Tucker age 5
Teens and Facebook is often a hot topic among parents. I've heard strong opinions on both sides. I know parents who won't allow their kids accounts and parents who let their nine and ten year olds set up accounts (you are supposed to be 13 to have a Facebook account).
Chuck and I are always willing to listen to our children when they make a request. Whether it's about listening to a certain type of music or having a Facebook (or the new request- Skype) account. I would rather listen to my children and make an informed decision (even when the answer ultimately ends up being no) than just make hasty decisions that may or may not be based on fact. I remember how frustrating it was to me as a teen when I could only listen to "Christian" music. This meant anything labeled "Christian"…whether it was reflecting my family's values or not…and meant plenty of perfectly benign music was forbidden. By the way, this I was eventually able to listen to "other" music, probably after making this very argument.
Adalia started requesting a Facebook account about two years ago. Chuck and I listened, discussed it privately, and decided yes, she could have account. This of course led to Keziah having an account, as well and Judah and Tilly when they turned 13, respectively.
After a year and a half or so of Facebook accounts for my children, I have to say, that I find them to be wonderful. Facebook gives me insight into their friends, their friends' interests, passions, and often character. I have been able to "get to know" some of my children's friends who I have never met (from Mountain School, Missoula Children's Theater, Teen Missions, and Adalia's doula training, to name a few). So far, I haven't found any negatives…our children don't play games on Facebook, their time is limited but so far we've had only positive experiences.
Exactly two years ago I blogged about Technology and our Children here and here. It was interesting to re-read those…our teens are on the computer much more now that they were two years ago- and I think that's great. Just as it should be they are given more privileges as they grow and mature. Our basic rules and the same: the computer is in the same central location, passwords are given to me and Chuck.
So what do you think? How much time are your kids on the computer? Facebook yay or nay?