Parents who allow under-age children to have accounts on Facebook...

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  1. Sally's Trove profile image78
    Sally's Troveposted 11 years ago

    I could say lots more here, but I want to hear from you. What do you think?

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image77
      Uninvited Writerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      A 10 year old does not need a facebook account...but then again neither do all the cats who do too.

      I don't think it is safe...she cannot be watched 24 hours a day unless she doesn't know the login.

      It does not teach the kid a good lesson by teaching her to ignore the rules of the site.

      1. Sally's Trove profile image78
        Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I agree and will state it another way, that a 10-year old needs a Facebook account as much as a cat does.

        Again, agreed. No parent can supervise a child at all times, considering play dates, over-nights, and time home alone.

        Yes, it's teaching a child that rules are there to be ignored in the pursuit of self-interest. When you're an adult, ignoring or defying rules is a different story, because an adult, supposedly, has a better understanding of the consequences of taking risks.

    2. Rpenafiel profile image59
      Rpenafielposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don’t think it’s necessary for children. I would encourage them to enjoy their crayons and learn to be creative than learn to explore Facebook at a very young age. As I see it, allowing them to use this social networking website is just like giving them a smartphone that can endanger their safety from the hands of people with evil motives for children.

      There is a right time for children to enjoy such things. For now, I would encourage them to enjoy simple stuffs such as crayons and a simple cell phone if needed.

  2. 2uesday profile image67
    2uesdayposted 11 years ago

    I would guess that sometimes when this happens it comes about by parents taking the path of least resistance. It is always easier short term not to refuse a child's request to something.

    Notice that I have said short term, because I believe long term the giving into to pressure such as this is sending the wrong messages at the very least.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed. I can hear a child saying, "Everyone else is doing it!" And the parent going along to avoid a battle, without thinking about the message being sent.

  3. Sally's Trove profile image78
    Sally's Troveposted 11 years ago

    I'm thinking that I could have started this thread under Family and Parenting, but I think the issues involved are broader.

    For example, what's your responsibility, as an adult, when you know an under-age child has created an account (or has had an account created for her by an adult) on fb? Do you report that account to fb or not?

  4. Sally's Trove profile image78
    Sally's Troveposted 11 years ago


  5. LelahKimball profile image81
    LelahKimballposted 11 years ago

    I don't report it to facebook because I figure it's none of my business and it is ultimately up to the parent.  It's pretty much not going to hurt anyone but the child and if a parent is willing to take the risk, that's their business.  Kind of like kids playing in the street.  I think the rule is there mainly to protect facebook.

    Now, do I let my kids have one?  Absolutely not.  I don't think they need one.  I don't think there is any useful reason for them having one.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree that it is in fb's interest to make these rules. They don't give a damn about a child's safety, only about how they may be held accountable. That's business, I guess.

      Letting kids play on the street was never a matter of safety when I was growing up. The kids knew the street and the street knew the kids.

      But I do believe it is my business if I see a child at risk, and I will put myself on the line to change that around.

  6. princess g profile image59
    princess gposted 11 years ago

    There's no way I'd let my kids on facebook. They will have to wait till they're old enough and clever enough to do it behind my back

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know how old your kids are, but even at 5 or 6 or 7, they are plenty smart to do things behind your back. smile

    2. princess g profile image59
      princess gposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm sure that's true, but I don't let them out of my sight when they're on the Internet. They get the disney website, nickelodeon, and thats it:)

      1. Sally's Trove profile image78
        Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I am sorry, princess g, but if your kids have access to the Internet through school, libraries, or at the houses of friends, you have no control over what they do when they have their own accounts and passwords.

  7. Urbane Chaos profile image90
    Urbane Chaosposted 11 years ago

    This may be a little different, but my uncle keeps a page for his 9 year old daughter, but he has very strict rules about it.

    She's not allowed to be on it unless he's watching her, and he watches closely what she posts.  Her parents got divorced a year ago, so it's mainly there for her to keep in touch with her mother.  I can understand that completely, but allowing a kid to do it just because everyone else is?  Now that's ridiculous.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Maybe her safety hinges on whether she knows the password and account name. Just a thought. At the same time, who in that family is responsible for a better way to communicate with the mother. This is mind-boggling.

      1. Urbane Chaos profile image90
        Urbane Chaosposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        In some cases, I can understand it.  In others, it baffles me. 

