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Oct232012

Social Media and Kids: When Will You Let Yours Join?

Our kids are growing up in a digital world, thriving in a digital world, and also suffering in a digital world. As a teen, some of them are making mistakes that they can never undo, whether that is being a cyber bully, posting nude images of themselves that end up being spread like wildfire on the Internet or getting caught on video doing something they shouldn't be doing and having it exposed online.



At Blissdom Canada, Bonnie Stewart (@bonstewart) spoke about Who We Are When We Are Online . At the end of her presentation, one attendee asked her for her opinion on when children should join social media. Bonnie answered that her six year old son already has a twitter account. It is a locked account and he is only following a handful of family members and close friends. She feels that it is a good way for him to practice his spelling/writing and to keep in touch with her while she is away at conferences. Even more importantly, it also gives him an opportunity to learn about using social media at an age when he is still comfortable with his parents being involved in the process. That way they can guide him, watch him make mistakes and discuss them, and put limits on it. By the time he is a teen, when social media can become all-consuming and problematic and when kids start wanting more privacy from their parents, he is hopefully savvy enough to not get into trouble. (updated to add that Bonnie also wrote about the session and her son's use of social media on her blog)

I also spent a lot of time talking to Candace Alper (@NameYourTuneCDs), whose nine year old daughter Hannah has a blog called Call Me Hannah. She writes a lot about environmental and health issues and about the things that inspire her.

Last year, I decided it was time for my kids to get e-mail accounts. I wanted to get them set up on gmail, but ran up against its terms of service which specify that you need to be 13 years old to get a Google Account. So, we went with hotmail instead. Facebook also has a minimum age of 13 years old. Twitter doesn't have a minimum age. Tumblr also goes with age 13. But my kids know about these other spaces and are active in them, even if they don't personally have accounts. My son will ask me to put a video of him singing on facebook or my daughter will ask to share a nice picture of the two of us on twitter. I then read them the comments and reactions that come in. If I don't know the answer to a question they are asking, they'll sometimes ask me to poll my online friends and see if they know the answer.  But why should I always have to be the conduit?

Why don't these sites allow children under 13 to join? The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act in the United States (and similar legislation in some other countries) requires commercial websites that are directed at children to obtain parental consent before collecting information about children under the age of 13. Is this a good thing? Absolutely. However, it doesn't mean that websites have to prohibit the use of their site by anyone under the age of 13. It simply means that they can't collect information about those children unless they obtain the consent of their parents.

Most of our real-life family and friends aren't on twitter, so that doesn't seem like a good place for my kids to start . Most of them are on facebook though. I'm not comfortable, however, telling my kids that it is okay to lie about their age to get access to a service that they are not legally allowed to use. I would love to get Google accounts and facebook accounts for my kids and would love if these companies recognized the increased drive for kids to be digitally involved and found a way to make their space more welcoming and safe for those kids.

For example, facebook could have higher privacy restrictions on the accounts of children. Google could build different filters into search when a child is logged in versus when an adult is logged in. Instead of blocking out digital kids and then tossing them into the sea when they turn 13 years old, these social media companies could become the partners of parents who want to raise good social citizens. But, as usual, they probably aren't in it for the same reasons we are. They don't want to create good social citizens and help protect our children. They simply want to make money and blocking access to anyone under 13 is the easiest way to do that.

I want to hear from you. At what age will you let your kids be involved in social media? What restrictions or monitoring would you put on their use? Do you think facebook and Google and other sites should change their policies and allow children under the age of 13 to join?

Image credit: Mads Boedker on flickr
« Mommy Blogger, Mummy Blogger; I'm Not, She Is | Main | Social Media Analytics Boot Camp at Blissdom Canada »

References (2)

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    PhD in Parenting - PhD in Parenting - Social Media and Kids: When Will You Let Yours Join?
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    PhD in Parenting - PhD in Parenting - Social Media and Kids: When Will You Let Yours Join?

Reader Comments (47)

That is a really good question. I haven't even thought of it yet. My 5 year old does play games on the computer but they do not have a social aspect to it. I don't think I can even put an age on it. I think it would have to do with their maturity. It would come with lots of rules and monitoring from us though.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNolie

I set up my kids' google accounts with my own information but used their actual names for their email addresses. Since I set them up as belonging to me they don't have any issues with access. They are 8 and 9 and have had them a couple of years now. My son has emailed our local state senator and a "pen pal" with the same heart condition as him who lives in Florida. Not a lot of nine year olds with half a heart living local.

