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Thought on 12 Year Old Having a Facebook Account

I was wonderring what are your thought about facebook. My 12 year old wants a facebook account mainly because a good friend of moved out of the state and she has a facebook account so they want to stay in touch that way. My concern is how safe is it for my daughter. I would be checking her account often. But can strangers get her information and I just had my computer fixed because I had several viruses on it. and I am worried that more viruses can get on my computer through the website. Your thought are appreciated.

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I have an 11.5 yr old son and he has mentioned that he would like a Myspace account last year and since Facebook seems to be the new social site---I told him he couldn't because it IS A SOCIAL site. He also mentioned that he wanted to keep in touch with his old friends. I suggested opening an email account. It's been working so far. I think you both should consider just opening an email account. Good luck.

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Hi N. -
My daughter has a facebook account. She used my email address and my last name (hers is different). She is only allowed to be friends with people she knows in real life, and her photo is of Joe Jonas rather than herself. She feels safe this way, and so do I. Take care!


Hi N.,

If she want to communicate with her friend from out of state, she could do that with email or even more personal and thoughtful....sit down and hand write a letter.


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Your daughter can make her account private which means no one can get her information. However! Whoever is on her friends list can see whatever information your daughter sends her friend:pictures, notes and all. Personally, I would stick to email since they can send pictures notes and chat. They can also do yahoo chat or aol chat which doesn't give out email or info since it will be strictly between the two of them. Much luck to you!

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You can block everything and make it so only her friends (people who she has allowed) can see her page. Also you can enter your email address so that everytime someone sends a friend request or a message it goes to your email. It is pretty safe.

1 mom found this helpful


I have an 11.5 yr old son and he has mentioned that he would like a Myspace account last year and since Facebook seems to be the new social site---I told him he couldn't because it IS A SOCIAL site. He also mentioned that he wanted to keep in touch with his old friends. I suggested opening an email account. It's been working so far. I think you both should consider just opening an email account. Good luck.

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My advice as a 5th grade teacher is NOT to let her have one. I have seen nothing good come out of our students who have Facebooks or MySpaces. There have been suspensions over messages sent via these sites. Though not everyone can see your daughter's full profile on Facebook if you have the privacy settings on, anyone can send her a message. Anyone. Adult, school bully, friends. With an email address, one has to know the specific account name. Plus, spam is not a problem unless you are giving out the email address on other websites. If it were my child, I would go the email route. Best of luck!

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I think it's okay as long as you understand the privacy settings, and monitor it frequently. I like the idea of having your own account and Friending her, but you should also log into her account to see everything. This should be an agreed rule.

You can set up the privacy settings so that nobody can find her and contact her unless she is already a Friend. Do not allow her to be friends with someone unless you know who they are (and that they are who they say they are). Make it clear what she can and cannot post. Also, make clear that she must check with you before adding any Applications. These each have their own privacy settings which should be set.

That being said, if you makes you uncomfortable, you are well within your right to say Not Yet. Email is a very reasonable alternative.


I honestly think it is a risk, on so many levels.

Kids need face time, not face book. Cyber bullying, time waster. Avoid work to get done.
risk safety..if people tag her photos ( and you cannot stop that) then she is spread all over..

I am not sure if she would want you to have one with her but that is what I would feel ok with.

Check out Kim Commando..a tech goddess who often talks about why she does not let her young son have certain access on line..she knows all of the scary stuff.

you can have it set up so that only friends can view and one has to ask permission that goes thru FB to ok the friend. Also if you yourself also got an account and became her "friend", you can see everything that people are posting on her wall. As far as the viruses, FB itself is safe. I did recently hear that there were some viruses, but I think that is when they start using the sending messages to all their friends, (ex: sending hugs, kisses, prayers drinks, etc.) Also, building something with Farmville, you virtually build a farm and ask friends to help... I stay away from that stuff and keep FB as a connection with friends from HS and present, and just share photos. My husband would say, get a MAC to stay away from viruses, (he works for Apple, but I still have a PC, he still talking me into a Mac ; )Good luck with what you decide.