        In his case, he's been a very good father to her, and they have an excellent relationship.  He's the type that won't let her play video games, won't give her a phone, and definitely won't let her on a computer unsupervised.  I can't speak for him, but knowing how he is, I seriously doubt that she'd know the password. 

        If there was no control over her at all then, like you, my mind would be boggled. 

        As far as communicating with the mother, she lives out of state and he has full custody.  There's a long and involved story there, but basically, they don't get to see each other that often.  Phone calls can only do so much.

        I completely understand what he's doing, and I agree with it.  But, like I said, there has to be boundaries.  An unsupervised kid logging on to the internet at all is like handing that same kid a loaded gun and telling them to go play. But, one who's closely monitored and who is taught that the computer is a tool and not a play toy, well, I don't see anything wrong with that.

        1. Sally's Trove profile image78
          Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Clearly, you have an inside view into this situation and compassion for what's happening with this child. I can't speak to that the way you can.

          My purpose in this forum thread is to find out what people think about parents who allow their under-age children to have accounts on Facebook.

          So far, I'm appalled to hear that so many of the adults who have responded here think it's OK, under certain circumstances.

          What are we teaching children when we sanction something that is clearly illegal, and at the same time, what are we saying about ourselves when we are willing to put them in harm's way through our own self pride about how smart we think we are about protecting them?

  8. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    Overall I would not consider it a big deal. If the child is only using it when supervised then I assume the parent has withheld the password, as well as limited who can see her page to approved family members.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The thing that bothers me here is that parents sanction going against rules. They are teaching a child that it's OK to defy rules for their own gain. Sort of like slipping under the fence and getting away with something. Doesn't that lead to things like, well, it's OK if I slip a lipstick into my pocket in the store, so long as no one sees?

  9. kmackey32 profile image62
    kmackey32posted 11 years ago

    Now I will tell you my story of why i allowed my 9 year old to create a facebook. She was court ordered to go to her fathers house for visitation. There were things going on in his home that were scaring me. he was even drinking and driving with her in the vehicle and he was beating his wife in front of my children. I tried sneaking my daughter a phone for emergency reasons and he had taken them everytime I bought her one, so I allowed her to create a facebook so she could message me if any emergencys arrised. … c-incident
    This is her father....

    He was even convicted of neglect in NYS yet my children are still court ordered to go to visitation.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      My heart goes out to you..the problems you and your child face are much bigger than whether a 9-year-old should have a Facebook account.

      But what I can say is this, a FB account for this child does more harm than good. Bring your child and yourself into therapy.

  10. Jonathan Janco profile image60
    Jonathan Jancoposted 11 years ago

    I feel it is ultimately up to the parent. The parents are the ones responsible for teaching the right values and the basic dos and donts about public behavior. I feel it is only as much of a risk as allowing the child to be out and about in the neighborhood playing with other kids and being around other adults. Never post your address phone# or other contact info on the net. Just like you wouldnt hand that info to a stranger on the street. Im not a parent, but I would think of a 10yrold having an fbook account as being generally unnecessary. However, like kmack said, there may be a justifiable reason for it.

    1. kmackey32 profile image62
      kmackey32posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, it gave her a way to contact me or anyone in the family if needed.

  11. Eleanor's Words profile image94
    Eleanor's Wordsposted 11 years ago

    The thing is, a child can easily set up a facebook account without being helped by an adult, all they have to do is lie about their date of birth. Also, a child could just as easily do this with their friends, round someone elses' house, and if you didn't check you'd never know.

    However, if a child does have a facebook account, it is better that you know about it so that you can discuss the importance of security and not posting phone numbers etc.

    My son is 11 and does have a facebook account, and to be honest their are far worse things that worry me. Often, it is just the novelty - loads of kids at school have them, but my son hardly ever posts on his. His friends are all kids from school, I know this as I sometimes check his profile. I can see that the girls are far more into it than boys - all my son ever does on his is play on fishville and other similar games, and comment on music he likes. No big deal, really. He only chats with his close friends, although once a girl from school was chatting to him which made him shy and he actually asked me what he should reply.

    Kids don't really take facebook that seriously, at least not the ones I know. No, they don't need it, but then how many of us really do? My son disobeyed me the other day by biking during rush hour on a busy main road that I had asked him not to (he has only very recently started taking his bike out on his own). I didn't find out until later on, and actually I was more upset, and more concerned, by that.