Both kids email their grandparents. They love youtube but we are downright fascist in our supervision of that. Our kids have been comfortable with a mouse since preschool and can figure out tech fast, but we limit all screen time. Facebook is coming, but I think we'll do a family page or something like that.

I'm trying to figure this out now, before the tween years hit. I've been working on a blog with my son, but he loses interest fast. I'll see if my daughter has any interest in it now that she's a little older and more social. We see the child therapist today, maybe I'll add this to my list of out-of-session questions, but since one of them is how or if I should tell my son and daughter that our 3 year old friend with the same heart defect died last week while my son is seeing a therapist for his own fear of mortality, I'm not sweating the tech as much as I might otherwise. . .

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Rose Adams

honestly Bonnie made me re-think my thoughts on it completely - I have been afraid of having my kids online too much but it was like a lightbulb came on in my head when Bonnie spoke and now I would very much like to get my kids started. My boys have their own blogs but they are private. I would really like facebook to have a setting like you suggested- that would be ideal. I am not comfortable lying about their ages to get them their own accounts but think that 13 is a ridiculous age limit.

Thanks for this post- you further clarified some things for me!

Also it was great to see you this weekend :)

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertarasview

With my 14-year-old son, the kids' father (my ex) knew what my feelings were regarding our "underage" son having a Facebook account and signed him up for one anyway. Our son is up until all hours of the night on Facebook when he goes to his father's for a visitation weekend and nothing is ever done on that end about "policing" our son's access. I get to deal with the fall-out with the lack of sleep issues and the impact on his ADHD. His Aspergers also basically annihilates any kind of filter, tact or discretion, so we have had instances where my son claims to have been savagely bullied on Facebook, but a more careful investigation on my part shows that my son is more often the instigator than the victim. Either way, the manner in which young people "speak" to one another nowadays leaves a very sour taste in my mouth.

My 9-year-old daughter wants to blog, and have her own accounts on Facebook and Twitter. I was very much against her being "online" at this age because of what has happened with her older brother, but after listening to Bon's talk at Blissdom on Saturday, and the fact that my daughter does not spend as much time with her father for him to be an interfering influence in that regard, I may soften my stance, just a little. If she blogs, it will probably be as a guest poster on mine.

Lots to think about, for sure!

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

It was great to see you too, Tara! You always light up whatever room you're in. :)

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Great post. This is a lot to think about. And it just made me create an email address for my daughter. She's only 3.5 now, but will want to use it someday. I love the idea of her starting on twitter when she's young enough to have me help guide her through it. I really hadn't considered that before.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCasey

As soon as they're interested - as long as you're monitoring online - which is a virtual playground - just like you do at the real live playground. Kids are growing up in an online world. You aren't doing them any service by banning them from learning to live in it safely.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRandi Chapnik Myers

Like Tara, my thinking was completely turned around by @bonstewart response to that audience member question. My oldest daughter (10) LOVES to write and correspond with others (apple doesn't fall far from the tree). And while I haven't allowed her a texting device, we did open an email account her last year. She uses it to send funny pictures and clip art to her friends and family and/or share good news. I hold the password, so she needs to ask to be signed in. After returning from Blissdom, I activated a twitter account for her. I want to walk her through the social media world while she's still open to my influence and doesn't regard it as an attempt to snuff her teenage independence. It was really eye-opening for me and when I came home and shared the perspective with my husband, he was completely in agreement.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

The kids have email addresses but they have hardly anyone to send email to except occasionally our old Montreal friends. Sometimes they blog a little on our family blog. But they're not even remotely interested at the ages of 8 and 6.

I found Bonnie's answer about her son and twitter thought-provoking too. Your post and the questions it asks are things I think about a lot lately, as my daughter is 10. She hasn't expressed an interest in having her own email, facebook, or twitter accounts yet. She and her friends are much more interested in climbing trees at the moment. But when she expresses an interest, I will walk her through all the pros and cons and privacy in's and out's of these tools. If she still wants them, then I will help her open up the accounts.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoffee with Julie

I signed my older son and daughter up for google accounts before there was a minimum age (or if there was one, maybe I did it anyway, knowing that babies were not going to call me out for lying) mainly because I wanted to "reserve" the address. Now my oldest uses that account to email our close friends and to respond to birthday party invitations and receive RSVPs for his party. That was really fun for him. Like someone else above, I have the password, so we are online together.

