24 answers

Rules for Facebook for Young Teen

Alright, my teen has a facebook account and understands the ins and outs of it (unlike mom) Are there any rules that your household has for using this, or general computer use? Do you have any links for how to use this? I know I should google, but I'm more interested in finding out what moms are doing with facebook in their own homes.

How much time to allow? Who can be friends? What if someone posts something on a friends wall that you don't approve of? Are their any situations that you've had that have put up caution flags in your mind? And so on... Thanks!

Just a quick update so you don't have to advise me on this...we do have the computer in the main living area of the house...thanks for all your imput so far! Keep it coming! LW

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all for great advice! I have an account, but haven't had the time to figure out how the system works so now I have new resolve to spend some time learning the system. We'll be sitting down and discussing the guidelines that you all shared...so reassuring that other moms had the same instincts about this that I have. Thank you!

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I have my own Facebook account so that when my kids get a little older and want one (they are almost there). Then I will make them make everything private and friend me so that I can see what is on their page. They would not be allowed to friend anyone they do not know.

Timing is a little different. You can use that as a reward for grades or chores.

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EXTRA PRIVACY SETTING - a must for young teens!

My daughter had an issue of people posting pictures to her wall and then other people using them on their websites. (Long story) She stopped that by adding the extra privacy to her account by making herself invisible. Nobody can search her. She adds friends to her account by asking them to be her friends. She can search for the friends she wants and doesn't get flooded with requests by other people she doesn't know.

If you go to "Settings" then "Privacy Settings" then "Privacy ... manage" then "Search" and go to "Search Visibility." She can select "only friends."

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if it doesn't work as I may have written it down in the wrong order. I'm glad they have added this extra security. It stops predators as well who just look for kids by age, location or photo.

3 moms found this helpful

My son has a facebook account also. I know his password and I monitor it daily. Yes, I have had his friends post things that I do not approve of and I delete the post after the second not approved post I take that "friend" off the "friend" list.
I have explained what is exceptable and what is not.
The rule at our house is if in doubt then take it out.
My son is not allowed on the computer in his room, at the same time I do not use the computer in my room either. I trust my son, but at the same time I know he is a teen and things happen.
As far as time limits we have a 30 minute "free time" computer use a day. I say "free time" because he does have to use the internet for class assignments. I hope this has been of some help.

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Hi L.,
I would suggest that you create an account for yourself and learn to use it. I enjoy it, as I've connected with old high school friends around the world for the first time in 23 years.
With children, I personally think it would be best to limit personal contact information, such as listing the birthday without the year. You can be listed as their "friend" on facebook, which will allow you to see their friends. On one mom's site, her son and daughter are listed as friends, and he college age son posted on her wall that he loved her. It can be positive. I hope that helps.

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Hi there! My son is 12 years old and I allowed him to have a Facebook page on a couple of conditions. First of all I set the account up for him myself so that I would know the email address & the password anytime I wanted to go into his account. I also had him add me to his friends list so that anytime I am signed on I can see exactly what is going on with him and his wall (page). If he joins any groups he also has to add me to those as well. I dont allow him to accept any friend requests until I see who is sending the friend requests. Too many pervs out there for me not to be so cautious. He is also only allowed to be on the computer for a maximum of 1 hour for anything he wants to play. Just a few things I do to make myself for more comfortable I guess. Hope it helps and good luck!

R.

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Hi L.,

I am a technology consultant and have accounts with twitter, facebook, myspace, etc. In my humble opinion, I would say that facebook tends to be a little more "classy", but then again it all depends on the user and who they are "friends" with. My suggestion to you would be to do the following:

1. Make sure his/her site is set to private, meaning only their "friends" can see her information
2. Set up an account yourself and make sure he/she makes you a "friend" so that you can see the activity on the site.
3. Set some ground rules on what is/is not acceptable; talk to him/her about the importance of not be-friending people she doesn't know.
4. You must be 13 to have an account with facebook - those are facebook's rules.

