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Blogging / Social Media

What Are You Teaching Your Twelve Year Old?

Does your twelve year old have a facebook account

Does your twelve year old have a facebook account?


Impressionable

Twelve year old children are very impressionable. They learn something about life from watching everything you do. Understanding this one fact may influence your decision making process when it comes to Facebook and your twelve year old.

Lessons I Have Taught My Son

As a parent, I can already see many of the lessons I’ve taught my son. For the sake of protecting the guilty, I won’t burden you with the bad lessons I’ve taught him. As for the good, I’ve taught him that serving others is very important. He participates with me in a nursing home worship service each Sunday. We also go feed the homeless as often as we can. He’s learned to enjoy these times of service.

When it comes to computers, the internet and to social media specifically, I’ve also taught my son a lesson or two. He has learned that WordPress rules as a blogging platform. My son has also learned a bias towards Twitter. He’s even tried to tell his friends that Twitter is cool, but they’re not having it. His eleven and twelve year old friends are Facebook addicts.


Eleven and Twelve Year Olds Have Facebook Accounts

Wait a minute! Eleven and Twelve year old friends on Facebook? How can that be since Facebook rules say you must be thirteen to register? That rule is in place because of the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act which forbids the collecting of personal information from children. And let’s face it, Facebook collects a lot of personal information. Why shouldn’t your twelve year old be on Facebook? Well, because the rules forbid it.

However, a recent poll asked if kids below 13 should be allowed to have their own Facebook account. The survey had a few options to choose from including, “No, because is not allowed by Facebook.” In a big surprise to me, only 6% of respondents chose what I find to be common sense, “because the rules don’t allow it.”

Another Reason To Question Your Authority

If you allow a child younger than thirteen to sign up for Facebook, you are sanctioning a breaking of the rules. Like to admit it or not, that is what your action implies. Aren’t the teen years tough enough without you or me as parents, blurring the lines between right and wrong, saying some rules are okay to break while others are not. I think it ‘s hard enough to get kids to behave without giving them a “real” excuse to question parental authority. They will usually get there on their own.

So you must ask yourself, “Does my child really need me to provide another reason to question my parental authority as they enter their teen years? Ask yourself that question just before you make that final click, falsifying your child’s age as you sign them up for their Facebook account. And if you are a Christian mother or father, and are about to sign up your underage child for an account, please click here.

It’s Your Decision

I’m just a blogger and public speaker. I’m not here to be a parental coach but of course, that doesn’t stop me from blogging my strong feelings on this subject. I am not a big fan of Facebook. If I were addicted to it, then maybe my feelings on signing up kids under 13 would be different. I might let a bias towards Facebook cloud my judgment.

I do want to hear your thoughts on this matter. I’m sure there must be some good excuses for breaking the rules and teaching your son or daughter to do the same. But please don’t say you can’t afford a stamp for a letter, you have no email service, no chat ability, no phone or skype or any other way to stay in touch with family members who live far away. I’ve read about those types of excuses for signing up kids before age 13. I think a more reasonable excuse would be saying you don’t want to hear one more time in a whining voice, “But all my friends are on facebook.” Yes, that’s a much better excuse.

Stay tough parents! Don’t blur lines of right and wrong. It’ll make those teen years much more easier to bear.




Discussion

2 Responses to “What Are You Teaching Your Twelve Year Old?”

  1. I don’t have a twelve year old but I “hear” you. The kids today lie about their age to get a FB account. I have had issues with my 18 year old posting some photos I don’t think are very appropriate. When she was getting stalked I think she got my point. Funny how I just got a notice today that she was following me on Twitter. She recently opened a Twitter account (why I have NO idea LOL) and has her tweets protected. When I asked her why she was following me – she responded with “because I can” :) I am sure she will be very bored with what I tweet!

    You are so right in that parents need to be parents. I think there are many times when they might not even be aware that their kids are opening FB accounts. Kudos to you for doing the “right” thing. :)

    And BTW – thanks for finding my blog – I am liking what I see on yours. Thank Commentluv!

    Posted by Julie Weishaar | November 8, 2011, 10:24 pm
    • The hard part for me is understanding how parents knowingly approve of their kids at even 10 years old getting their own facebook account, monitored or not.

      As for Twitter, my soon to be 12 year old knows that or Google+ might be the only thing he can be on later. But it will be quite a while. I’m just not a big facebook fan. But I’m loving Google+. Added you to a circle. Hope you post some over on G+. Thanks for checking out my blog.

      Posted by Brian | November 8, 2011, 10:38 pm

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