Should my child have internet accounts?

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Whether or not my child should have internet accounts is a question I have talked with a few of my friends about over the last few weeks. I think this subject is always going to divide people, as we are all protective and we want the best for our children.

My daughter will be 10 in July and she is getting to the age where she wants to talk to her friends on Skype and other online platforms. She is also interested in watching videos on how to do her hair, loombands and funny animals.

But what should you actually allow children to access via the Internet?

When it comes to Skype, I have allowed my daughter to create an account. I have helped her do it and I have control over who she talks to and when she talks to them. I always know what she is talking about and I am completely happy with her using this online platform.

However, Facebook is another story. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all state in their policies that you have to be 13 years old to open an account but I think we all know that children often use these social media channels.

13 years old is a good age for these sites. It gives teenagers that little bit of independence and it allows them to have a bit of fun with their friends online. At that age, they are also a little bit more sensible and they will understand some of the dangers of the Internet, from school or from their parents.

Am I willing to let my 9 year old use Facebook? No. Although she is very sensible for her age, I feel that Facebook is not the place for her. Even with a profile set to private, people can send her friend requests and if she thinks they are another child, she may accept them. From there, private chat may start and I do not want to think about where that could end. The same goes for Twitter and Instagram.

I do not feel any of those social media platforms are right for her at this age, and this is a conversation for the future.

Having said that, I have allowed her to appear in a YouTube video with me. The video is posted on my YouTube account and I control the comments on it. Good or bad, she won’t see them and it is my account so I can keep her away from any trolls or pervy comments.

I do also let my child search for videos on YouTube as I can see what she is doing and what she is watching. She has never watched anything that she shouldn’t and if a video she is watching has swearing in it, she tells me straight away and stops watching it. Like I said, she is sensible- probably even more sensible than me!

Is it right or wrong for me to allow this? For me personally, this is fine. I feel comfortable with how much my child is on the Internet, but I understand that other parents may not agree with this. We all have our opinions on this subject and they are all going to be different.

Who knows, in 20 or 30 years, kids will probably be online from the day they are born. More and more of our lives seem to be taking place online now and we will all have to face this dilemma sooner or later.

The best thing we can do is educate our children on how to be safe on the Internet and help them understand any dangers. Teach them to keep themselves safe in real life and online, and hopefully they will teach their friends too.

Take care all.

 

2 Comments

  • Isa A

    It’s nice that you have a control on what they watch and do. These days youngest ages have accounts. But jnpersonqlly think that for ig, fb, Twitter, and YouTube, the age should 15. These have unpredictably 18+ context that show out of nowhere. Nice article. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger

    • Ali Duke

      I think the ages should be higher too. Social media has such a big influence on young people’s lives, they need to better understand the implications of this. Thank you for reading x

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