- Published on Saturday, 01 May 2010 06:15
A facebook fan page recently asked the fans if they think social networking sites should be banned for young children (meaning Middle School and younger). Or...are there benefits to responsible usage?
The responses are below and were spurred by the following article: Principal asks parents to ban Facebook, social networkingThere are numerous factors involved here. When making the decision to allow your children to engage on social networking sites, keep these things in mind:
- Do not allow computers in a child's bedroom, no exceptions
- If your child is allowed to use the computer, be sure to monitor their activity
- Know your child's passwords, friend list and online accounts
- Do not allow your child to register on sites for adults-only
- Keep their online usage age appropriate
- Do not allow your child to use networks that turn a blind eye to bullying, predators, false name accounts, etc
- Be sure your child understands the rules and guidelines of proper online use
- Be sure your child understands the importance of honesty, kindness and anti-bullying philosophies
- Know the homes of your child's friends - and their rules for online use (as they might differ from your own)
If you have a computer in the home, chances are, your child is curious about the world of online gaming, social networking and so on. By taking an authoritarian approach to the situation, your child may well feel the need to explore online sites behind your back (even after you've gone to bed)...or at a friend's home, where the rules are more lax. It's not a bad idea to allow your child a reasonable amount of time on the computer each week, under supervision, to explore, play safe games or meet their friends on safe family-friendly sites.
Side Note: For children younger than tween age, a simple visit to a child-safe site will provide the computer curiosity fill. You also have the opportunity, at this age, to set healthy computer limits and appropriate rules for online use. Sites like PBSkids.org or WiggleTime.com offer games, songs, shape-matching, etc. I do not encourage any social networking sites for children below the tween stage. No child should be spending massive amounts of time on the computer (or in front of the TV or any other electronic, for that matter).
When speaking of older children, however, it's important to acknowledge that we live in a technology-driven world now. In fact, according to studies, the USA is lagging behind other nations in regard to the use of technology. Our children need to know how to use the Internet and how to use it safely. Without being taught by their parents, they will need to figure it out on their own - which is hardly an ideal scenario.
Teach your kiddos:
- Be safe
- Be responsible
- Be wise
- Be kind
- Be limited on usage
- Be age appropriate
- NEVER share your personal info online
Now, read below to see what other parents are saying: (grammer and spelling were left un-modified in the below quotes)
---> Social networking sites are part of kids and teens world.
---> My son has a hard time accepting that so many of his cousins and Scout friends are on here but he's not allowed. He does however, understand the mantra, "But THEY'RE not MY kids." If he wants to talk to his friends he can make arrangements to get together or pick up the phone.
---> If parents allow their children to go on social networking sites, then they should have their passwords and access to the sites their children frequent. So many children believe they are entitled to do whatever THEY want. It's time for parents to take back their responsibility to parent. Children are nor an assessory. They need boundaries. They want their parents to be there for them as parents NOT their friends. Be parents, say no to social networking sites for children.
---> My 16 years old is not allowed to go on ANY site! she knows better not to even ask.
---> Children should be teens before they would have anything to say to when they engage in social sites. I read my 12 year old's email and the basic level of communication, the "lack" of information to share, tells me he doesn't need a social site. However, my 16 year old is so busy that she usually gets on her site in the summer months. Talk to kids and keep them busy and engage with people and teams and service and churches.
---> My kids do it to keep in contact w/family that lives out of state. I monitor who and what they do.
---> I have passwords to my kids email accounts and to their FB accounts. With their knowledge, I monitor their usage and haven't had any problem. All emailing/FB stuff has to be done in a "public" place within our home. Email and FB is here to stay. We just have to teach our kids how to use it responsibly and trust -but verify- that they will.
---> The social sites are for grown-up to keep in contact with college buddies and friends and family that are far away, it's not for kids to chat with their friends that they see everyday in school. They have talked enough in school or at recess. They need to be reading, doing chores in or outside the house instead of being on the social sites.
---> Very interesting comments. And I definitely agree with most of you. I do believe that kids not be on any social networking sites. They are kids. They should be outside playing or involved in after school programs, not fb or myspace or whatever other site. But to each is own...
---> I think its real funny the whole if your monitoring your kids then they should be able to be on these sites... Im a single mother who cant possibly be sitting of their shoulders every second of every day. Kids are smart enough to know to delete things they dont want their parents to see. Its not even so much my kids I dont trust its the rest of the world!!!!!
---> How many of the parents are modeling the use of social networking online and not spending that time with their kids. I'm just sayin...
---> And yet, you are ON a social network right now? Hmmm...
---> Parenting is already hard enough without social networks. There's plenty of other activities that children can be involved in that does not require sitting in front of a computer.
---> Whatever happened with face-to-face interaction? BAN SOCIAL NETWORKS!
---> I say there are benefits to responsible useage. This is too extreme.
---> There's a reason FB states that they should be at least 13 - I am thinking more like 16 - they are too immature in middle school to deal with the potential fallout some of these sites can cause. Formspring.me is particularly heinous.
---> My oldest is in 3rd grade. He is not allowed to have FB or any of that. He does play my FB games once in a while. I will not "friend" any of his friends who try to friend me. I explain that my FB is for grownups. He is not allowed to go on other peoples pages or read content on my page, I am present when he is playing the games.
---> We allow our son to use this site for social networking: http://www.yoursphere.com - the basic memberships are now free and the site is highly monitored. Background checks are done so that predators cannot join. The site is built by teens, for teens, is kid focused and safe. If you You Tube the site, you can watch news spots with the founder on CNN, FOX, ABC and more.
---> Social networking is for adults. Kids have enough stuff of their own. Alot of the content isn't bad, but not kid related. I don't feel it's a good thing for my 8 year old to be doing. Now, I get him onto the game sites and allow him to play, but that's it.
---> My children have friends all over the world; I would hate to have them cut off from that part of their lives. I check my daughter's site every day. She has nothing to hide from me...that's our relationship: TRUST.
---> How stupid is this!?! As long as u are doing ur job monitoring ur children on the sites then there is no need to take it away from the kids! WAKE UP! It's 2010! NOT 1950!
---> I have teenage children, i have to watch these sites all the etime, the mouths of these kids you can tell who's parents control there kids and those who don't. i know there passwords but i don't go on unless they are with me. I have gone to the school lots of times for help and don't receive it. Some Parents dont give a crap.
---> I have 3 kids 9,11,and 13 and will not allow any of them to use any of the social networking sites. I just feel they are not mature or responsible enough to handle some of the negative aspects the come along with some of these sites.
---> Young kids have no business on facebook or similar sites. They should spent their free time playing or doing some other form of extracurricular activity.
---> That is an extreme measure....but if the parents are not going to monitor their child's activity on these social networks then they should ban it....otherwise be a Parent and keep you children's online safety on check.
*This data was compiled from a public social networking page on facebook: April 30th, 2010