Why Age Restrictions Matter on Social Media

Apr
2015
27

posted by on Bullying, Civility, Cyberbullying, cyberbullying prevention, Digital citizenship, Online Safety, Parenting, Parenting Blogs, Parenting Teens, Parenting tips

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Should your tween be allowed on Facebook?

Should your tween be allowed on Facebook?

We have discussed this for a long time, tweens jumping on social networking sites that clearly state they must be 13 years-old to join.

Parents will sometimes cave to their tweens begging (peer pressure from the tween) – or the tween will find a way around entering these sites.  In either situation, it is crucial that offline parenting continues to keep your lines of communication open – the continuous chats of digital life offline will help your tween make better decisions when they are faced with difficult choices – and you aren’t there – including online.

Summer is fast approaching and it is when many tweens will want to join the virtual playgrounds their (maybe slightly) older teen friends are on.

So the time is now to start discussing social media habits and what you expect of your tween especially during their summer months. Hopefully you have been having these chats, but in case they haven’t – don’t delay.

Respectfully, both age restrictions and privacy policies are put in place for our protection and the protection of youth.

There is a reason for age restrictions.  You may believe your tween is mature enough for Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr — but the fact is, they know they are not ready for them.

Your tween has the rest of their lives to be on social media networking sites.

Although they might be too young to comprehend they are not mature enough to be on these sites, I don’t believe in fear-based digital tactics. However I do believe in sharing facts.  Share with them the stories of these 15 teen’s stories.

Social media has many benefits.  It connects you with others, meet new people, it can help you build a business, find lost relatives and  old friends and so much more.  However it can have the dark-side that  you have to be mature enough to know when to click-out.

Age restrictions matter.  This is not Disney World.  This is not about telling the ticket counter you are 13 when you are 14 to get a free pass.  This is about protecting your child from potential online abuse, sexual predators, cyber-crimes and other digital issues that they may not be prepared to handle at their young age.

Yes, they might be mature enough to have a Facebook or Instagram account – but it the others online that you need to be concerned about.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer kids – both offline and online.

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