My kids ( 9 & 11) both have friends and family that are on social media. Both my wife and I are online also, but we don’t feel they should be on social media yet.
Facebook has a limit of 13 years old, which is fine with me, but that doesn’t mean that at 13 my kids will be allowed to be on Facebook. Then you have Twitter, I am active on Twitter and like it a lot, my kids will NOT be on it any time soon. Let’s face it, there are some very nice people on Twitter but some of the content is very obscene. To be fair this is NOT limited to Twitter either.
So, the purpose of this post. Well, my kids have been asking and recently they asked about Instagram. I used to use Instagram but disabled my account to stay with Flickr, but I could understand them wanting to have this on their iPods. My wife and I discuss this over the weekend and I asked on Twitter for thoughts also, I appreciate the feedback from friends about it.
Our decision, yes. My wife and I are a partnership and our kids know that we talk things out and don’t act alone on issues involving them. They also know that we respect each other completely and “have each other’s back“. These are things that we would like our kids to learn and to expect to be part of life.
So, I created the accounts for my kids and they already have emails (really they are forward accounts that go to me). I then turn their accounts to private photos so that people have to be approved access to follow them. Of course, my wife and I followed them. We then added some of their friends and family. We have already explained the dangers of social media to them and repeat these warnings to them. I also want them to understand that things can live forever on the Internet and are very hard to remove.
We felt this is a good way for them to start social media besides some of the child specific services that we let them use.
The purpose of this post is to get a conversation going about having kids on social media, what age do you think is appropriate for your kids, what limits do you have or would have you in place. How will you monitor it? I will be talking more on these as they start, they do not know yet but will find out today after school.
Looking forward to hearing and communicating with other parents about this.