My kids both have one and for starters make sure everything is set to friends only and not everyone or friends of friends secondly for my kids we used their first name but made up a last name, added 20 years to the age and they are not allowed to put photos of themselves, so they use a dragon or something else they like or recently we uses the web cartoon and made cartoon faces they use. They are happy they have the account and I am happy that they are as safe as I can keep them. Also they are not allowed to have any friend I have not approved. Mine mostly want it for the games like Yovile. Hope this helps, Good Luck!

If you decide to let her get one, be sure you have an account as well and she is your friend on there. Most of my friends who's older kids are on facebook/myspace (facebook is much more kid friendly in my opinion) I am friends with them too. If I'm home and see that my friends daughter who should be in school posted an update, I call her mom right away. Have as many eyes on there as you can and know who all her friends are.
I do think facebook is better then myspace because I don't get the spam on facebook that I did on myspace and I think there is a lot more protection to keep your account private. An example of this is that you can upload pictures and only have your friends see the pictures, or friends of friends or anyone...you have those choices, if not more.
As far as a 12 year old being old enough, that really depends on your child and her maturity level.
Best of luck,

I would think it is totally fine. Just make sure she sets the privacy settings so that only people on her friends list can see her info. Also having some common sense rules would be a good idea. Some that I would suggest: only allow people you know in real life to friend you. Never talk to people you don't know (let her know that teens commonly pretend to be a new person and flirt as a practical joke). I'm sure others will have thought of good rules too.

I really enjoy using facebook and I can see why a 12 yr old would want to do it. It is very social. If you have doubts, you should sign up yourself and see what it is. You will see the appeal.

Hi N.,

My 12 yr old son also wants a Facebook account, so I wanted to read your responses to see if I'm being too over-protective by saying NO!

After reading, I think I am sticking to my NO answer for awhile longer. There is nothing said that can convince me to allow him to have a Facebook page. It is diffcult to make this decision because we are constantly getting emails asking us to join Facebook........but I saw a program on TV about someone stealing a photo off of Facebook, and whether it's possible to do that or not.......it spooked me enough to say NO.

He DOES have an email account to communicate with so it's not like I'm TOTALLY mean :O)

One thing that helps now, is that I moved our computer into our Kitchen/Family Room. This is the only computer in the house with internet access, and it's in my view at all times. My son is 12, and very good and honest boy, yet I know it's only a matter of time before his curiosity gets the best of him. I feel much better knowing that I can see this computer from every angle of the room :O)

Good luck with your decision...

~N. :O)

HI N.,
Why not set the acct up for her under your name. You can allow her access to it( as long as YOU don't post anything questionable)....
I did this for my 13yr old...."mom, EVERYONE has one"....well I keep telling her she is not JUST ANYONE, she is MY daughter! LOL
So, I set up an acct w/facebook. She can access it when,& IF I let her. But she can talk to friends or keep up with them. She thought I was envading her privacy, then I told her "Ok, well you don't HAVE TO have access to mine or anyone else's", now she seems fine with it!!
Good Luck

I didn't read through all the responses, but Facebook states in their privacy policy that users under 13 are not allowed to have accounts. If they discover an account by someone under 13, then Facebook will delete the account. I know that kids have them and lie about their age, but this would be a perfectly truthful response that you could give your daughter. Email would be a good way for the girls to correspond for now.

Facebook and Myspace are great. This one poster said write a letter. With email, facebook and myspace, you will save on stamps, especially when you are sending pictures with a regular letter and you could probably only send 1 or 2 pictures to stay within the 1 oz limit.

With e-mail, facebook or myspace you don't have to worry about sending pictures through the mail. With e-mail there is a chance of getting a virus through the pictures but with myspace or even facebook, your child can look at the pictures and comment on them.

