Apr 26

Does your pre-teen have a Facebook page?

It’s all too easy for 11 / 12 ‘somethings’ to want to be part of the social network scene – why? – because their peers do and it appears it’s the way most now communicate. I wonder why that is – I know technology is second nature to kids nowadays but how sad it is that they are losing the art of just talking to each other.

I asked one teenager what was so special about social media  - her reply was that ‘you always knew what your friends were doing and thinking cos they changed their status on BBM or tweeted / shouted on Facebook – its just easy to be connected!’ She then confessed that ‘sometimes its easier to say things onscreen rather than face to face – it can be less embarrassing and at least you think they are listening ‘

Not only are kids losing the ability to be truthful in front of each other but they are living the fantasy of thinking they have friends cos they are seeing Facebook shouts, BBMs etc which are non specific.

Tim Loughton, the Children’s Minister, accused mothers and fathers of “aiding and abetting” pre-teens to open accounts on the social networking site.

Mr Loughton, who has three teenage children, said parents had a responsibility to monitor youngsters online, adding: “Having a Facebook page, you should be at least 13 to do that. That is not legally enforceable.

“We know, and I know from personal experience, the temptations for younger children to set up a Facebook site and get involved with those social media.

“And I also know that in too many cases they do that aided and abetted by parents. So it’s not just a question of giving information to parents, it’s making sure parents are acting responsibly on behalf of their children too.”

As a start take a look at Childalert’s Facebook Parenting tips

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