But now I have a third and I think I'm going to use my birthdate to get him a google account with his name in it.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren L

I like your idea that you're introducing your children to electronic media when they're younger and more open to your involvement and instruction. That's very responsible parenting, and I hope it pays off. My concern is about the kids whose parents can't provide that level of involvement, who themselves aren't savvy or responsible online, and who might simply approve an account and never check in again. I teach in a school where parents like that are in the majority, and the kind of teaching that you're advocating is almost non-existant. The internet can be a very dangerous place for children. They are susceptible not only to predators, but also to marketing. Furthermore, if there aren't parents actively involved, children's screen-time hours are going to skyrocket. This also makes me very uncomfortable. I would prefer that Facebook and other social media sites remain off limits to children for the time being. If they do begin to open their sites to children, I think it's very important not to offer accounts aimed at children unless there are VERY strict security settings and absolutely no marketing of any kind. (That includes peer reviews, etc.)

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie B.

It was great to finally meet you Annie! I too had a light bulb moment while listening to Bonnie Stewart. What she said completely made sense. We are teaching them to communicate in person, why not teach them how to do it online? And that night when I got home, my son asked if I received his text (we gave him my old iphone to use with wifi in the house, mostly to play games). I didn't receive his text, because the phone is not hooked up, but my husband then said, "Maybe he should have a twitter account. He could have tweeted you." By now the light bulb was flashing on and off! I would like for him to have a twitter account, but to be honest I'm really unsure with who he could follow. Any suggestions? I am totally with you about not teaching them to break the law by signing up for facebook, but how else are these kids going to learn?

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

I don't see why kids younger than 13 should be on Facebook or be encouraged to be on Facebook (though my 5 year old is aware enough of it to ask that I post a pic of this or that on FB). To this "Instead of blocking out digital kids and then tossing them into the sea when they turn 13 years old..." I think it would be parents "tossing them into the sea" or not. My intention is, if the child is interested at the time it is legal, she could participate with my supervision. Just because FB says 13 year olds can have accounts, Mama might not say a 13 year old can have an unsupervised account. 13 is YOUNG, man. Then again, I am not a huge enthusiast of electronic media for children in general (and I am a graphic designer and web designer). I think it can really stunt the creative mind. My M.O. is to put it off as long as possible and wait for the child to make the requests and then, proceed hand-in-hand with her. I lean toward the Caitlin Flanagan school of thought on the web for young girls—no internet in the bedroom, things like that. And I think there's a way families can handle this without looking like jailkeepers. In our home now, my husband and I are typically in the living room/common space with our laptops and so I'd have the same expectation of my teen.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen Powers

Great read Annie...

I recently wrote an article on..If you don't know technology you can't parent your Teens properly...i believe the learning for everyone involved, parents included should start young...This is the world we only just started to learn about...But is the world that our children are growing up in...

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdee brun

I should clarify that I sometimes...and I mean VERY occasionally, like once a month or every six weeks or something (or less)...play a game on my iPod touch (long car rides, particularly long dining situations, but not every one) and I let her type on computer keyboards to look at letters and such and I have created a blog for her that will showcase her schoolwork, but HER engagement at this stage of her life is 98% in the physical off-screen world and I hope to keep it that way as long as possible.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen Powers

It's not a popular thing for me to admit, but my son has had a Facebook account since before he was born. We used that space to document the pregnancy in a fun way (sharing info as the baby) and then kept it open since, though we don't use it as much. I fully intend to use that account to teach him Facebook when the time comes.

I know many parents feel that waiting is the better answer, but I have felt the same as Bonnie for a long time. Social media is now integrated in our lives - for you to the extent that your kids are aware of your activity. That is awesome that you're including them in the decisions you make about what to share about them. I'm actually looking forward to the day when I have similar discussions with my son.

We teach children things early in life that we want them to hold on to for the long term. Habits, values, ways of doing things. Why would social media be any different? Given the abundance of high profile negative stories recently, I actually feel that a little "civil disobedience" in lying about age is worth it to empower my child to better handle the social realm when he reaches an age of interest - from awareness of privacy settings, to ramifications around what is share to how to handle content from others and so much more.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Hi Annie! Thanks for including me and my blog in your post. I don't have Facebook or Twitter accounts but I have been blogging on Wordpress since the end of June. What I love about blogging is that I can share my experiences and my passions, what's inspiring and important to me. A blog post can be photo's like Wordless Wednesday or a video or a big blog post about something that I want to write about. I think of my blog like a journal where I can write and share it with more people. Like Twitter and Facebook people are having a conversation, I also have a conversation through my blog. When people leave comments I reply back to them. This summer I went to sleepover camp for the first time and I wrote a post about it and asked for advice because I was nervous about being homesick. I got great advice and people made feel really good and excited! All the posts about being eco-friendly got a lot of comments too and when I respond back, it's good. You're getting a lot of comments here too!

I'm already busy enough with school, karate, my friends, my blog and other activities I don't have time for anything else, I wouldn't be able to fit in Twitter and Facebook, I see how much time my parents spend on Twitter and Facebook. Another reason why I don't need Twitter or Facebook is because none of my friends have Twitter and Facebook so there wouldn't be a conversation I'm interested in. On my blog some of my friends have commented.

I'm working on some questions for my interview with you and I'm reading all about your trips with Save The Children. I really excited!

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHannah Alper

It is definitely hard when parents don't agree on what the best approach is. It is good that you are monitoring it though, so that you can at least stay on top of what is happening.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

That's the reason I haven't jumped into twitter with my kids -- who would they follow? My content on twitter isn't inappropriate for them, but it also really isn't aimed at them and I can't think of anyone else that they would want to follow at this point.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Thanks for your comment, Hannah.

I absolutely love the conversations that people have on my blog too. I hope that continues, even as other forms of social media get bigger and more popular. Having the conversation take place here on my blog is like having my own community.

I really look forward to answering your questions about my trip to Bangladesh.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

My kids are in their late 20s, and were on usenet, BBSes, and chat groups in the mid 1990s (2 techie parents). Funny thing: In those days, it was standard to use a pseudonym when online, and my kids were taught (by me as well as in the groups they joined) that they should never share their real name, address, or other identifying information. 15 years later, people of all ages are sharing shockingly intimate details.

Anyway, I strongly agree with the commenters who recommend having your kids start their online experience young, while the communication channels are still open. I would go so far as to suggest that if they want to do twitter, blogging, facebook etc, do it with a pseudonym, and save the fname.lname gmail address for writing letters to grandma and grandpa.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheo Bromine

Hi Annie,

i am Oscar. and i follow my mom and dad and our frend Daniel who bot our old house and Lawrie in England and the other Lori lives next door. my mom is Bonnie.

i like twitter. i can tock to pipolle i can 't see.

by bye hi hi bye.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOscar

Hi Oscar,

Thanks for your comment. I had lots of fun meeting you this summer in PEI and it is great to connect with you again online.

Annie

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I started on the Internet when I was 16 and it was on BBSes. I tied up my parents phone line for hours chatting and playing Global Wars with online and offline friends.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

i have had my kids online for a long time. my 16 year old is very comfortable online, and has been for many years, and my 13 year old is learning the ropes, through a blog, tumblr, twitter and now Facebook. my four year old is not online;) other than being in a zillion photos ( a decision i am comfortable with, as a photographer and a mom ). for us, the decision was easy. we are a family that has embraced the internet and feel that the best way for our kids to learn how to use the tools it offers is to use it widely. the kids have school laptops, phones that connect anywhere anytime and a desire to be in touch all the time. by teaching them to use it properly, they are learning to use it responsibly. this is not to say we have not had some big, horrible bumps along the way. we have. i have even written about it. but at the end of the day, with the precautions and rules we put in place early on, everything turned into a learning experience and not a nightmare. we are still a minority in our friends and family, where internet use is still being used as a discipline tool, mostly in cases where the parents are not comfortable online, or familiar with where and what their kids are doing...this is not good for anyone. they may get it one day, i hope. i also need to say the the internet is not necessary for every child or every family. it really still is a personal decision...but once the door is opened? it is better to walk through it together.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterangela

I think this conversation is wonderful. I've long wondered about the decision to hold off on access to social media or digital media as long as possible. With most things that require safe use, we begin with lots of practice under close supervision (street safety, bike riding, play dates, personal hygiene even) and we provide feedback before allowing increased independent privileges. We start early, before challenges to supervision are developmentally expected. Beginning to learn the maze that is the internet at the same time that a child is struggling for separation and autonomy seems unfortunate to me. It's so much easier to work with it as just another part of life, following the child's interests and motivation as well, so that they can move into more private use the same way they move out of supervision in other aspects of their lives. These kids are connected. They need to know how to be connected safely and with skill.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTweepwife

[...] his missing front tooth. He left his first blog comment on an adult’s blog tonight, because Annie – whom he had ice cream with when she visited PEI last summer – wrote about this same [...]

