Facebook for Teens?

Updated on July 09, 2010
L.O. asks from Oak Park, IL
22 answers

My daughter is 13. She does not have a cell phone or facebook - she doesn't have an account on any sort of social networking site. She emails her friends often, but hints that she would like a facebook like her 16 year old sister. She says that many of her friends have them and that she wants to communicate with her not as close friends over the summer.

I know that she is smart and understands internet safety, but I'd like to hear from other parents. When did your children get facebooks and are they good or bad? How do you manage what your child does online?

And most important - should I let her get a facebook?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from New York on

No, I wouldn't not let her have a facebook yet, not only for the risks but because other people in Facebook and other websites don't seem to care that teens can have asses to the websites and just say or do nasty things.
I would give her a phone (a cheap one) and keep a eye on how she behaves and how responsible she is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would set up her account and password and let her know that you will monitor it, you should also add her as a friend of create an account and add her so you can monitor it. You can set the privacy settings to where it wont show any personal information or location, you can even block photos and llimit everything viewable to her 'friends' only. Do it on a trial bases.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Philadelphia on

Honestly, it is such a large part of a teens social networking now. Like others have said, set it up with her, know the passwords, make it private and be her friend. Now, just because you are her friend does not mean that you should nit pick on every unsavory thing that she or her friends may say. You are there to look out for her safety and even be silly with her. Explain the dangers often and monitor her pictures. My young cousin has been on since he was 13. He uses it a lot for homework questions and to talk about music and movies. He also uses it to make plans with friends.

Keep the lines of communication open and use it as another way to get closer to your daughter and learn about her world.

B. Davis

Because nothing is more important than family

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My daughter (now 15) started with MySpace in Middle School but it seems that no one does that anymore.

She does have a FB account and has had one quite some time. I have one too. She understands internet safety and I don't monitor keystrokes, etc. We have a very open line of communication in our family and I feel this is extremely important to any relationship.

I am not her friend and she is not my friend on FB. I do check on her FB randomly by using her logon and passcode. She knows I will do this. So far, things are not bad, she does not post very much, she chats with friends. We do chat about what some people have posted online and how that could effect them. Some of the language used by these teens sicken me. We have discussed that at length. I have shown her how anyone can save any picture or video she has posted and use it elsewhere. I am not a tech savvy person at all and when I showed her that even I could do this, she did remove a lot of her pictures just because she felt more comfortable, not that they were racy or anything like that. The security feature on FB is at the highest level as well.

She does have a cell phone and texts a LOT. She communicates with her friends mainly through texting.

I think it is ok for a teen to have FB as long as the teen is aware of all the potential risks (FB is famous for viruses) and uses it wisely.

Good communication between teen and parents is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I wouldn't. There's no harm in letting her wait till she's at least 16. My husband and I work with computers. Our son is 11. He'll be on a computer more and more for school work and collage, and very likely he'll be chained to a computer through work. We see no reason he has to start all that now when he has his whole childhood to enjoy being a kid. Kids do stupid things with computers and cell phones, and even if yours is a good kid, it doesn't take much for cyber bullying and porno pictures being passed around. It seems every few months you hear of some teen killing themselves after being teased online. There was another child (14 yr old) who was beaten on a bus while someone videoed the attack to play it on YouTube. Besides being in the hospital for several weeks, his humiliation and being picked on at school over that made-to-publicize attack meant he had to finish the year being home schooled before he could switch school districts. It's a whole can of worms that's best left to open as late as possible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

This is such a gray area. We do all that we can to teach our kids about the dangers and we think they have it down pat, cuz we've drilled them about a million times... But it so many cases they don't do what we would expect them to in a certain situation...

Did you see those episodes on Dateline?

I am so not the overprotective mother, but I definitely use caution when it comes to certain things like the internet, cell phones, etc. I personally don't care if my kids are the last to have cell phones or facebook, or designer clothes, whatever.
Only you as her mom can truly answer the question if she is ready and responsible enough. Every child is different and matures at different times. However, some of my young cousins or nephews have Facebook pages and I am disgusted at their content and language.

My daughter wasn't allowed until she was 16 and I'm not even thrilled about that... What happened to kids riding their bikes and playing in the dirt???

Good luck! Being a mom is so tough...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hi L.,

I recently got back into facebook and set up a page for my 10 yr old daughter. She LOVES it and the biggest thing she'll do on there is Farmville, even my 30 yr old sister is hooked on that game. I have a lot of neices and nephews close to her age who also have a page and she communicates pretty much with them only.

