Should I keep allowing my 12-year-old daughter going on Facebook w/ 16-year-olds?

Rebecca - posted on 10/08/2014 ( 23 moms have responded )

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Due to the past experiences with my 8-year-old, I'm pretty worried about my older one too. She has a Facebook account. She begged me for one, but I ONLY allow her to add people she knows. I don't monitor her online because when she's home, I'm at work. Whenever I catch her online, I ALWAYS ask what she's been doing. She's added some 16-year-olds who used to go to elementary school w/ her and they haven't seen each other in years. She has some kids in her class on Facebook, too, and also some from other schools. She talks to a 16-year-old boy on Facebook, and some girls too.

I don't want to tell my daughter to delete them. I've always taught her to be friends with GOOD people, not bad ones.

Once she showed me an older girl's Twitter profile picture. She was wearing lots of makeup and leaning against herself. That girl also has her nose and belly pierced, etc. Should I allow this to continue.... ? I personally don't want to get into a fight with her but i'm the parent here, and I need to know about her social circles and who she likes to hang out with.

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Rebecca - posted on 10/13/2014

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Dear Sarah,
I've spoken to my daughter again. I would definately NOT allow her to go somewhere with them unsupervised. She's in grade 7, so I told her that I'd like her to hang out with kids from her school. She argued with me for a while, but then she finally gave up. She's been hanging out with them since she was a 2nd grader, and I was paranoid about letting my used-to-be 7yo daughter hanging out with sixth graders. Now they're senior high-schoolers.
I asked her if she has any friends her own age, she said not very many. Her 8yo cousin had the same situation, but she's also a bit of a daughter of mine because we're very close. I also explained that when she's an 9th-grader and 14-years old, they'll be 18-year-olds. I also asked her why she likes them and she says they relate to her better than kids her age.

Elsa - posted on 10/10/2014

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As long as you know who she is talking to keeping the communication open with her and reason with her she will make the rite choices. Also as long as she understands that you are the parent.

Ev - posted on 10/08/2014

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I have to back Dove on this one as well as Sarah (spelling...sorry if wrong, been sick). You can not tell us that you can not ban your daughter from the PC. As they said its YOUR JOB to make sure she is on and going to appropriate places online. These social outlets online are not for KIDS. I did not want my son to have one but at 13 his dad and step mom thought it was okay before even asking my thoughts on the matter. Their excuse was that they thought it would help me and him stay in touch. Well, that was a thoughtful idea but not one I would have thought of to stay in touch. I was about to close my facebook down at that time and then had to stay on for the next five years to keep up with his and yes, I am a friend on his facebook so I see all of his stuff. Lucky for me he was not much into the social part of it and wanted to play the games more than socialize. What we are telling you is that the adult content on FAcebook is not for her eyes or "ears" so to speak and she might find it cute and funny and not understand what its all about. She might end up getting into something where she gets bullied. Did you not see the stories on the news in the past few years where kids committed suicide because they got bullied on facebook but did not tell family to get help? I am not trying to scare you here but just inform you what could happen. Even another scary one is she meets this guy on there who could be 16 but in reality is an adult man looking to score a young girl after he gets "to know" her and sets up a meeting. Its time to think about things rather than leave excuses like not to fight with her, your work schedule is when she is on and you can not be home to monitor her, and you can ban her from the computer and have it say locked away.

23 Comments

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Moose - posted on 11/24/2014

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The required age to be on Facebook is 14 (I think), so maybe you should ask her about what she does on there and also ask her if you can take a look at what she is posting and who she is following. If she lets you do this freely; you can definitely trust her. If not, who knows what she's doing?

Sarah - posted on 10/13/2014

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I am not sure what you want from the post anymore. You stated "Due to the past experiences with my 8-year-old, I'm pretty worried about my older one too."
Why?
You are the mother here and you don't need anyone here to validate your choices. If you are comfortable with your 12yo having unsupervised access to Facebook and Twitter, having online friends outside her peer group and not personally knowing the kids she is communicating with, that is your decision.
I don't agree with you. You can tell me how great these older kids are and how much they have in common with your daughter and I still will feel the same way.
You daughter is a girl, she should not be a Facebook, and there must be other kids her age that she can "relate too".

Sarah - posted on 10/12/2014

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I still think at 12, girls should never be online without constant supervision. Whether or not these older kids are interested in talking with your daughter, you don't know them personally. Would you let her hop in the car and go somewhere with them ?
If you won't pull the plug then remember; for every friend she has on Facebook, your daughter can look at each page, all of their posts, pictures and comments from the people that each user is friends with. It's not just her page you have to look at, you would have to go to each friend she has and inspect all of the posts, pictures and comments on their pages. It is like that old shampoo commercial "I told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on and so on....until you have 64 friends hearing the news" (probably not the best analogy)
You daughter is a child, and she won't be much longer. Childhood is agonizingly brief, why rush it by befriending a group that as she goes into high school, will be off to college?
Of course many teens are trustworthy. However, I would not trust any child to communicate with my preteen unless I knew them personally.