The majority of my nieces and nephew who are under 18 have an account on mostly myspace. I get to check up on them ask them how they are doing in school. Since I can not go to their games, pictures are posted on their page. On both accounts you can allow only people who you want to add as your friends.

Since your child has your email address, everytime your child gets a message on their facebook page you will get an email and on that email it will say what is on facebook. If you don't want your child to see the message you can always go on their and delete. The same with myspace, you can always delete the comments or even the inbox.

Remember when the child do their profiles, less is more, when it asks for the city and state . Anywhere, CA or whatever state you are in. When it ask for a school. You can say Anywhere Middle School. You just have to be careful what your profile says.

GO FOR IT, and if it is a problem, you can delete the account.

But be forwarn all you parents out there. I went to the library to take a test and there was this 9 year old and this 12 year old using the computers and they both were up on myspace making a profile. These kids are smart, they know how to get an email address and they know how to make their own profile page. So if you don't let them have one so you can monitor it, they can go behind your back and do it themselves.

Facebook allows you to control a lot. I think it is safe for her to have an account with her name. Use your email as the access email. Anytime someone requests to be her friend or sends her a message or wall post, that information will come to your email. Within the settings, you can select that "only friends" can see any information about her, any pictures, posts, etc. Make sure it is friends only, not friends and network.
Have your daughter agree that you can log in at any time (and you will be) to view the friends list, monitor posts, and pics, etc. I think it is great for kids to know they have some freedoms, but are being well watched!
And you can close out the Facebook account at any time.
And, you should create an account as well!

My 12 year old has a Facebook, as do I and my 15 year old. Most everyone at our church also has one, as well as the girls' cousins out of state/country. It is a great way to stay in touch through posts and photos all in one place. With Myspace you have to choose privacy and filters and such, but with Facebook privacy is the default. No one can see more than your daughter's profile picture (my younger one has a pic of a kitten, while the older one's pic is of just her eye!) and her name without being her 'friend'. People can make friend requests that she must accept before they can see her whole page. I have my daughters' login info and they know that I can get in and see everything whenever I want. I also have a rule that they must be my friend and their friends must accept my friend requests. They must 'unfriend' (yes this is possible) anyone not willing to also be my friend.

This has proven to be a really fun way to stay in touch for us all. Our family is spread over two continents and this keeps us all up to date on the little stuff as well as major events. My girls' friends know I will not be out there commenting on their posts and generally embarrassing them, but they also know that I can see everything they post and I know their mamas! :o)

Just make sure you are clear with what the rules are in your family. Can she accept friend request without clearing them with you first? (our rule was if I've let her go over to that person's house, she could accept without checking with me first, but anyone else she had to ask first.) Be clear about what we allow on the internet and what is best left off (name and email address fine, but address and telephone number not. This assumes you monitor her email account) My girls know that I do random checks on their email, facebook, texts (for the older one), etc. and they know the consequences of not staying within our family rules (no computer, phone, etc. for a month. this includes home phone. If you can't communicate responsibly...) :o) They know that while I respect their privacy it is my job to guide them through life and this is part of it. The trick is to know what to bother with and what to let slide. Will you make a case out of a swear word on a friend's site? What about on your daughter's site? These sites can afford you some amazing insights into your daughter's life and that of her friends. Priceless! Another poster said she calls the other kid's moms if they are not following rules. I tend to just send them a private message to let them know that I care about them, am paying attention to them, and will call their mamas if the behavior repeats. That usually does the trick without too much drama. :o) Everyone must make their own choices for their families and this is the choice we've made for ours. Whatever you decide your daughter will know you are looking out for her best interests.

Dear N.,
I have a bunch of relatives back east who really got into Facebook and bugged me to get into it. I don't see what's so great about it. Then again, I don't have it all figured out either. There are "walls" you can write on, you can "poke" people....I prefer regular e-mail personally, and for a 12 year old, just e-mailing her friend might be best at first. I allowed my 13 year old to have Myspace, but his "friends" were his teachers and a couple of kids in his class. (I thought it was cute when one of his little buddies asked me to be his friend and he asked me advice about girls. I know his mom so I asked her if it was okay, just to be sure).