She only has about 20 friends on her list, some from school but mostly family members. I see nothing wrong with it, mostlly because there's so many security settings you can control and you can make her page completely private from anyone but her friends. Even her friends friends can't see her page w/out accepting a new friend request.

Now my daughter did want me to set her up a myspace page back in the day but I didn't like that as much as facebook. Facebook just seems more innocent IMO and has better privacy settings.

I think 13 is a fine age to let her join and just set everything on her page for private for non friends, check up on her page every day (there's NOTHING wrong with doing that) if she wants a facebook, then she should know you're going to check up on what she's doing and monitor her friends. Let her know you want to be aware of any new friend requests and approve before letting them be on her page. And you can always go in there and DELETE any friends you don't approve of at any time if you don't feel their being appropriate. It's very easy to control and my daughter knows that I know her password and will at all times and she's fine with that. As long as she's just communicating with some friends and family, it will be fine. If at any time you feel it gets out of control, just delete the entire page and tell her she has to wait a few more years.

I think she'd have a lot of fun with it. My daughter mostly does the games and makes silly faces out of her family members pictures that always crack me up. It's reallly cute. Take care!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

my kids are 7 and 11 and they both have facebook accounts - the rules I have are they can only friend people I ok, or people they know personally (classmates). Their aunts, uncles and cousins love that they can be informed on what is going on in their lives. I know their passwords and can and have checked on what is being said. Mostly they love to play the games on there.

My view is to guide them in the proper use of the social networking now, when they will still let me, lol.

I also have both their accounts set up as private, so only friends, not friends of friends can see them. I do not see how a predator could get to her through facebook as I control who they ok as a friend.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm interested to see the responses. I have a pre-teen daughter who does not have a facebook account but she has classmates who do. I don't have one myself so don't know much about it but I think there is a recommended age by facebook. I'm guessing it is just checking a box saying yes, I am stated age so I'm sure kids can easily lie to get around that. I do get emails inviting me to join facebook, sometimes from people I don't even know. If I scroll down in the email it will say "you might also know..." and there will be someone on there I do know. Evidently anyone who is a facebook friend with someone I know can send me invites via email. I'm not sure if that means they actually have my email address or can just get invites to me through facebook. That makes me a little nervous though about who could possibly contact my child if he/she opens an account. Our school district sometimes offers one night sessions for parents so maybe check to see if there is something like that you could attend. A police officer usually presents at the sessions so maybe your local police department could even answer some questions for you. Good Luck! It can be a scary world out there especially with our kids being more computer savvy than us:)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When did your 16 yr old get one? I think it's only fair to wait til your younger one is the same age that her older sis got one (or close to at least). I hate when parents give in to the younger one only because the older one has something.

The expectations on the older dghtr are probably different than the younger one so the older dghtr should be made to feel more grown up. Kids should know that they get things in stages relative to their age. Just like when your older dghtr gets her drivers license the younger one can't get it til she turns 16.

Just my thoughts

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

How do you handle it with her big sister? My rule was the computer had to be in a common area of the house. No lap tops or pcs behind closed doors. And I had to have the username and password and she had to add me as a friend. My daughters biggest complaint about that was that she can't control what dumb stuff her friends or classmates might post. I promised not to hold the really inapropriate things her friends would post against her, although I might ask her to defriend someone if I thought they went too far. Don't be afraid of invading a 13 yr olds online privacy. It's your house, your computer, your internet connection, and your job to keep her butt safe!


answers from Champaign on

We have 4 kids and decided high school was good age for Facebook and cell phones. The oldest is over 18 and the 2nd oldest is a going to be a junior this fall. I maintain the ability to login until they graduate. My kids know not to use foul language and be ignorant. I cant say that for the majority of their friends who apparently have no parental guidance. I have to constantly remind my nieces and nephews (whose parents know nothing about the internet) to watch their language and remember that potential schools will be reviewing their pages.



answers from Tulsa on

Yes, every one of my friends have FB accounts for their kids. We almost all have the kids computers in the family room so we can see what they are doing all the time. You need to be her friend so you can see what she is posting. You can set her privacy up where she isn't seen by the general public. My grandkids accounts are completely hidden, they have to do the inviting. I also do not put their real age on their accounts. Why in the world would I tell the world "here are some kids, take advantage"...I put their birthdays and their moms birth year. They are never on when someone is not in the family room and able to see what they are doing.

the games are fun and entertaining. There are many aimed at younger children, the graphics are "cuter" and more cartoon like and then there are games where the graphics are more adult like. I play FarmTown and I think it appeals more to adults, the trees look like trees and the crops and stuff are more real too. FarmVille is more geared to kids and Barn Buddy, Happy Aquariums, FishVille, and Lil Farm Life are very juvenile looking and easy to play. The games life Mafia Wars, Vampire Wars, etc...are very much adult games or older teens.

