Consumer Reports estimates more than seven million children under the age of thirteen have Facebook accounts. Five million of those kids are under ten. Nevermind that Facebook policy ostensibly bars those under thirteen from using the site. Kids are plugged in to the social network.
So what do you do with that?
Thank you, Monica.
You know your child. You know when they’re ready for social networking. I suggest thirteen is a good age to begin a social networking education. However, I agree with The Online Mom; NO child under 18 should use a site like Facebook without high level parent involvement. Consumer Reports says that is not happening nearly enough:
Consumer Reports’ survey found that accounts (of children under 13) were largely unsupervised by their parents, exposing them to malware or serious threats such as predators or bullies.
These are serious threats, so I suggest you take Monica’s advice. Lock your child’s site down. Make it as private as humanly possible. Know your child’s password. Link your child’s Facebook account to a family email account that allows you to monitor alerts and notifications from their page and make social networking a family activity. Share the experience.
If you can’t beat them, join them.
If you can’t beat them, teach them.
Consumer Reports has additional info on safe Facebooking here.