Family · Parenting · Son · Web/Tech

Facebook is good, bad and other.

My son wants to be on Facebook.

Sigh.

His school decided to have someone come in and talk to all the kids about being safe on Facebook and guess what? Now everyone in his grade wants to be on there. Most of these kids didn't even know it existed until the 'talk' and now it's the place to be.

I had always told my kids that they couldn't be on Facebook until they were thirteen but that's still ten months away for my son. 

I'm on Facebook. My fifteen year old daughter is on Facebook. When my son tells me EVERYONE he knows is on there he's not kidding. I've looked and most of his buddies really are on there.

I don't know what to do.

I do know enough about the privacy settings on FB to limit his activities. I suppose I could demand my son's password and go on there regularly to check on what he's up to.

My son is going to get on Facebook eventually. I'm afraid that he may go on there without my knowledge if I clamp down and so no to him now. But he still seems too young to be on there for my comfort. I'm afraid of who my son might meet on the internet and what he might learn.

But I also realize that my boy is smart and I also know that I have to trust him and let him grow too.

Blah.

I still don't know what I'm going to do. I'm really torn on this one.

Double blah.

7 thoughts on “Facebook is good, bad and other.

  1. Hard call. My inclination would be a firm no but then every child is different. The classic line … if everyone jumped off the bridge, would you? … or just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to … good luck with your decision. Kids are kids and we do have to have trust in them but I do think that is too young. I’d be furious with the school for giving such a talk with out an opt – out option for the parents to sign. Of course they all want to get on there if they are curious now.
    Good luck 🙂
    Tanya

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  2. I’d talk with other parents and see what they think about this school talk too. Just a thought. I agree with internet safety talks but not to pump up a social networking site which clearly would drum up more members!
    Tanya

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  3. My daughter is on Facebook. First, your son won’t be allowed to register until he’s 13 so you’ve got some time. What I did with my daughter is that I had a long talk with her about Facebook AND all other kinds of Internet safety and smart-use issues (like pretending to be someone else online, chatting with strangers, sexting, verbal tauting/bullying etc.)…
    Then, when she turned 13, we sat there together to create her account. I told her never to touch the Privacy settings, and I made her give me her password.
    I (still) go in about twice a week to check to see what she’s doing, who she’s talking to, I deleted 80 stupid applications last week, and every time there’s a change to the settings, I take care of my account AND her account. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it. And it’s not going to go away… better we know the technology and keep one step ahead of it, than hide from it and try to discourage our kids from using it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me, I’m a pro now 🙂

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  4. All three of my kids are on Facebook. Make sure that your son accepts you as a friend. You can keep an eye on the things that he posts. And, if you’re really concerned, set a password on the computer that only you know and allow him certain times to go on. That’s what I do with my 12 year old son. He’ll be 13 in March. Try to trust him but, nonchalantly keep an eye on him. That’s what I do. If there is something questionable with his posts, I confront him about it. It’s never easy being a mom! Hang in there!
    Hugs,
    Erica

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  5. My 14 year old and is not on FB. Only because his grades suck and I figure he really doesn’t need another distraction. I told him when his grades are acceptable he may be on FB. And I WILL be his friend, no exceptions on that!!!

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  6. Facebook is tough. My daughter is 10 and she has a number of peers who are on Facebook. Fortunately, she hasn’t expressed a desire as yet so I am holding on as long as I can. If you do feel he must be there, set up the account with him so you can enforce privacy settings and insist that he “friend” you. At least you can track what he is doing that way.

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  7. This is all very good advice, so I won’t offer any more. I will wish you good luck, though, and remind you that no matter how we fight the things in our kids lives that we’d rather they not deal with, those things will find them somehow and it’s always a bonus for you if your kids feel comfortable in the way you’ve handled previous situations and they can come to you with anything.

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