I think someone else posted this, but I can tell you from experience that employers do look at people's pages before hiring someone. They do it all the time. When we were kids, our parents had the "don't put anything in writing that you would not want the whole world to read" talk with us in regards to note-writing. It's the same thing with these sites! You just need to have that same talk with your daughter. If she is honest and trustworthy, then you won't have any problems.

I think it is also important to stress that you should do this with him/her. Kids these days are using social networking and incorporating technology in their lives at a rapid pace. Whether we like it or not, it has become wildly popular as a means of communication for this generation. By the time your son or daughter reaches college, she needs to have experience using social networking, IM, texting, email, etc. because many of her college professors use these means of communication with their students nowadays. Also, if you allow him/her to set up accounts, but you don't, you are missing out on a very valuable way of staying in communication with him/her. I think if you learn alongside him/her, you will find that you like it. Hope this helps you!

2 moms found this helpful

In my house, no Facebook at 14. If you insist that your 14yo have Facebook, then you should have a Facebook account, too, and be his/her "friend" and have your teen's password. Your teen should expect no privacy online. For privacy, he/she can write in a journal. Anything else is fair game for random and frequent checks.

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If you have 6 children...you need to have that PC in a main living area so that ALL CAN SEE. Kids are GREAT for telling on themselves!!!;)
Frys, Best Buy and the lot have software you can install to help control usage and "checking" on the kiddo's.
Be carefull with that Facebook (not a fan)....a person on THIS site tried to invite me and sent me a virus. Fortunetly, my husband is a software engineer and knew EXACTLY where it came from and how to solve the problem.
Good Luck,
M. :)

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Hi - I have 2 kiddos with MySpace and Facebook accounts. First, I only give them 1 hour each day of computer use so they have to do their homework first - it takea a lot of explaining to get extra time. Secondly, I look over their shoulders and ask who people are and I have their login information so I can go in on my own. Third, I monitor their grades and behavior. If their average falls below an 80 or I get notes from teachers, their access is restricted. I also monitor their computer usage through Vista. Good Luck!

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I would suggest that you get a facebook also so you can learn everything about it and be friends with your daughter on facebook so that you can monitor what is going on with her.

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Have her go into settings at the top and go through those pages that come up and mark things as "seen by friends only" and also fine the button in those tabs that say something like " don't use me for ads". Hope that helps some. You can't keep other people from posting things you don't approve of but you can delete things off your own page. I would just monitor it for a while and see what she is doing. Maybe worth your while to get a page yourself even if you hardly use it, just so you are familar with how it works! It is very easy!! Also, put no priviate info. On it. Good luck!

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There was a mom who was given great advice on April 8th, Her name was Deb K. Her daughter was having some issues with her cell phone computer etc.. Nothing like what you are experiencing, but the mom received some great advice about computer use in the responses.
Here is a partial of what I responded I have tweaked it to your request.

"His computer is also a tool for his education. It should be placed in the TV room or wherever you spend the most time, so you can see what is going on with his computer. There are ways to read the history of his computer so that you can go back and see where he is going on that space. Find out how to do this. The computer is mainly for him to get his school work done. Research etc. Visiting facebook is only after he has completed his homework, or studies. The sooner he completes all of that the more time he will have on the computer. His attitude and behavior affects the time allowed on the computer for his social time.

You mom, need to get a facebook account and “friend” your son. I also encourage you to “friend” your sons friends and their parents… We are all on facebook. I have even encouraged my aunts, grandmother, my father , mother and my sister to all “friend” all of the grandchildren…. Believe me, it cleans up any discussions and behaviors really quickly. This will allow you to see everything that your son is doing on facebook. I do not care for myspace. I have yet to see any thing good come out of that social network. This is not punishment, this is a chance for you to get to know his friends."

I remind my own daughter that once it is on the web, it is there forever. Colleges now look at these websites so do employers, so they need to make sure their behaviors and language represent them in a good light. On his facebook page on the top right of the page is a place to set his page. Make sure it is for "accepted friends only". This means anybody that goes to his page will first have to have his permission to view it. Even if they look through a friends page and try to see his info, they will not be able to look there. Once you friend him you will get his activity sent to your box.

