13 year old on Instagram. All it does is fuel self-obsession and insecurity. I am pretty hardcore about it and I wish more parents were, tbh.

Sometimesitsnowsinapril · 17/08/2015 12:04

Ds 11 has had Instagram since the beginning of the school holidays. Never thought too much about it until I was looking at his tablet (it was new) to see if we should get his younger brother for Xmas. The messages from one lad (yr8) were disgusting - he thought he was being funny - in my book rape is not funny. Had long chat with ds who had already blocked him and now I look at his account every couple of days.

Ds seems to make silly videos reviewing Pokemon cards and his class mates are just the same. I did find two questionable "friends" on his list, looked to be 20 something year old men who ds said were good "reviewers". These gave been deleted as well. New rule only people you actually know.

NewLife4Me · 17/08/2015 12:06

I check her internet history every hour whilst she's on holiday as 2 of her friends parents have caught them accessing porn, they are 11.
No fb or instagram allowed until 16 in this house.

RockinHippy · 17/08/2015 12:14

I'm glad to read the replies on this thread as my own DD(12) frequently complains that none of her friends parents monitor their accounts, so why should I.

The house rule is, she isn't allowed any account without my having the password & accepting that I will monitor her use, including checking PMs, that said she has more than proven herself to be responsible & is the swear police amongs her friends & tells them off for bad language, attacks anyone using homophobic or any kind of bigoted language & general makes me feel very proud of her, so I very rarely check in these days.

It's an eye opener when I do though & I never fail to be amazed at how many parents don't & how naive some can be - like the boy who was then 10 & had his account hacked & it was sending out porn to linked email addresses, including ours - when I let his mum know, she accepted his account that he had accidentally clicked on something - when in truth he frequently boasted in PMs about sites he visited with "hot chicks" & shared porn photos tooShock

RockinHippy · 17/08/2015 12:23

More importantly I've done a fair bit of e safety stuff with DD as I feel that is key

I totally Agee with this ^^^^

We have done the same from a very young age & as a result DD is very sensible with stranger requests - one of her accounts is linked to a YouTube one where she promotes her videos, so she is allowed people she doesn't know as followers & she always comes to me to show me any dodgy request or messages - the obvious ones she has often already reported herself

Auradora12 · 19/08/2015 10:56

Dd (11) has just been allowed Instagram as all of her primary school friends have it and she is going to a different secondary to the majority of them, the rule was that she had to be a friend with me and if I ask she has to show me her page as well. Privacy settings set as high as possible

DS does not want any form of social media (going into Y9) and gets really annoyed with some of the boys in his class as they have tried to encourage him and gone as far as opening a Facebook account on his behalf. When I opened my Instagram and DDs he made it really clear that he doesn't want any photos of him on the site, but he doesn't mind on my Facebook page. He has said he could have any social media he wanted without telling me as he is 13.

We have sat both down and discussed with them the disadvantages and the advantages of social media and made them aware that they can come to us about any dodgy messages and that they should not post without thinking as it could come back to haunt them in the future.

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