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Are your kids online?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a nearly 12-year-old who desperately wants to be active online. She has an email address but that's pretty much it so far. She wants Instagram and Facebook and all that. Many of her friends are online, including one who moved away a little while ago, and I sympathize with her wanting to stay in touch with them. I hoped the email would satisfy her but she wants to do the whole social media thing.

What do your kids do online and at what age do you allow what?
post #2 of 14

i am a permissive mother so dd has had a fb page since she was 9 i think. we both wanted to play games and i was getting bugged by her playing my games. (it was shortlived - the game playing). anyways its not her real name and i allow friends to tag her pictures with my name so doesnt appear on her page. she cannot be searched. i know exactly who her friends are. 

 

she does have an instagram account which she totally got on her own. but it was a 9 day wonder. seh really got into it for a while and now rarely checks it.

 

sometime back when i did a search on her name i got a few hits. her dad had set up a gmail for her using her first and last name. :eyesroll

 

so i had her open another gmail account with an id not a name and she uses that for youtube and google plus. HATE how they link up to your gmail account. 

 

she is not online as much as she used to be. she was more the fandom kinda girl - following groups and people. i have to say i am SOOOOO grateful she is finally over HP and Hunger Games. 

 

so dd is out there anonymously. 

post #3 of 14

i have three daughters, 27, 24, and 6.

 

i don't put limits on them - they can go wherever they want but they're not allowed to install anything.

 

i do have rules:  if you're on my computer, i have your passwords - ALL of them.

don't give me a reason to and i won't start reading the key logs and checking the screen caps.

 

do not say anything online you wouldn't say to someone's face and just because you're sitting in your underwear doesn't mean you have to act like it:  you're still out in public.

 

if you have any questions, ask me.

 

my oldest, i had to crack down on her:  i contacted a few ppl on her ICQ list and let them know that at their age, they should be ashamed of speaking with a preteen.  one of them persisted so i reported him to his employer (his IP showed he was chatting during work hours on his company terminal).

 

once we got past that little hump, she was good to go.

 

my youngest is already well-informed on matters - she can watch any movie she wants (but if i tell her a movie will probably make her cry - and i'm being honest - she won't watch it; i don't have to bar her) and i haven't had to help her on the computer since she was about 4-1/2.  she knows how to google and she's good at it - she brings me the coolest URLs and videos.  sometimes someone tries to be "creepy" and she knows how to block them.  email, she's not so good at - she needs the visuals - so she skypes or facechats more than she emails.

post #4 of 14

Very similar to meemee - my DD went online at about 10 or 11 completely anonymously and with my oversight. It's funny how once it wasn't so mysterious, the fun went out of it! She is 13 now and rarely goes on Facebook. Snapchat is another issue - that's still popular. We've had (and will continue to have) lots of conversations about what's appropriate and what's not. You really need to know what they're doing and which sites - there are some scary programs out there (I can't remember the name of the one where kids vote on other kids' beauty and the like - horrible). You really need to know your child too - my DD is pretty old for her age and knows what to watch for and what's not acceptable, but of course, I still need to be aware of what's going on in her life and what she's doing!

 

My son has never been into social media (he's 17 now), but he plays lots of games online through his Xbox and computer. We've also had many conversations over the years about privacy, etc.

 

I think that there is no avoiding the online age and the sooner we take away the mystery and teach our kids what's appropriate and what isn't, the better off we'll all be.

post #5 of 14

My now 7 yr old son has been going online since he was about four or five yrs old.  He doesn't have email & doesn't interact with others.  He plays games & does internet searches & watches a lot of videos including youtube.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by threenorns View Post
 

 i contacted a few ppl on her ICQ list and let them know that at their age, they should be ashamed of speaking with a preteen.  

What's an ICQ list?? I love your guidelines, by the way.

 

My 11-yo DD has gotten online this year. Mostly Instagram, Kik, and (very lately) Snapchat. Our rule is that as long as she's living at home and I'm paying her cell bill, I have carte blanche access into her phone, email, everything. We fuss about it fairly often, actually - she really thinks she's entitled to privacy. My response is that as long as I'm legally liable for what she says online, I have to double-check that the conversations are something I'm comfortable with. And I tell her if she wants truly private conversations with her friends, then have them in person. And if she wants absolute complete privacy, keep a paper diary.

 

The school principal had a great point: you wouldn't throw your 16-year-old into the car alone and tell them to take off driving with no training. Similarly, we shouldn't be throwing our kids into social media with no supervision. What they post can have lifelong consequences, and I want to be the one to help DD learn how to post responsibly.

 

Anyway, I check her phone almost daily, and I'm comfortable with what I see her posting. But I worry about the things I don't know, like ICQ list. (?)

