Facebook has become the “must-have” social networking account most pre-teens yearn for, teenagers live by, and many adults love.
When you hear “Mom, can I have a Facebook account?” you shouldn’t be shocked. Some parents struggle with the answer, especially when it comes to their 13- or 14-year old child who can’t wait to set up their profile, friend their friends, post their favorite pictures, and update their status.
Only a parent knows their child well enough to decide if their teen is ready and mature enough to handle the responsibility that goes along with having a Facebook account. Remember, Facebook is a mode of communication that has the capability to reach the entire world. If you decide to say “yes”, here are eight rules you should consider implementing before granting access:
• No foul language
• No inappropriate photos
• Only accept friend requests from people they know
• Teach your kids how to use the “Block” feature to stop abusive behavior
• Communicate and educate your teens about Internet Safety
• Monitor their pages, and let them know you’re doing so
• Review their privacy settings with them (‘Private’ is highly recommended)
• Make it clear you’ll need 24/7 access to their account (obtain user/password information)
Keep in mind that only confirmed friends can post to your teen’s Wall or contact your teen via Facebook, so if you’re worried that someone will make inappropriate posts or send offensive messages, you only have to worry about those type of messages coming from friends that your child confirmed.
I refer to them as frenemies.