    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Does it worry you that you condone his violating the rules of Facebook? That you sanction his going against the rules of a contract? Is that OK with you that he learns it's OK to say the hell with what someone else requires for him to be a responsible citizen?

      What is this world coming to when parents encourage their children to violate contracts and thus, terms of law?

      1. psycheskinner profile image83
        psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        The same parents also probably drive a tad over the speed limit and don't pay tax on all their online incomes--or some other little transgressions.

        If you teach your kids to follow every single rule anyone makes that will cause them problems too. By 11 kids are unsupervised enough that they need to judge which rules you need to follow and which you probably don't.

        1. Eleanor's Words profile image94
          Eleanor's Wordsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Absolutely agree, we all break the law sometimes (or a lot) by driving over the speed limit, not paying for parking when we are only going to be a few minutes etc, telling little white lies to avoid hurting someone. Children are well aware of this, at that age. I used to tape the chart show off the radio when I was a kid, now that is illegal too but everyone did it and nobody's parent said it was wrong!

          Seriously, I think children of 10, 11 plus are perfectly able to understand the difference between doing something like setting up a facebook account, and doing something like stealing which is morally wrong in that they are taking someone's possessions and causing upset to them.

          Many children, if not most, are very tech savvy these days. My son is quite capable of setting up his own email accounts with his own passwords. He can do it better than me, although not better than his dad who is an IT consultant. A lot of parents have absolutely no clue what their children do online, not even when they are in the same house with the computer downstairs, unless they sit behind watching everything they do. You Tube, for instance, has some really bad things on it, heavily disguised as cartoons but with racial and prejudiced undercurrents.

          1. Sally's Trove profile image78
            Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            You are right and you are wrong...they understand that stealing is wrong, which they know because their parents have told them, but they don't understand that setting up a Facebook account is wrong, because their parents haven't told them it is, and that's probably because their parents don't know it is.

        2. Sally's Trove profile image78
          Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          That's the fallacy, that 11-year-old unsupervised kids should be in a position to judge.

          This is so sad...what role models are kids growing up with today? Believe me, I don't think all the rules set in place by our society are right, but I do believe children need to be guided into making decisions by the people who are responsible for raising them.

          If 11-year-olds can judge which rules need to be followed, then the adults who care for them have failed their responsibilities as parents and mentors.

          1. Eleanor's Words profile image94
            Eleanor's Wordsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            The thing is, though, that when children reach the age of about 11 they do start to become more independent. They begin going places alone with friends (local park, friend's houses, to play football, etc). Thus, they are more unsupervised, as they do not have a parent looking over their shoulders all the time. They have to learn to make their own decisions, to deal with situations as they arise (I am not talking about facebook here, but life in general).

            My son will start secondary school in September, where he will walk 40 mins to get to school and then 40 mins to get home. Children are not escorted by their parents. They walk with friends, sometimes go to friends houses etc (with permission). It is the start of a new independence, and with independence comes personal responsibility. Of course, this does not in any way mean letting your child do whatever they want, or having no idea what they are doing. It's the way it is.

            1. Sally's Trove profile image78
              Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              I agree about this life process with children. And it's a beautiful thing to witness, although, as any parent knows, it may be trying at times.

              We hope that we've given our kids a good framework for making decisions that will keep them going forward, but, if we've shown them it's OK to cheat, no matter in large or little ways, then, frankly, at 11 years old and turned loose, they are in a world of trouble.

              I don't fault children, I fault parents who don't do the right things by their children. To think that an 11-year-old child has control over impulse, even though he may know right from wrong, is ignorant on our part, and I mean ignorant. I'll even take it to stupid. Children don't have impulse control until many years later. At 11, they know what we've taught them by example. And if they see it's OK to sneak past a speed limit, then they think that's OK for themselves, but they have no conception of what the consequences can be.

              1. Eleanor's Words profile image94
                Eleanor's Wordsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                But let's be honest here, is there a driver amongst us who has never broken the speed limit, even just a little?