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe World’s Biggest Smal

The point about learning to navigate social media while a child is still in a more "connected" phase with the parent, ie before the teen years, I'm guessing, when people assume a child will want to separate, are interesting to me. I still think social media can be phased in at a later age, but this is a valid point. I also think that the degree to which a child will want to separate may relate somewhat to the relationship they have with their parent(s) and it's my hope that ours will be strong enough so that this won't be a huge issue. Some might think I am naiive, but I really do expect to have a close and open relationship with my future teen based on my parenting now.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen Powers

This is a great post!

There were rumors a few months ago that facebook was going to make a "kids" safe site. (There was also controversy on whether that was a good thing or not). But right now COPPA is being reviewed and changed by legislators and it is kind of up-in-the-air about how parent permission is given, what can and cannot be collected, among other things. Developers are kind of at a stand still in what they can create, because they don't know if it will be legal or illegal in the next year.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Gretchen: Even if your relationship with your teenage kids is "open and close", there will surely be times when they want parents to grant them their privacy at home, and , of coures, they will *have* their privacy (at least from parents) when they are away from home, regardless of what the parents choose to grant.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheo Bromine

Yes, I get that, even though I've only experience through age 5...I still remember being a teen myself : ) Not sure social media is the best place for "privacy" though...kind of ironic to suggest it is when "privacy" (both in terms of data collection and in terms of people oversharing and exposing all minutiae of their lives) seems to be a sticking point. I think it requires more careful balance than others seems to think...and I guess I am more wary of the value of it all.

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen Powers

As with everything child-related, I think it's an evoloving process, and I don't like to set ages for "allowing" certain things. It's a for-sure way to contradict myself. ;)

My children haven't asked for social media access of their own yet, so it hasn't been a discussion we've had. That said, both my children (5.5 & 8) have had their own computer for years, and know how to get online, browse, play games, etc.; they are technologically-inclined.

My oldest has helped me write a couple of blog posts, is aware of my Facebook accounts and has asked to have/not have certain things posted there. So, from that perspective, it may be a year, it may be several before social media is something they want to "own" for themselves.

I appreciate your perspective on this.

October 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelly @kellynaturally

"Privacy" probably wasn't the best choice of term. *Autonomy* was more what I was getting at. Though I've used email for ~30 years, and various other aspects of the internet for >20 years, I absolutely think that people (especially parents) should approach the area with caution. Going online is easy, and gives a person the ability to do a number of things that they might regret later. That's why I favour the approach of supervision and education, starting as early as possible. Like sexuality, it's something kids will learn about on their own and/or from other kids if parents don't provide information and education at the appropriate time (which, for both sex and the internet, generally means well in advance of when it is actually needed).

(FWIW, I don't even like facebook, and use it sparingly, as do my kids.)

October 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheo Bromine

Me too Annie!!! That's how DH & I met/became friends actually (20 years ago now!)! Ever play Food Fight?!

October 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelly @kellynaturally

My kids, who are 10 and 8, connect with others online through games. Some of the games require a Facebook acct, which I won't allow them to have until they're 13. (The rules state very clearly that one must be 13 & I'm not ready to teach them that they have discretion over what rules to follow.) To my amusement, this has made my son hate Facebook. He and I together have sent emails to these game-makers explaining that by connecting through Facebook, rather than (let's say) Apple's Game Center, they're alienating a portion of their audience. So far no one has replied!

October 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

No, I never played Food Fight. Just Global Wars. :)

October 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I don't know. On one hand, what Bon said furthered a conversation I've been having at home and our feelings about the online presence of kids. On the other hand, I find the presence of online kids in the 'adult' realm precocious and a bit annoying. There's a lot to think about. I'm still thinking.

October 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkarengreeners

I don't know. A lot of people have a "kids table" and an "adult table" when they have a dinner party. At our house, sometimes it ends up that way, but we are never shooing the kids away from the adult conversation. Sometimes they choose to join us, sometimes they decide we're boring and they'd rather sit somewhere else / do something else. I suspect it would be the same in the online space.

