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Would you let an 8.5yo have their own email account?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
So my son has been asking for his own email account for a long time. (I am only considering the kidsafe ones, where I can add the only email addresses that are allowed to be used, both incoming and outgoing, and I receive a copy of all messages.) I know he could just use mine, but I would rather him not be messing around with my email account.

I was thinking that this would help him with spelling and grammar, as we struggle with handwriting issues.

Am I crazy? At what age do kids get their own email accounts these days?
post #2 of 54
I think it s fine my nine year old has one
post #3 of 54
My older children all had email addresses by that age. For the first couple years their accounts were set to forward a copy to my inbox. Now all passwords are saved on the computer but their email is no longer forwarded to me.
post #4 of 54
Well, my daughter has had "her own" account since she was about a year old, but she doesn't really use it yet. All the messages are forwarded to my account.

I think 8.5 is old enough to have an account of his own, especially if it has limited access and you're getting copies of any messages he sends and receives.
post #5 of 54
No. I am of the mindset that kids are introduced to too much technology way to soon. My oldest is 14 and I just recently let him have a facebook account strictly monitored by Mom. But my 8 yr old knows he is far from getting all those "nifty" things. I think it is overstimulating for kids and thier lives should be kept as simple as possible for as long as possible.

But that is certainly just one Mom's opinion
post #6 of 54
I opened email accounts for my daughters when they were about 8 and 9 years old (or maybe they were 9 and 10?) It had just not occurred to me to open accounts for them before that, and I opened up accounts for both of them on the same day. I opened up an account for DS when he was about 5 or 6, once he could read and write well enough to be able to use one.

He doesn't use his account much. Generally, it's to send cute little things back and forth between me and him, or him and his sisters or grandparents. For a while, we emailed back and forth "I love you" then one of us responded "I love you two" then the first replied again "I love you three" etc etc. Sometimes I forward funny emails that were sent to me, if I deem them appropriate (often cool photos of stuff- the jokes are usually over his head.)

None of us have Facebook accounts. Well, technically, I have one, but I hardly use it.
post #7 of 54
DS has had one since. . .kindergarten, I think? Maybe younger. When he was in school, he would email his teachers all the time. Now (at almost 9 yo) he uses it to email me weird links and poems and stories he writes. DD is 6 and just got one, but she doesn't really use it.
post #8 of 54
my dd has had one since she's 6 years old. she likes to write her cousins and grandparents. i see no harm in it, and she knows not to sign up for anything with it or give it out to anyone.
post #9 of 54
I'll probably be in the minority with NCmama, but I don't think mine will be getting his own email address at that age.

Mind you, he's only 5 so who knows how my view will change by then, but, right now, if he were 9, my answer would be No.
Neither will he be getting his own cell phone at that age.

But I'll keep reading responses to this thread and keep an open mind. I can't think of any arguments in favor of him having his own that would let him open one, but...who knows.
post #10 of 54
With constant oversight by you I think it's fine.

I'll let DD have her own account as soon as she can write better. She already has me type emails to her grandparents, aunt, cousin, and her two best friends (through the mothers).

To me there is a big difference between a monitored email account and facebook. DD will have to show a great deal of maturity and common sense before she's allowed a facebook page (or whatever is "in" when she's older).
post #11 of 54
Originally Posted by karemore View Post
To me there is a big difference between a monitored email account and facebook.
totally agree.
post #12 of 54
Yes, DS opened an account around age 6. Now at age 9 its a necessity for online classes and homeschool projects etc.
post #13 of 54
I'm fine with a child much younger than that having an email address - that is really different from saying the child should be allowed freewheeling access to the Internet without restrictions. I would make it clear what sort of monitoring you do and what level of privacy the child should expect. We found emailing friends and grandparents was a nice way to keep in touch and get some typing practice as well.
post #14 of 54
Mine has one...a gmail account. We haven't had any problems. It displays my name rather than hers.

I have her password.

Facebook is an entirely different affair...and they don't allow accounts younger than 13.
post #15 of 54
I can't imagine my 5.5yo being ready for an email account anytime soon! My friend's son has one and he is almost 9. (he always asks to use my laptop to check his email when he visits )
post #16 of 54
dd has had her own email account since about 4 yo (she's now 7) when her father & I separated. We both have the password and I have to sign her on. She has a regular yahoo email. The only site she can go on is webkinz. I think her father is the same way at his house, but I cannot guarantee this.
post #17 of 54
Ds (8.5) has one. We got it mainly to give him an opportunity to express himself in writing, as he is not such a fan of printing. It also allows him to stay in contact with faraway relatives. I monitor it (have the password) and he is learning what to not open without checking with me first. So far, no problems.
post #18 of 54
My daughter was younger than that when she got her first. My son was older, but he preferred IMing and still does. My youngest doesn't have his own e-mail yet, but then, he "talks" with friends and relatives on FB.

We didn't have any age rules about these things, when they wanted one and could navigate it, they opened accounts. There are ways to block ads and when they were little, we told them not to open emails if they didn't recognize who it was from.

I've never monitored their accounts, but we talk openly and have never had any problems.
post #19 of 54
Yes, we do and have.

We have a rule. If I cannot access their accounts they will not have access to the computer. My kids know we look at the history. We have had very open converstations about appropriate behaviors. We discuss news articles about dangers of the web, pictures, videos, et.

We do not use their real names.

They have facebook accounts with fake names. They love Farmville, a carnival game, Farkle, and Bejewelled. They have a small social circle that we monitor. Yes, we have lied about their names and ages but we cannot find a safe compromise. We allowed another site and we had a harder time controlling "friends".

Their emails are with our ISP. For schooling reasons my son did/does have an account with msn but I would not use msn, hotmail, yahoo. Gmail I would. I don't think there is the issue with spam.
post #20 of 54
while i like the kid safe options of the accunt OP talks about

I have to say


I am a firm believer in protecting childhood, and protecting children and keeping them children.

my 4 yo has never played starfall or any other computer game. we visit PBS kids like once a month and I work it -- and he gets to choose and watch.

I am not even sure when he is going to get to do ANYTHING like starfall, and to have an e-mail account, not for a long time.

IMO there is no one an 8 or 9 or 10 year old needs to e-mail.

Now if Dh was deployed or travled excessively (he travles but not for 3 or 4 months at a time) then MAYBE I would let an 8 to 10 year old have an account for ONLY talking to daddy.

but as a general rule -- i see no need for a child like that to converse via e-mail.

jsut me

kids are not kids long enough these days.

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