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntNi View Post
 

What's an ICQ list?? I love your guidelines, by the way.

 

My 11-yo DD has gotten online this year. Mostly Instagram, Kik, and (very lately) Snapchat. Our rule is that as long as she's living at home and I'm paying her cell bill, I have carte blanche access into her phone, email, everything. We fuss about it fairly often, actually - she really thinks she's entitled to privacy. My response is that as long as I'm legally liable for what she says online, I have to double-check that the conversations are something I'm comfortable with. And I tell her if she wants truly private conversations with her friends, then have them in person. And if she wants absolute complete privacy, keep a paper diary.

 

The school principal had a great point: you wouldn't throw your 16-year-old into the car alone and tell them to take off driving with no training. Similarly, we shouldn't be throwing our kids into social media with no supervision. What they post can have lifelong consequences, and I want to be the one to help DD learn how to post responsibly.

 

Anyway, I check her phone almost daily, and I'm comfortable with what I see her posting. But I worry about the things I don't know, like ICQ list. (?)

 

ICQ  (said out loud, it's I Seek You)  was a forerunner of MSN Messenger.  basically, little pop up chats.  you could search on age, location, interest, etc.  the problem was you really couldn't stop anybody from spamming the living heck out of you, lol.

 

privacy?  that's earned.  my oldest daughter learned that the hard way:  she refused to clean her room (she's autistic, as is my youngest) so i told her, get it done by 6pm or i will do it for you.

 

she didn't, so as soon as she left for school, i cleaned up her room:  EVERYTHING went into a big pile and i physically pulled and inspected each piece and read each scrap of paper and read her diary and her notebooks and some letters i found under the mattress, etc.  garbage went into the garbage, a few things were set aside awaiting explanation, dirty clothes were washed, clothing that was too small or inappropriate hit the bin.

yeah... it was dramatic that night.

post #8 of 14

My 9 yo uses the internet for searches occasionally, for school homework, sometimes watching tv shows, email, but not for social media. She started an account at. . . I think shutterfly, because she loves photography, but forgot the password and hasn't been able to get in for a long time. We installed Kidzui at one time, but weren't impressed, and some things that are appropriate can't be accessed. So I don't think anyone uses it anymore. They got a kindle fire for Christmas, and they use that a lot for reading and games. Tried to set up the freetime app but again, it was cumbersome and I'll probably end up setting up her own account. Dd2 is 6, and I am a bit more concerned for her. Still, they rarely show any desire to cross any lines.

 

I'm hoping to keep them off social networks as long as possible, though, because the peer pressure and the insanity scares the crap out of me. I know how hard it was for me to get through my teens with anything resembling self-esteem, back when computers were an exotic thing my dad used in his work as a physicist.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by richella View Post
 

I'm hoping to keep them off social networks as long as possible, though, because the peer pressure and the insanity scares the crap out of me. I know how hard it was for me to get through my teens with anything resembling self-esteem, back when computers were an exotic thing my dad used in his work as a physicist.

It scares me, too, and I was completely against it for a long time. What convinced me was it was an easy way to keep in touch with her good friends from arts camp, other schools, and other classrooms. 12 minutes of recess wasn't enough socializing time, and I think she needs that to insulate against the mean girls.

post #10 of 14

Well, that's something to think about.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by threenorns View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntNi View Post
 

What's an ICQ list?? I love your guidelines, by the way.

 

My 11-yo DD has gotten online this year. Mostly Instagram, Kik, and (very lately) Snapchat. Our rule is that as long as she's living at home and I'm paying her cell bill, I have carte blanche access into her phone, email, everything. We fuss about it fairly often, actually - she really thinks she's entitled to privacy. My response is that as long as I'm legally liable for what she says online, I have to double-check that the conversations are something I'm comfortable with. And I tell her if she wants truly private conversations with her friends, then have them in person. And if she wants absolute complete privacy, keep a paper diary.

 

The school principal had a great point: you wouldn't throw your 16-year-old into the car alone and tell them to take off driving with no training. Similarly, we shouldn't be throwing our kids into social media with no supervision. What they post can have lifelong consequences, and I want to be the one to help DD learn how to post responsibly.

 

Anyway, I check her phone almost daily, and I'm comfortable with what I see her posting. But I worry about the things I don't know, like ICQ list. (?)

 

ICQ  (said out loud, it's I Seek You)  was a forerunner of MSN Messenger.  basically, little pop up chats.  you could search on age, location, interest, etc.  the problem was you really couldn't stop anybody from spamming the living heck out of you, lol.

 

privacy?  that's earned.  my oldest daughter learned that the hard way:  she refused to clean her room (she's autistic, as is my youngest) so i told her, get it done by 6pm or i will do it for you.

