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Parenting teenagers has its ups and downs. Get advice from Mumsnetters here.

Teenagers

Social media

18 replies

onlytuesday · 06/07/2019 13:21

Dd is nearly 13. She's had a phone for a year but not been allowed any social media except WhatsApp up until now.

Myself and dh are keen to keep it this way (given the amount of grief that WhatsApp alone seems to cause 🙄) but are under ALOT of pressure to let her have insta in particular, but also snapchat and tiktok. She keeps saying that on the App Store Instagram is 13+ so that means she's allowed it 🙄

I know that several of her friends do not have any social media, but many of them do. We've always said to her every family has their own rules that are right for them. She understands the reasons we've made our rules and has always respected them and been responsible.

I'm just looking to do a straw poll really, what social media (if any) do you allow your 13yo?

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stillmoving · 06/07/2019 13:26

Mine were allowed to use it at that age. I think teaching them how to use it safely and having a good open relationship is better than a ban which serves no purpose at all. Teach them how to use things properly. Or were you going to wait until they were what age?

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UncomfortableSilence · 06/07/2019 13:30

DD14 has all of those and so do the majority of her friends, we have been very open with her about the not so great side of SM and tried to teach her to use it responsibly.

She went through a stage of being a bit obsessed and has now kind of come out the other side and can take it or leave it and knows that a lot of what's posted is crap.

I try not to ban anything and it seems to be working so far.

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hellypad · 06/07/2019 15:49

Both of mine have them, that's how they chat to their friends, they don't really post much though.

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RedSkyLastNight · 06/07/2019 16:00

13 year old DR has all of those, probably uses snapchat the most. I'd say that all her friends have access to some social media and she would definitely miss out on things if she didn't.

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YeOldeTrout · 06/07/2019 19:43

Yes mine would be allowed.
imho, it's better to teach them to block ignore and only 'friend' nice people rather than think that everyone on SM is a bastard to be distrusted.
Teach them the tools to use SM wisely rather than think they have no ability to manage SM.

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thewalrus · 07/07/2019 13:50

Interesting set of responses. My DD is a bit younger, at 12.5, but we are in similar discussions. She has WhatsApp, really wants Instagram.

I am not keen because I think it serves a different purpose. WhatsApp is primarily a tool for communication, I think, and Insta is more about 'presentation' (as I understand it). I think ultimately the people on here who say that in the end it's about giving your child the trust and tools to use it all responsibly are right, and it will have to happen soon, but I'm holding out for a bit longer at the moment.

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azaleanth90 · 07/07/2019 17:58

Mine is 13 and has insta and whatsapp. Has had them under supervision since 12. I don't like either but every other child in the class uses them - insta for chatting, particularly, and at this age they are peer-group driven. I can't imagine not allowing it in y8 in my kid's school, though other places/people may well be different. I'm pretty shocked at the number of underwear pictures of the girls that are going around, and I think monitoring it is important at this age.

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Geraniumpink · 07/07/2019 23:29

Mine has all of them- she’s 14 and very sensible. Some of the stories she’s told me about what some of her classmates circulate are very worrying though. She uses instagram to follow her interests and snapchat for communicating with friends. It’s a minefield though and a lot depends on how much common sense your child has. On the upside she has made friends of friends with common interests and met up with them in real life.

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Paigexx · 09/07/2019 14:59

It’s what all the kids have these days even adults & it’s not so much HAVING the app it’s about showing kids how to use it safely & monitoring their phone every now and again not all the time cos it looks like you don’t trust her!! When she gets to about 14 then you don’t need to be monitoring her unless you’ve got a reason to? People think social media is this evil place full of bullies etc! Yes it is when you do the wrong things on it if you just keep your friends family and people you know of on your pages you’ll be fine and keep it on private. Arguments etc you can’t really say anything about this as it can happen just as much in real life. Make sure your daughter knows the consequences you’ll give her if she ever tries to speak to strangers etc (Look over her shoulder when you can when she’s on her phone) honestly just let them be babe she’s doing nothing wrong she just wants to chat to her mates with pics etc online and share pics, adults are into it too. Worlds gone social media mad !! 😂

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WhatHaveIFound · 09/07/2019 16:59

It's just how most teens communicate these days. DD was a bit obsessed when she first got SM but things have slowed down now. We have access to her phone so can check at any time.

For my DD it's mostly Instagram & Snapchat though she took a break from the latter for a while as she found it stressful keeping up with her streaks.

Other than that Facebook (wider family members), Twitter (Love Island), WhatsApp/iMessage (immediate family). Very rarely uses email.

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shadypines · 10/07/2019 21:22

There will be advice leaflets out there (try your library) about social media, I remember receiving one but can't remember where from (sorry) which will have some good general advice. The watchword is GENERAL though for all children and you know your child best, it's a case of weighing it all up. Is it worth letting her have one of these things eg insta, at a time and see how she gets on with it for maybe a month or two? If she's getting obsessed with it to her detriment then you could hold off with other stuff and explain why. My biggies would be is it affecting her moods, communication with family, socialising, wanting to do other stuff (hobbies, excercise etc) and homework.
Sorry I've not directly answered your question but mine are much older now and I can't remember what they had at 13, I just made sure I followed the age advice for these things though and trusted my own judgement.

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boxlikeamarchhare · 10/07/2019 21:28

Dd is 13 and as of last week only has WhatsApp. She did have Instagram and Snapchat but I deleted them.

Deleted because she couldn’t keep to the 2.5 hours max a day screen time rule. After looking at a ridiculous amount of screen time for the third week in a row I asked what she actually used them for.

Her friends don’t have them and I think she was just looking at pouting fashionable people online, losing hours a week in the vacuous process.

So I deleted them, nothing useful was coming out of them and I hated seeing her waste hours on them.

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Oblomov19 · 10/07/2019 21:35

Ds1 has had access to all since he started secondary. There had never been a problem.

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Mac47 · 10/07/2019 22:04

Dd is going into y9 and only has what's app. She doesn't want anything else, she's not interested in social media, so it's been very self regulating here.

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HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend · 11/07/2019 07:39

Ds has snap chat and instagram, we have strict settings and we checks his friends lists randomly.

Tiktok not a hole in hells change would I allowed this for my children, children are being targeting/groomed through music.

www.change.org/p/change-org-raise-the-minimum-age-to-16-on-tiktok-it-s-inappropriate-we-need-to-protect-our-children

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Spinderellacutituponetime · 11/07/2019 07:52

I would hold off as long as you can getting Instagram, it’s so focused on image and looks and #livingthebestlife bullshit. So many unhealthy messages. The mental health issues associated with social media are only just becoming apparent. If you do chose to allow your child access I would say monitor very closely and ask yourself if they have the emotional maturity to cope with the constant bombardment of perfection.

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ExpletiveDelighted · 11/07/2019 07:57

My 15yo has none and isn't interested. My 13yo has Whatsapp and Insta and after an initial flurry of interest barely uses them at all. They text their friends to organise to meet up.

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