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ajrsmom 04-21-2010 09:05 AM

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 :wallbang:on this.

happymomof4 04-21-2010 09:27 AM

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? My youngest was 14.

2. Did you OK them to set it up or did they go ahead and do it own their own? We did it together
3. Do you have access to their FaceBook pages? Do you know their passwords and other "private" info.? YES to all

4. Do you have rules in your house about using FaceBook? If so, can you give me an overview of the rules? The kids didn't use their hometown for address. They are never to give there cell # or address out. The facebook is marked private. They never are allowed to except people they don't know. They are to come to us if there is a problem with this.

We did MYSPACE before Facebook. I am friends with all my kids on both sites. I go up daily and read what is going on. Even now when my kids are ages 17 thru 27. I still look. My kids are all friends with my sisters and there families. So we all keep an eye on everyone together as team.

RobertaD 04-21-2010 10:53 AM

We don't allow any chat sites for our soon to be 14 yr old daughter, and our computers are in the living room as well. We don't allow our 8 yr old to be on the chat servers for Club Pengiun and Webkins either. No one has a computer behind a closed door at our house.

Roberta

ajrsmom 04-21-2010 11:43 AM

Thanks, Ladies. I'm feeling a little less ancient after reading your comments. ;)


I'd love to hear more!

happymomof4 04-21-2010 03:42 PM

For years we had our computer in the diningroom. I could stand in the hallway and see what the kids were doing with out them knowing that I was watching them. Now we have wireless. We all have our own laptops. But Steph sits in the familyroom alot with her computer and doesn't hide it. So I know she isn't doing anything she isn't allowed to.

I key thing for me was I always talked to my kids about strangers on the computer. People pertending to be somebody they aren't. I feel being talkitive to your children helps.

ajrsmom 04-21-2010 08:18 PM

I couldn't agree more... I think that we should talk with our kids as much as possible.

That's what gets me with this situation, I think that my son got caught up in the moment and decided to put aside all that we've talked about and the dangers of the Internet. He decided to put having fun ahead of being safe. I'm thankful that nothing happened that I couldn't straighten out.

Where does the line of being a protective parent end...and the line of being overprotected begin? Am I stepping over the line?

RobertaD 04-22-2010 03:19 AM

Tami, I don't think you are being over protective you are aware of what dangers can be out there and don't want your child to fall pray to it. I think with the chat forums kids can easily forget about the safety rules (don't post what school you go to, town you live in, etc.) because they don't see the big picture.

We have so many sexual offenders in my town and a lot in our immediate area that we don't let our soon to be 14 yr old just go bike riding on her own. I know she thinks we are over protective by making her say which friend's house is she going to (and she had better be there if I drive by). And we don't let her spend the night at someone's house that we haven't met either.

Roberta

happymomof4 04-22-2010 04:03 AM

Tami you aren't being over potective. Stick to your guns with this. I know as parents we have to choose our battles with our kids. The internet and protecting our children has to be one that we stick to our guns with.

Cooked 04-22-2010 08:04 PM

I found out by accident that my 12yr old made a facebook account. She used a different name, set up a different email account. We had had the talk about no facebook etc., until I thought she had become responsible enough. I went through the roof! I friended her, and she just about died. I made her delete the page, it is still there but inactive, and we set up a real page, with me having as much info that I could think of asking for.
I then did some detective work and found she had a myspace and had aged 3 years. I had her delete that one. I have asked if there is anything else out there, no was the answer. Do I believe her? No, It makes me feel truly sick that they have all these ways of getting around us. She is a great student, friendly, artistic and articulate, and usually trustworthy. This is their world, not ours, we are learning it, they are living it. It is scary.

AnnaInOhio 06-11-2010 11:47 AM

Ladies

I'm so glad I found this thread... my close friends Neal and Melissa are dealing with this with my little friend Maddy. Dad happened to walk up behind her on the computer and saw a huge heading "F.U. spelled out across the top and a young mans picture on there. She quickly deleted it before he could look closer and said "nothin" it's my friends bf's page". This is the second time in a week that he's caught her or one of her gf's with what he thinks is inappropriate Facebook accounts. Her gf Courtney who stays with them most of the time had one open last weekend with a guy with his pants hanging half off and she lied and told him he was mistaken about what he saw. I think Courtney is way too old mentally for Maddy, a whole different upbringing and she's pretty sneaky about wanting Maddy to do things she's not allowed to do. Oh I should mention Maddy is 11 and Courtney is 12.

Are there any preventive measures he can do so that she can't access FB or any other suggestions, it's a scary world out there as Roberta mentioned I believe and pedophiles pretending to be teens is my biggest fear for the kids.

I have copied what you all have posted here and will give to Neal when he gets home.. Melissa is way too trusting, she doesn't do the internet at all other than functional things like banking and filing paperwork for unemployment and she was sitting right there on the couch when the girls were doing this.

Anna


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