 

she didn't, so as soon as she left for school, i cleaned up her room:  EVERYTHING went into a big pile and i physically pulled and inspected each piece and read each scrap of paper and read her diary and her notebooks and some letters i found under the mattress, etc.  garbage went into the garbage, a few things were set aside awaiting explanation, dirty clothes were washed, clothing that was too small or inappropriate hit the bin.

yeah... it was dramatic that night.

 

My mom did this to me once >.<. Hate to admit how long it took, but I get myself to clean my own room now. Eventually. I think it was a good call though. It was a "teaching moment." 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynthiamoon View Post
 

 

My mom did this to me once >.<. Hate to admit how long it took, but I get myself to clean my own room now. Eventually. I think it was a good call though. It was a "teaching moment." 

i think to each their own.

 

if i did that to my dd that would be the end of our relationship. dd has a big sense of privacy. to have me read stuff that she doesnt want me to read would mean catastrophe. actually i dont think i can even bring myself to read her stuff. 

 

i really dont need to know everything about dd. but i do strongly believe she has the right to privacy. at one time i tried privacy and ugh. who wants to read tweeny stuff. 

 

i am grateful dd has an online community. there are many with whom she is only in touch online. i have noticed amongst their friends they prefer texting to talking. esp. when a group talks. one of dd's best friends moved 12 hours drive away. they were both on FB when dd was having her PMS moment and she chatted with her friends about ying yang emotions and figured out what was normal and not normal for that age. sometimes dd needs to talk to kids her age. sometimes they express their emotions through emoticons. i have passed by and seen whole conversations in emoticons. 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
 

i think to each their own.

 

if i did that to my dd that would be the end of our relationship. dd has a big sense of privacy. to have me read stuff that she doesnt want me to read would mean catastrophe. actually i dont think i can even bring myself to read her stuff. 

 

i really dont need to know everything about dd. but i do strongly believe she has the right to privacy. at one time i tried privacy and ugh. who wants to read tweeny stuff. 

 

i am grateful dd has an online community. there are many with whom she is only in touch online. i have noticed amongst their friends they prefer texting to talking. esp. when a group talks. one of dd's best friends moved 12 hours drive away. they were both on FB when dd was having her PMS moment and she chatted with her friends about ying yang emotions and figured out what was normal and not normal for that age. sometimes dd needs to talk to kids her age. sometimes they express their emotions through emoticons. i have passed by and seen whole conversations in emoticons. 

 

 

dont' get me wrong, this wasn't an "ask her in the morning, drop the boom that evening" type of thing.  i'm the world's worst housekeeper - i honestly am. i'd rather lick razor blades then suck lemons than do housework.

 

but it had been *months* and her room honestly did stink unbelievably.  you couldn't walk without being buried knee-deep - and i mean that literally - in dirty clothing, books, papers, and stuff that went "squish" under your feet.  you just hoped and prayed that it wasn't the hamster because you couldn't actually see anything.

 

i started on the saturday morning:  you have until sunday 6pm to get your room cleaned.  better start now.  then reminded her that afternoon, then again the next morning.  she blew me off.  so i told her on monday, you have have until 6pm to get a start on your room, reminded her all that week - you think i wanted to do it?  hell no, i have better ways to waste my time.

 

the next weekend, i said again, 6pm sunday, and monday i spent the entire day - the WHOLE day - cleaning her room.  she got home from school about 5pm (she had choir) and that's when the roof lifted off the joists.  she raged about it for for a week.

 

but her room was *immaculately* clean after that.   when she got married and moved out, she let the housework go because "now i can" and she discovered she didn't actually like living like that.

mission accomplished.

 

btw: about the stuff i read - i am a firm believer in ppl are entitled to their feelings and opinions.  if she wants to write a five-page rant about what a B i am and how she wishes i would just die, that's fine.  she's allowed to feel that way, those are her feelings.

 

i'm more interested in the note that busted her "art club" - which turned out to be her telling me she had art club after school while a certain young gentleman was telling his mother he had basketball.  they never got up to anything serious but like i told her, that could be only because i caught them when i did and also because, being young teens, they hadn't actually worked out the logistics so spent most of their time sitting in the school playground going "so ... whadda you wanna do?"  "i dunno.... whadda you wanna do?"  "i dunno..."

post #14 of 14

This is quite a coincidence, as today on my way to work I listened to this Moth podcast where a mother talks about how she monitors her 16 year old daughter's internet use: 

 

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-moth-podcast

 

Her story is the first 15 minutes or so of the podcast. I'd love to hear if any of you do something similar or what you think about this mom's story. [Warning: may not want to listen to this in front of your children.] 

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