Age Limit??!!

Nadia - posted on 03/03/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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So I've recently read an interesting artical in a parenting magazing that had me and my hubby debating this issue. Is it OK to let your child have Facebook before they are 13? My understanding is that you must be `13 years of age before you can create an account, so some parents are fudging the age of their kids... their reasoning? "because my kids best freind has it" "i don't want my child to be left behind" etc. Is this ok or totally wrong??? What does this teach our children? That it's ok to lie about your age to get what you want? Anybody have thoughts on this? Have you done this and whats you're reasons? My oldest is only 4 so we don't have to deal with this yet, but i'm interested to see what other parents are doing in these technologically savvy times.

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I know of someone who's children range in age of about 2 or 3 to about 10 i think he has a FB page for all of his children even though the younger ones wouldn't have a clue on how to use it. I know he set those accounts up to look at other peoples pages that have him blocked. I think there are rules for a reason. I also think that some children are mature enough and ready before others.

Jodi - posted on 03/03/2011

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My son got a FB account when he was 11. It was pretty much just to keep in touch with family, including his grandparents, and he like to play Scrabble with my mum. I was the only one with a password. He doesn't have access to it unless I am around, and unless I am supervising. I am one of his friends. Even now, at 13, he STILL doesn't have his FB password, and I monitor it. If he removes me as a friend, he loses the page. Simple.

Actually, it has been handy - they have a group for their football team, where we can keep up to date with what is happening with the team, training times, etc. I do think there is a place for it for under 13's, but ONLY if supervised.

Laura - posted on 03/03/2011

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If my kids wanted to play the games they can on my account. 13 is the rule and I don't want my kids to think it's ok to break the rule. Although my oldest is only 4 so I don't have to worry about it for a while.

And Deanna you are only supposed to have one account so really you may not be lying but you are breaking the rules. :) (not that I really care, I have thought about creating a second one just for games but I just thought I would point it out)

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Bonnie - posted on 03/04/2011

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My kids have a long way to go. Facebook may not even be around by then, but I think supervised it would be okay.

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My 8 year-old daughter shares an account with my hubby's stepdad (who we see a lot since hubby's mom and stepdad watch the kids when I need Mommy breaks). He goes on *maybe* once a month or so to chat with old high school buddies (who are alos only on once a month or so...), so my daughter uses it the majority of the time. Only her grandpa and I know the password, so she can't get on by herself and she knows to always ask before going on (if she knew the password). She plays 2 games (approved by me) and only has family and close friends (my friends) on the friends list. She really enjoys chatting with my mom and sister on there in the mornings :) I really think it's funny that the name on the account is her grandpa's but the picture is of Silvermist (one of the Disney Fairies)... :D

Stifler's - posted on 03/03/2011

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Or he's an obsessed parent who has a profile or fan page for their kid or dog. I have a few of those on my Facebook, who have made a profile for their baby or dog and requested friendship. I'm just like... DENIED. I'm not friends with your kid or your dog...!

Stifler's - posted on 03/03/2011

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Meh. I had myspace before whatever age limit they have on it and MSN. I only added people I knew in real life. My parents knew nothing of it and we got 1 hour on the computer at a time and we had to get off if anyone wanted to do something actually productive on there like an assignment. The computer was in the loungeroom anyway too. We all had the password to our own stuff and set it up ourselves.

Tara - posted on 03/03/2011

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My 14 year old got his at 12, yes I fudged his birthday when I set it up and showed him how to use it and laid down the ground rules.
I also lie about my kids ages for other things. For instance there is monthly homeschooling gathering at a very cool outdoor center. We attend occasionally, and when we do there are always tons of different aged kids. This center also does school trips where all the kids are the same age cause they're all in the same grade (within at least 18 months of each other) so when we go to this place, sometimes the kids fudge their age a year up or down so they can be in a group with their homeschooled friends. Often in homeschooling circles kids are friends with kids who are not the same age, they relate better to older or younger etc. so because often we only see some of these families once a month, we all agree to allow the kids to fudge their age when they sign up for stuff, unless the age limit is there because of safety issues. The staff all know we do this, they don't care, as long as they are not told directly, lol
No biggie for us, our kids know that people lie, people fudge things a little here a little there. I speed, they know I speed. They also know I don't speed so much they are ever in danger.
There is a 3 way stop near my in-laws, you can see both directions at all times, they live on a dirt road in the middl of farm country, we do the whole "rolling stop" thing, they know why I can do it there but not anywhere else.

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My 9 year olds have none of those gadgets and won't until they can pay for them on their own. W/ the cell phone exception since we don't have a landline... I WILL be getting them one before I leave them home alone. ;)

I thought I heard you aren't supposed to have more than one Facebook account....... Is that true? Can anyone tell me?

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We did this one. A few times actually. However, I will post a summary of what I did last time.

yes it is fine to have a FB account before 13 if used properly. Yes you have to be 13 in order to create one. No I don't and haven't "fudged" about my kids ages either. My youngest 3 have a shared account. They are 3, 4, & 7. I used MY e-mail account and MY birthday. Therefore it is really MY 2nd FB account.
I don't care if their friends have it. My kids aren't left behind if they didn't have it. My kids have it so they can play some of the zynga games when they are done with their homeschooling work as well as keeping in closer contact with family that lives out of state or that they just don't get to see that much. Since I lam not "lying" to get what I want then I guess it doesn't really matter what I do with my 2nd FB account does it? As for what it is teaching my kids. It is teaching my kids that being online and playing games, keeping up with family and being safe CAN go hand in hand. However, have you bought your child a DS? How about a PSP? Or even a cell phone? I have seen kids as young as 4 or 5 playing with all of these and the parents think nothing of it. However, they can just as easily get online with those games as they can if you create a FB account.
Once my kids each get old enough to have their own FB acct. then they will get one with their name on it. However, I will still get final say on who they allow as friends and their settings. I will still monitor them and what they do. I also won't allow electronics in their rooms like a lot of parents do.

Jenn - posted on 03/03/2011

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I personally think 13 is too young. I will not allow my kids to have one before 13 for sure - when they are 13 we'll decide based on their own maturity/responsibility level.

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My son is 6 yrs old and he asked for a fb account the other day!! Of course I said "No Way" but I was floored.
I do let him use the "chat" box on my account to chat with his grandparents and our friends overseas, so I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised, but I was stunned to hear that several of his little classmates have one--they are in Kindergarten!

I know several 10-12 year olds who have fb accounts, but I honestly don't know how I will handle it. Obviously, I have a few years to figure it out, but lets say when he's 10 or 12 he asks for one. On one hand, I am a stickler for the rules and don't like the idea of letting him "lie" about his age, on the other hand, I don't want him "left behind" and I feel that I probably have a better idea about whether he can handle a fb account and at what age than anyone else. It's not like he's going to magically become more mature and informed on his 14th birthday......but that is the rule, and I'll probably follow it.

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My girls are only 9. They will not have a Facebook page before turning 13.... and maybe not even then (ask me again in 4 years). Some of their classmates have a page... so what?

It's not ok to lie regardless of the 'reasons'. Not saying I have never lied or will never lie (I'm certainly NOT perfect), but I'm trying to teach my kids the importance of honesty and lying just because you disagree w/ a rule is wrong.

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