The Facebook decision is entirely yours, but let me say that a girl I went to high school with that now lives in Georgia found me on Facebook and I don't have a picture on there or anything. My only "friends" are my relatives with my maiden name. I was happy to hear from her, but it was a surprise to say the least.

I hope you get some great advice.
Best wishes!

Hi N.,

If she want to communicate with her friend from out of state, she could do that with email or even more personal and thoughtful....sit down and hand write a letter.


I use facebook and think it is fairly safe. BUT I would caution any mom that allows their child to use the internet. In my opinion she is too young. I would suggest instead that she get her own email account (with all the filters of course) that YOU have the password for. You can check it for spam and hand it over to her. You can also set up a Skype account (Google has one too, the name escapes me) so that she can talk face to face with her friend (costs less than the phone!) and they can even play games together on-line.
I would rather play on the safe side...my kids hate it but that's ok with me! 5 are over 21 now and all know how to be safe on-line, I think we did something right. =)

Someone had the idea of just having an email address. That seems like a good idea to me. My 13 year old niece has a facebook account and has had it since she was 12. She can only get to it from my sisters (her moms) screen. She does not have the password so if she wants to get on she has to ask her mom to get her on. That way her mom can know when she is on and monitor her. Also the computer is out in a common area where my sister can monitor everything that happens on there. My niece does use it to talk to friends, but most of her friends are her moms adult friends and her aunts and uncles.

Facebook is pretty safe. You can set her profile that only her accepted friends can see her picture. I am also pretty sure that you set the profile to only allow people of certain age groups to contact her with friendship requests.

Greetings N.: Why can't she just email her friend?
I have several law enforcement officers in my family and one brother-inlaw that did undercover for awhile. They are all concerned by what they have seen kids get themselves exposed to from outsiders that get "invited" onto a persons pages. So becareful and observe what is going on and when the kids don't want to be monitored anymore GET REAL CONCERNED. Our youth are sometimes innocent and then get in over their heads faster then they expected. My 12 year old granddaughter has one she shares ith her family so it is open for all to see and if something that shouldn't be there is the parents are right on top of things.
Good Luck, Nana G

Hi N. -
My daughter has a facebook account. She used my email address and my last name (hers is different). She is only allowed to be friends with people she knows in real life, and her photo is of Joe Jonas rather than herself. She feels safe this way, and so do I. Take care!


If your child is uunder 14 it has limited access to begin with. Only people you accept as a friend can view your facebook. Set the rules with your child and make sure she knows not to add anyone as a friend without your permission first. Check it often and make sure she is following your rules. If she breaks them, then take her Facebook privileges away. If you put your e-mail as the e-mail account associated with her facebook, you will be notified by e-mail when someone askes to be added to her facebook as a friend. You will also be notified of all comments left to her.

I think it's safe enough as far are your son's well-being is concerned. Actually, you might be able to monitor what he's up to even better!
I did get a virus though from downloading Adobe Flashplayer with Internet Explorer 8! I think that's what did it anyway. It was to watch a video on facebook. I'd have him check with you before downloading stuff maybe. If he doesn't know more about computers than you that is!