October 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I very much agree with this. I don't support actively separating children from adults in the "adult" vs "kids" table way. I want them to be comfortable being part of an adult conversation.

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJuli Simon Thomas

We signed our kids up for email accounts when they were born. The 4yo emails with family members right now. He also has a Twitter account from which I tweet what he says; I use it as my journal of funny kid quotes, I guess. He had a FB page but FB kicked him off, so I started an "entertainer" page for him too. We spend time looking up videos on Youtube and I upload my own videos there too. I keep a blog of our family where I post photos and updates. I think having this online presence is very important to us because our family and friends mostly live elsewhere, so this is a great way for us to share. My sister in Europe can easily see photos on the blog while we in LA are still sleeping. :) I should say that my 4yo is far ahead in academic skills, so being able to type up an email isn't hard for him. Also, this means he often feels left out among other 4yo kids, and finding group activities for him is nearly impossible without him being bored silly, so online activities fill a void.

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJuli Simon Thomas

[...] can also read another parents thoughtful take on this whole issue here. See all our posts about Parenting Tips |Tags: age 6 to 8, age 9 to 10, boys, preteen | Leave a [...]

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrowing Up CyberSmart

We're definitely in the get started early camp. My kids are now 13 and 15 and they have both had an on-line presence for many years now, beginning with hotmail accounts at ages 1 and 3 (in the days when grandparents would send funny photos in emails). By age 7 or so, both were on-line regularly for Webkinz, PBS, Orisinal and BBC games and stories. By 9, both had Flickr and YouTube accounts and by 10, both began blogs and yes, both were permitted Facebook accounts by fudging their age--I set them up. As unschoolers, Facebook (as well as Skype) has been essential to connecting with long-distance family and friends, sharing links, and discussion. By 13, my daughter was on Tumblr (also an amazing learning tool, that started her reading and thinking about social justice in a major way) and my son, while opting to not be on Tumblr at the moment, spends a good deal of time playing Minecraft and designing skins for the game at Planet Minecraft. For years, he's been designing special effects videos that he posts to his YouTube channel. Oh, and both have twitter and Pinterest accounts, too. The notion that digital media thwarts creativity is very much not our experience. My kids have made tremendous social, mental and developmental, creative leaps by having such a strong on-line presence. I agree with others who have said that it's best to start early, to provide guidance and support, and to help them navigate any tricky bits regarding social media. And frankly, they've helped me do the same, being the digital natives that they are.

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Bradstreet

[...] “But all the other kids are on Facebook…” From the “our mothers never had to deal with this” department: When do you let your kids step into the potentially hazardous world of social media? PhD in Parenting weighs in, and invites your response. Social media and kids: When will you let yours join? [...]

My oldest 2 have been involved in various social media channels for a few years now, my oldest son is 14 and my daughter is 12. When my oldest was 7 or 8 he tried his hand at blogging, he loved to tell stories and wanted to do what mommy did. That didn't last long, a few posts and he was over it.

I did sign them up for Facebook when they were 10 however. I monitor their accounts very closely, I remove friend and family who are vulgar or who post random bathroom self-portraits in compromising positions... I keep all adults not related off their profiles.

My reasoning behind this is that because their closest cousins their age, their grandparents, aunts, etc live in BC... almost 5,000 klm away and they all have Facebook. Facebook is much quicker than the days we used to email our photos back and forth and have garbled conversations over MSN. My 12 yr old daughter can be found (on an hourly basis) on Pinterest and loves to Instagram her photos.

My 3rd child is now 10 and he's asking for Facebook but I've decided he's not ready for it. His friends aren't on Facebook and he's more into the games than he is into having a conversation.

October 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShash

after saying all that... my 3rd child LOVES YouTube and in particular being in a YouTube video. I found a video he took of himself in April 2011 (he was 8.5) and uploaded by himself. I found out because he asked me how many views he had... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNMnoq_4Mhc&list=UUzbFNAC0VLiUA0OWNZPeJ2Q&index=26&feature=plcp

Then there's this amazing talent he wanted to show off... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvsZ-GqJMqQ&list=UUzbFNAC0VLiUA0OWNZPeJ2Q&index=3&feature=plcp

:)

October 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShash

hello there and thank you for your information – I have certainly picked up anything
new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this website,
as I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could
get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK?
Not that I'm complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I'm adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective
interesting content. Make sure you update this again very soon.

November 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhepa air filter ratings

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