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When Should the Kids Have Facebook Accounts?

What ages are appropriate for joining social media sites? Montco Mommy debates.

It is official. My kids have their own Facebook pages. Yes, they are only 5 and 7 now, but in all honesty, they don’t quite “own them” solo just yet.

I set them up, after much request from family, not for them to “Like” random pages, Harlem Shake videos and let’s face it, lots of cute cat photos. Instead, I find it to be a place to chronicle their lives.

Much like my weekly column, I find it to be a nice space to save their daily shenanigans. My children are full of hysterical commentary, and I’ve dubbed them their “-isms.” Fans of my own, personal Facebook page largely tune in strictly to read the latest Seamus-ism or Alora-ism, not so much what I’m doing day-to-day.

Then there are the photos. We take so many photos, and like most busy moms, where do they all go? They go onto a smartcard, of course. And, then what?

I’d love to report that I have rows and rows of leather-bound photo albums, complete with the scrapbooked pages I’d designed in my mind. But, sadly, that is where those pages remain. In my mind…

Instead, a majority of the photos we snap of our darling tots seldom make it off the camera. But, with a family nearly six hours away (and more), we do post a lot to Facebook.

Since it is easily done right from my phone, and since my phone is my “camera” 90 percent of the time, it makes sense. And, don’t get me wrong. It is lovely to share those images on my own page. But now, with the kids having their own pages, we can tag away.

The pages will serve as virtual scrapbooks, to save all of those precious moments (even if mommy got too busy to make a fancy scrapbook).

I’m not sure when I’ll trust them to actually take OWNERSHIP of the pages. But, by then, they’ll have a decade or more of pretty funny childhood photos.

What do you think is the appropriate age to start a page? According to Facebook’s terms of service, you can be as young as 13. I’m not sure it is wise, given news that the Walls can later be used to deny you entry into college or from getting a great job.

I think I’ll be the evil mom I am, and make them wait at least until 16 or maybe 18 to have legit pages, that they run, without supervision. Maybe that sounds harsh, but anything prior to that age will either be stringently watched by Momma or had better be in a fake name. 

What do you think?

andthatsthetruth February 21, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Wait until 16 - 18 years old? Not likely. Unless another new product comes out to replace the Facebook, your oldest child will be using it soon or in jr high years. The group of friends will decide together that they want to talk to each other and share their pics from parties or a trip skiing etc. It's your responsibility to tell them how to use Facebook responsibly. I have dove into my child's face book to see what is going on. It's really something the things you see & written by these childhood friends ( I have known some since babies !) - if their mothers ever knew !! If colleges & employers use Facebook solely to judge these users, I don't think that I would want to be in their school or work there. I know the age of typing, math, & physiological testing is over. Must admit, the idea of keeping photos on there is a nice idea.
Nate Miller February 21, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Start a blog, there is a lot more control over privacy and restricting access. Children should never have accounts on Facebook. Even if it is controlled by the parent, you are setting up your kids for failure down the road when in the future all of these things are available to the companies they apply to jobs for, the colleges they want to get in to. Do you really think that privacy is going to get better? Parents need to be aware that what we do online with our children's names will haunt them down the road. Don't be that parent!!
BigGovtOwebama February 21, 2013 at 06:42 PM
facebook....the KGB could only dream of this!
andthatsthetruth February 21, 2013 at 10:43 PM
I was a parent before they introduced Facebook & the XBOX ~ what's your next suggestion doctor?
Christine DeLaurentis February 22, 2013 at 03:54 AM
My kids won't have a Facebook account until after they are legally allowed to do so. There is no need to have one at this point. If I want to share news or photos involving them to share with friends and family, I will post them on my page. Both kids do have email accounts but all incoming messages are copied to my phone, and I monitor the outgoing messages. When Facebook starts, I will also monitor that as well.
Lisette February 22, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Never, get your a kids a book, and put them sports or get them a hobby that ish is possessed with drama and bs.
Sharon R. February 22, 2013 at 04:09 PM
No, there are safer ways to chronicle your kids' sayings and photos. You are obviously in control of it at this point, but it brings up the issue. Exposure at such early ages to social media, internet gaming, etc. has the potential for such harm to the kids. Technology is great, don't get me wrong! But CARELESS exposure is part of the undoing of the innocence of our kids' early childhood. Please, wake up parents! You're not doing your kids any favors by giving them all of this. They are already under so much peer pressure, and it is adversely affecting them at too early an age.

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