This is a piece of technology that we as parents will have to deal with. Like anything in life there are positives and negatives. It's a great way for them to keep in touch with people. One of my children reconnected with a relative he met in Italy when he was 3 years old. As the kids get older they rapidly surpass us in the ability to use this technology. I know of parents who "forbid" it, but the child can activate an account without the parents knowledge (this is an issue for older teens mostly). What I have recently learned is that we need to teach them how to use this properly. All the suggestions others have written are good. Some things you may not know. Facebook archives all their data. Colleges and prospective employers now pay to search Facebook and other sites for info on prospective students or employees. With face recognition softwear they can identify people in any of the the pictures stored. These don't have to be pictures your child posted. They can be pictures their friends took. I now tell my children not to allow their pictures to ever be taken, which is mostly impossible to manage because everyone with a cell phone has a camera and can take your picture without your knowledge and post it on their site. There are teenagers getting in trouble for what someone has posted on someone's site. For example, you are in a picture at a party where someone was drinking, now you are in trouble too. Many schools have moved to the position that if you are somewhere with drinking and/or drugs the student is expected to leave. No longer is "just say no" acceptible. How you could prove that the picture was taken before you left has never been explained to me. Like many people they think that Facebook is private and it's not. Their comments, pictures, etc can be accessed. If a parent doesn't like what your child said or the picture they took they can print it out and turn it into the school. Like anything written - what the writter meant to be a joke/playful comments can be taken as mean sprited by someone else. I now have three teenagers & still haven't figured out how to manage this well. I know it's a form of technology that is not going away and so that leaves me with trying to teach them how to use it responsibly. As well as praying someone doesn't post anything on their site that will get my kid in trouble.

Facebook is way better than Myspace. People can only get your information if you allow it go be public. Most people don't. When someone offers you a friend request, you only take it if you know them. I have been pleasantly surprised by the safety of it. There is however something to know - if you do a lot of these online little quizzes, like what disney character are you, or what's your iq, there is a way that people can get your information. But if you set your privacy settings correctly it won't happen. But you should be aware of that ahead of time. And, when you set up the account, you can put as little information as you want, so they don't get phone number or email or anything. My last suggestion is that you have access through her password so you can see who is posting on her wall, or who she is messaging. I feel totally comfortable with it and I would allow it.

Good luck!

My 11 year old has a Facebook account. We have several rules:

1) I will ALWAYS have her log in information
2) She has a "private" profile.
3) she will NEVER EVER EVER give out her log in information
4) she must be my "friend" so I can see her posts
5) she must never give out identifiable private information, such as "I'm going to be at XX Mall today between 5-6 pm"...

And here are my rules for "monitoring":
1) I review all of her new friends
2) I "monitor" her posts (i don't have to read all of them)
3) Occasinally I "audit" her permissions (can people see her publicly, etc.)

My daughter is currently just connected to family members and a few friends. She plays the games and posts pictures of her animals. It's a fantastic way to stay in touch.

Also, yes, she can get viruses through Facebook. I know of someone who clicked on a video (it linked directly to YouTube) and they got a nasty virus. Have a good virus software on your computer regardless. Stuff happens.

My 13-year old has had a Facebook account for about a year. I also have one, and know her password so I can log in to her account any time I want to. I feel fairly safe about it, but I do find that my daughter spends way too much time on it chatting with her friends (but at least she's not texting all day, like most kids we know).

One of my daughter's classmates met a boy on Gaia online and her family has had a horrible time stopping that relationship. I recently passed on to the girl's mom what my daughter told me - that her friend and the boy were planning to get together. Their chats have been far from wholesome, so it's a scary scenario.

As an alternative to Facebook, if both your daughter and her friend have Gmail accounts or Yahoo email accounts they can chat with each other through their email accounts, and that's a great way to have real time conversations with someone who's far away (you can chat on Facebook as well).

My one recommendation would be to set time limits for your daughter. As I've observed, it can be very addictive for someone that age!

Good luck!

You could give it to her on the condition that you become one of her Facebook friends. Then you can monitor it. She probably won't like it but maybe you can make the condition that after a few months you will be comfortable and then get off. I personally do not put restrictions on my kids because I trust them, and they have proven themselves worthy of my trust. Tell her not to give out personal or revealing information. It's not actually THAT easy for someone to harm your child through the computer, despite all the scary stories you hear. If your child is emotionally well-adjusted she's not going to be looking for contacts with strangers. I've never worried about it.

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