                Facebook aside, the internet has become such a huge part of society that policing children on it is increasingly difficult. Actually, I am not a parent who lets my son do anything he likes. He has to use his password protected dad's itunes account for his Ipod touch so that he cannot buy anything he likes. He has Xbox live (anybody can have that, by the way, there is no required age limit) but I will not allow him to buy the headset he wants because I do not want him having the ability to converse online with strangers. He does all his homework for school on the computer, as do most of the kids, and he often flips over to other sites (online games, youtube) when I am not looking (and I cannot watch all the time as I have a 3 year old to look after as well). Even at school (junior school), in the IT lesson, he and his friend were caught listening to Eminem on the school computer (and only caught after a while, because a girl told the teacher). I don't even allow him to purchase Eminmen's music because of the obscene and degrading lyrics, yet they managed to access it at school?!

                Wherever our opinions may differ over facebook, I actually don't like our children's obsession with computer games, internet, etc. But the world has become a very technical place, and our children are growing up with a whole online world at their fingertips. What's more, they seem to grow up already knowing how it works - a long time ago my son managed to get into the part of the computer where you can change the password for the whole thing.

    2. Disturbia profile image61
      Disturbiaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm inclined to agree with you Eleanor, that there are far worse things kids can do and I have a similar experience to your's with my daughter who has a face book page. Her girlfriends all chat with each other and post all sorts of weird pics, I'm one of her friends so I know exactly what is going on, and nobody takes any of it very seriously.  Unfortunately, not all kids are as well grounded as ours and not all parents as lucky.

      1. Sally's Trove profile image78
        Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Disturbia, I find this very disturbing. Has it occurred to you what targets children may be for pedophiles and stalkers?

        1. Disturbia profile image61
          Disturbiaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Please, the daughter I'm talking about is 16 and hardly a child, and as I stated, I'm on her friends list and trust me... nothing gets past me.  I have monitoring software on my computer and I can see every keystroke typed and still shots of every video watched or webcam viewed.

          As for predators, both my daughters and I are very aware of pedophiles and stalkers as we have already had some firsthand experience with this... I was sexually asulted while living in foster care when I was 12 and unfortunately the pedophile in my daughters' case was not some stranger on the internet, but their very own uncle, my then brother-in-law.  I feel sorry for the poor SOB stupid enough to try anything with either of my girls because they will do whatever it takes to help send his sorry behind right to prison.

          Personally if it were up to me, I would just plain ban the internet altogether.

      2. Eleanor's Words profile image94
        Eleanor's Wordsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'm one of my son's facebook friends as well. Plus, I feel happy that we have a fairly communicative relationship, in which he tells me what he gets up to with his friends, what they find funny etc. I feel I have quite a good insight into what goes on (I know he is only 11, but a lot of kids don't really tell their parents what goes on at school and when they are out with their friends, etc.) I would rather that than have him keep things from me.

  12. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    What is the policy? Does it say somewhere adults can supervise underage children?

    I guess I don't get why parents would allow it if it is clearly against FB policy. Why does FB allow those profiles? There are hackers who find out anything they want online, and they do it daily.

    I'm a fairly liberal parent, but I wouldn't allow an underage child to have an FB account.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Fb's policy is clear: if you are under 13, you can't have an account. There is no provision in this policy for parental supervision.

      However, parents do set up accounts for their children falsifying the child's date of birth. And Fb has no way of knowing that.

      I think a ten-year-old is smart enough to falsify a birth date, but when a parent does that for a child, well, what do we think of that?

      1. rebekahELLE profile image85
        rebekahELLEposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I would find another way for my child to interact.  It's hard enough to parent well, to clearly falsify a birthdate to allow an underage child to be on FB is not exactly teaching good character and values. It may come back to haunt them years from now when the older teenager knows it's ok to falsify a birthdate because Mom/Dad did it.

        1. Sally's Trove profile image78
          Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Right on...we are the models for our children. It makes my skin crawl when I think of a child who has to defend his behavior by saying, "Well, my dad (mom) did the same thing!"

  13. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    Do you have children?

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'd like to know that, too.

  14. Uninvited Writer profile image77
    Uninvited Writerposted 11 years ago

    But the point is the TOS of the site say he should not have an account ... Period.

  15. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    There are factors here that need to be considered, how the 11 year old child has been parented, the home environment, the 11 year olds responsibilities and privileges. Does the 11 year old have clearly defined boundaries and consequences? Are the consequences enforced? I would say there are plenty of 11 year olds that would not be able to judge which rules should be followed, and some would clearly not care.  A parent needs to parent and not be concerned about being the childs best friend. Hanging out on FB together doesn't get my vote when TOS are being violated.


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