Rebecca - posted on 10/12/2014

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Dear Everyone,
I've spoken to my daughter and asked whar they like to do. She says she spells in a way she likes to like. "Whuut us dat". HOWEVER they seem interested in talking w/ her

Brittany - posted on 10/10/2014

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Technology is a big issue with teenagers. I think it is good that you are wanting to protect your daughters. Have you ever heard of Net Nanny? It is a Parental Controls Software that helps protect our kids from online dangers. It has a really cool social network monitoring feature that allows you as the parent to monitor their friends, posts, pictures, etc. I don't have kids yet so this isn't something I have used personally, but I have friends that use it and really like it.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/10/2014

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Way to show your child that RULES don't apply to her. You didn't enforce the facebook site rule of 13 OR OLDER, so why do you think attempting to enforce an age limit on her 'friends' is going to work?

What you SHOULD do is tell her you made a mistake, and that she needs to deactivate her account until she's 13, at which time, she will ONLY be allowed to friend her peers (those children who actually DO attend school with her, within a 2 year limit. Tell her that you didn't pay attention to FB rules, and that was a mistake, but that you want her to help you abide by the rules until she's 13.

You can't ignore one rule, and expect her to follow others...

Rebecca - posted on 10/09/2014

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Dear Evelyn,
Oops! I used the name Rebecca because Rebecca is my DAUGHTER'S name, not mine. I thought it was my name. I'm being careful about what he says. She mainly talks to the older girls instead though. She's been talking to a 16 year old girl too, and they are always talking about what they have in common which I do not think they have much in common.

Ev - posted on 10/09/2014

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Rebecca,

He is 16 years old. He is almost considered a legal adult. And he will be in two years. I still can not understand what a 12 year old and a 16 year old would have in common. Its fine to be friends but what if he decides differently? You do not know what goes on in the minds of teen guys this age. I have a son that age. So I do have an idea what boys this age think. And its not about 12 year old girls and their interests. All I am saying is to be careful.

Rebecca - posted on 10/09/2014

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Dear Evelyn,
I was just having a talk with her. Don't worry, the 16yo is NOT a man. He and my daughter used to go to school together, and he was a 7th grader when she met him. Not all teenagers are bad.

Rebecca - posted on 10/09/2014

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Dear Dove,
I'm looking forward to know more about her friends. I've asked her questions like "Who are your nice friends?" "What do you guys do for fun?" "Would you like me to go with you sometime?". You're certainly right, NO CHILD needs to be unsupervised online.

Elsa - posted on 10/08/2014

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I don't blame you for worrying. Your motherly instincts want to protect her and the best for her.plus you love her. They are young and innocent and sometimes they don't see things clearly like we do. Because we lived longer we are their light and their guide.

Dove - posted on 10/08/2014

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And you most certainly can ban her from the computer if she does not listen to your rules. I get that you have to work... but your daughter needs a parent available to parent her.

Dove - posted on 10/08/2014

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No 12 year old belongs on Facebook... and no child/preteen/teenager should be allowed unsupervised access online. You should at the LEAST have her log in information and be checking up on it regularly.

Not all teens are bad. My daughter is about to be 13 and one of her best friend's just turned 16... and is a GREAT kid.

You NEED to know your child's friends, where your kids are, who they are hanging with, and what they are doing... That's your job.

Whether or not she should or should not socialize w/ these kids is something you will have to determine once you start appropriately monitoring your child and getting to know her friends.

Rebecca - posted on 10/08/2014

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Dear Sarah,
Since there isn't any specific reason for her to hang out with high school students, then I'd have to say, NO. I saw a note my 12yo wrote to a 16 year old on ask.fm that says "I guess we have some things in common" and the older student replied "LOL I guess so". I told her that it's okay for a 12yo to hang out with a 16yo SOMETIMES, but it's not appropriate for them to hang out all the time. A phone call might be acceptable. She's been hanging out with these older teenagers since she was 8(3rd grade!)

Rebecca - posted on 10/08/2014

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Dear Evelyn,
I tell her to get off the computer and go outside sometimes, but I can't ban her from the computer. I have a rule: I limit her computer time! That's what I think too. What does a 16 year old have in common with a 12 year old girl? She says there are no other ways to hang out with them since they're high schoolers, and she's a seventh grader.

Rebecca - posted on 10/08/2014

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Dear Elsa,

I know that some older teens are not sexual. I'm just worried about her ....

Sarah - posted on 10/08/2014

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Kids grow up too fast! Facebook is not a children's social media website. The only child of mine that has an account is 18, the rest are not allowed at 15, 12, 10. What does she do on Facebook that she cannot accomplish thru other methods. You should have her ID and password and check her wall, posts and friends. Kids have terrible judgement and she may not even realize the adult nature of content she is exposed to on these teens accounts. 16 yo have very little in common with 12 yo.

Ev - posted on 10/08/2014

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Why is your 12 year old on Facebook at all? THe site expressly says that its for people 13 and over though I think even 13 is too young for Facebook. Social media is not all its cracked up to be. If not handled well by someone, it can cause a lot of unneeded and unwanted drama. I would pull the plug. She can socialize with her friends other ways and besides what do 16 year olds have in common with a 12 year old.

Elsa - posted on 10/08/2014

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Just be aware that 16 yrs olds of course not all of them are asexually active. I work in high school and you would be surprised what they talk about. Some are pregnant. Maybe I'm old fashion but kids are truelly changing. I'm from the sixties and its truelly a different world. A lot of advancement. Some for the good and some for the bad.

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