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Old 04-21-2010, 09:05 AM
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ajrsmom ajrsmom is offline
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FaceBook and your kids

How many members here have kids who have FaceBook accounts? I'd really like your opinions about this subject.

Here's what I'd like to know:

1. How old was your child when you ok'd this?

2. Did you OK them to set it up or did they go ahead and do it own their own?

3. Do you have access to their FaceBook pages? Do you know their passwords and other "private" info.?

4. Do you have rules in your house about using FaceBook? If so, can you give me an overview of the rules?

I'll gladly read any other advice on this, too!


Here's what I'm dealing with.........

My son is 12 - will be 13 in Oct. All of his friends have FaceBook accounts. Until recently, my husband and I have felt that he is too young for FaceBook, MySpace...etc. Our house rules have always been that no FaceBook accts. would be created by him until we feel that the time is right and then it would be set up at home.

Over the weekend, he spent the night at a friend's house. I met this kids' parents for the first time that evening - I felt that it was ok because his mother is a principal at a school in the next county- and my son had been friends with this kid for quite a while.

It started out that he was just going there for the day but then he was asked if he wanted to spend the night and go with them to his friend's dirt bike race the next day. My dh and I agreed that it was ok. I agreed to throw together a change of clothes and toiletries and take them to him.

Now this is where it gets sticky.....

When I got to their house, my son was in his friend's bedroom with the door shut using this kid's computer. They were on FaceBook talking to this kid's girlfriend. Not wanting to cause a scene, I shot my son a look of disapproval (and I'm sure he knew how I felt but of course he denied it later on) and then left.

Was I wrong not to say something to my son right then and there?

Back in the car I talked it over with my husband and we agreed that even though we weren't thrilled with him being on FaceBook (especially behind closed doors!), that it was probably time that we set one up for him. (Actually allow him to set it up but have access to it). Again, our rules have always been that our computer is the living room for a reason and if he is to have a FaceBook acct., we would be able to check it at any time.

(A little more history) My son has a Gaggle.net email account through is school - we have access to it as well since he uses it at home, too. (I'm sure some are thinking that this is an invasion of privacy but I don't agree...he's 12.)

My son's friend told him that there was an easy way to set up a FaceBook account for him using his Gaggle email address to avoid needing his parent's (our) knowledge -- he set it up saying that my son was 20. (insert fumes coming out of my ears!) My son said that he didn't know this kid lied about his age because he was taking a shower when this kids set up the account. <<<<<--I do not believe this because of some of the info. that was on his page but on the other hand, my son should've known that I would see it on his email acct.

I checked his email acct. on a whim that night (ok, yes I was being nosey). I was shocked to find out that he had created a FaceBook page. It took some maneuvering but I changed his password so that he couldn't access it. I was shocked and hurt that he would go against our house rules. I would've picked him up that night had it not been so late. We waited until he came home the next afternoon to see what he would say.

My husband asked him what he did on Facebook since I told him that they were looking at it when I dropped off his clothes. He answered that they were talking to his friend's girlfriend. After some prodding, my dh said "What else???" He finally said that his friend helped him set up an account. (at this point I don't know if I was more po'd at him or more hurt but I lost it and went up one side of him and down the other.) Ok, not a good mother moment.

I pulled myself together and figured out how to delete his account. It will take 14 days to completely delete it. What a load of crap. I called this kid's parents. I talked to his father, who said that he would "take care" of the problem. Come to find out that this kid had to apologize to my son and that he is supposedly grounded for a week. He asked if they could still be friends and my son told them that he's not allowed to go to his house and use his computer any more. I thought that I might hear back from the parents once they heard the story but I never did -- which is disappointing because I thought that we could handle this as a group to teach a lesson but obviously we don't agree on certain issues.

My son is grounded for a week & is not allowed to use the computer and has to earn his way back to using it by earning my trust again.

Am I reacting wrong to this? My dh and I agree that if he works to show us that we can trust him again, that we will allow him to set up a FaceBook page but in my heart I don't know how long that will take. (he doesn't know that we are talking about allowing him to set one up.)

I hate the thought of not being able to trust him. He is such a good student and I'm constantly getting compliments about how he conducts himself. This is so unlike him but I know that it's typical of a kid his age.

What would you do?

I feel like I'm on this.
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