There are many things kids can do together and enjoy that are safe, fun, and easy to monitor.



answers from Chicago on

I work at the middle school letter. Recently a police officer came and discussed all of this with the students. It was wonderful. I am sure they are doing it at schools everywhere, but if not you might let her know about predators so not to give too much information about herself. And if she doesn't know someone never meet them somewhere. Unless of course there is a clear reason to do so (you would be the judge of that-perhaps meeting a dignitary of state to interview for her social studies class).Do not reveal when people are on vacations, when mom and dad are out, etc. Personally I think Facebook can be a fun tool to communicate but it also depends on the maturity level of the 13 year old. If you do permit this be sure your computer is out in the open -not tucked away in bedroom so she is up all night on it. I do not know when my sons started on it. But had I known I know I might have been a better monitor of some things. I believe one of my sons was bullied. While this was not the direct result among others he was hospitalized last year for emotional problems and followup with a year of counseling. Please seek out your police department for more answers. They are only too happy to help.



answers from Chicago on

NO. They have a long time to be grown-up. They have only a few years to be children. Let her be a kid.



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Davenport on

I would say that it is okay, but I think it is important that you have one as well and both of your daughters need to accept you as a friend. I would also set up their privacy settings so that only friends can see their info.



answers from Philadelphia on

I let my daughters when they were 13. I have their passwords and they know that i am on there often. My husband and i are also on their friend list, so we get to see status messages and things. I do not see anything wrong with it if you are monitoring it.


answers from Chicago on

I LOVE Toni's helpful answer! LOL
In opposition, I would say YES!

I don't know why she couldn't get one, if she's willing to let you monitor it and if she uses it properly. Seems like many kids that age have them. And while it can be a source of drama, it also can be a lot of fun. My daughter has one and loves to play games and share pictures and comments with her cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and birthmom. She has more relatives on it than friends. And since we don't live close to most of them, it's been a neat way for them to reconnect. She does have some friends on FB and so far no problems.

The security settings are good. I'm also security! She can't "friend" someone without asking me. And I monitor her "wall." I really don't see how it's so bad. It's a changing world. We have to teach our kids to be smart and use technology wisely, instead of being afraid of it.



answers from Chicago on

My 13.5 year old daughter got one when she was 13. She told me that was the minimum age that Facebook required for kids to have a profile and she waited until then to even ask me for to have one. (She's a mature kid who follows the rules, which is one of the reasons I let her be on FB). I have her login and password (as I do for her email, etc.) and am a "friend" on FB. These are requirements until she is 18. But she's also friends with her aunt and uncle and it really doesn't seem like a big deal to her. We've had the conversations about safety, not sharing too much, etc. I use examples from the news to reinforce this message with some regularity. I remind her that there are people out there who are not good and to always be cautious. Most of her freinds have not been inappropriate. In fact while writing this we just looked at her page together and it was all fun stuff. You know your daughter and will have to make the best decision for your family. Oh, and about the issue of her sister not being on FB till she was 16, I agree in general that not allowing younger kids to do things earlier than siblings makes sense. But three years ago, FB was not as big as it is now. If it had been when your older daughter was 13, she might have wanted to be on then too. (My now 10 year old son will be eligible to be on FB when he is 13 if I believe he is mature enough to do so.) Good luck. Let us know what you decide.



answers from Chicago on

I agree with Princessand3frogs and the Gail S. post. No, personally I don't think anyone should have access to that kind of thing before age 18. What happened to kids riding bikes, running through sprinklers, etc. It is sad to see that they are dependant on computers and cell phones. I know its a changing world but that doesn't mean that kids should grow up so quickly and "miss" their childhood. What are their memories going to be of growing up? Talking and texting on phones and sitting in solitary on their computers?



answers from Oklahoma City on

Yes, I think 13 is old enough for facebook. Set the account to private. Help her set up the account so you know the login and password. If it would make you feel 'safer' about it, don't let her know the password then you can monitor when she is allowed to access facebook, etc. You can see who is 'friending' her, who she is 'friending', what pictures she is posting, etc. Also, for safety don't let her use a picture of herself for her profile pic, only pictures of herself on her homepage that only she and her 'friends' have access to viewing.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions