– by Mary Heston
For some of us a bit older we remember Jan’s mantra from the Brady Bunch “Marsha Marsha Marsha” everybody’s always talking about Marsha.
This last week it was facebook. Everywhere you turn the talk is about facebook.
California wants to make a law about parental access to children’s facebook accounts
(editorial comment: this is ridiculous)
Then we learn there are over 7.5 million kids under the age of 13 on facebook
I happen to think the world is just possibly losing its collective mind! This is ludicrous. First of all we need to start handing parents a couple of cojones when it comes to technology and having them start parenting their child in their kids digital world as well as the physical world (barely any distinction for our kids any more).
- Be Strong.
- Keep your kids off of facebook until they are 13. That is the facebook terms of service and the guideline is there for a reason. There are alternatives out there. Be proactive and help your kids use the Internet appropriately.
- As long as they are living in your house and are under the age of 18 – they share their password with you and only you.
- Help guide them in their social networking. Work through it together.
- Don’t keep them from social networking sites – this is their world now – help them embrace it. If you forbid them from having a site that will be all the more enticement for them to go out and create their own site without your input or information.
You don’t hand your child the keys to the car until they have taken driver’s ed. Social Networking can bean even more powerful tool – make sure they get the training before they go out on the roads by themselves at 1am in the morning. A good way to do this is to get them involved in theTeenangel program
If you are still worried after they have set up their site there is a new product that was just released this week that you may want to check out. Visit MinorMonitor to find out more about ways to receive alerts about your childs online presence.
My daughter has been on Twitter for a year and a half and has at times complained about the fact that none of her other young friends in real life are on Twitter. But she told me recently that alot of kids she knows are now getting on Twitter because their parents got on them about their facebook accounts. She said she was sort of amazed how many parents don’t even know their kids are on these various sites and that if the parents do find out about them and tell the kids to close it down the kid just goes to a different platform with a different name.
We need to have a more open and honest conversation with our kids about their life online. In the 90’s we heard about the helicopter parents that absoultely hovered over their kids’ every move. Perhaps the second decade of the millenium parents will become known as the Ostrich parents. Time for us to get our heads out of the sand and take a look around. Our kids ARE online. Let’s join them!