Facebook is like what we used to use our private "teen" phones for. Remember how you would talk on the phone to your friends even if you just saw them at school 10 minutes before? This is a good and safe way for him to learn web responsibility. You can always use facebook as a way to reward or discipline his behavior.

2 moms found this helpful

First of all facebook usually is a better choice than myspace in my opinion. Facebook is usually used by a different "crowd" so to speak. Though you do still have to be careful. The best way to monitor your daughter's usage is to create an account yourself and add her as a friend. This will allow you to see things that she posts in her status as well as her photos, links, and survey's she participates in (some of them can be rather tacky... but some of them are completely innocent and fun). If someone post something on your wall (which is like your page everyone else sees when they click your name) you can delete this. You can do so by deleting just the single comment or if the problem persist, you can reject everything from that member. You may also delete or block status feeds (which is the little one liner many people post on a regualar basis. This feed will show up on that members wall *see above* as well as on the home page of all who are that persons friend.) Please keep in ind that there is also an inbox which workd the same as any other email. If you monoriting from being a friend you will not be able to see any of these messages... sent or received. I have even seen some parents require their childrens log in and password to see all of their child's page. Ask your family members (aunts, grandparents, etc) to create an account as well and add your child as a friend. Just the presence of such people will instantly help clean up what is written, at least from your child. Many parents only allow their kids to become "friends" with people they already know or have met. That was there is no issues of becoming friends with someone who is deceiving for ill measure... Just a thought!! Facebook can be really clean... if used properly!! But can be bad... if not! Different with each child.
**Keep your computer in a main area
**Limit time
**Don't think you kid won't do "such and such"... I have worked in youth ministry for 10 years... The best of kids get sucked in without proper parent involvement.
**Don't allow any personal information to be posted, like address or even email. Birthday is okay with no year!! Taht way frineds can remember. If the friends from FB want to email your child, they can by using FB, not her personal email.
**Know your Texting/online lingo!! Google it, there are info list everywhere.

**

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You have gotten a lot of good answers already.
You either need an account of your own and "are friends" with her so you can see what's there or you get the password and can go in and check it out.

My kids must only be friends with kids they know and trust. They cannot be friends with the kids that get into trouble, party....etc....all the things I've heard about in the past. If the kid shows poor judgement and/ or that he/ she is not supervised at home, that kid cannot be a FB friend. period.

Every once in a while one of the "friends" posts a curse word in their status or as a comment to someone else, usually in reference to homework or a teacher. That has to be removed and you/ they do that to the right hand side of that comment. Continued language from that kid means we drop him as a friend.

Homework and responsibilites done first! We don't lose sleep over FB. Half hour a day on a school day max on FB.
If the grades drop or the the chores get skipped b/c we are too busy facebooking, then we go on fb sabbatical for a while.

Those are our rules for FB. Hope that helps.

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I have read the other comments. Do ALL of what they say in them. I also have 6 kids at home under 15 to 2. I am not brave enough to home school. We need our time away from each other. 5 of my kids are in school and all use the computer for school use. Nothing should be in a childs room to keep them from interacting with you. I.E. TV or computer. The use of the internet is important to the children because that is the present and future. Trust is key from both of you not just you to the kid. Facebook will tell you what you need to know about your kids and their friends and is a tool to teach boundries as well. Be their friend on facebook and watch what they say and respond little and you will get a lot. NO to myspace! NO chatrooms-period! even for you. This is an advise and idea room. I am old school and my kids are outside kids. We watch NO TV and my kids to homework on the computer and only my 15 girl desires to even get on other sites like fscebook. She is NEEDY of friends and acceptance though. The rest of my kids are fine with who they are and how we live. Delete comments that are not Godly and deleting those friends is just like telling you kids who they can be friends with--be careful with that one. Your children have to learn to deal with these people when they leave your home and do not have you around. Some children will be friends with them in other ways just to spite YOU. Good luck and we love facebook as adults it connects you to your childhood and friends of years ago.

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My thoughts. Take what you want. Hope this helps.

Keep hidden you home address and where you are born, your birthday is fine but not the year. Never post when you are going on vacation.

Your daughter can select her friends. She can also hit ignore to not be friends with them. You can unfriend at anytime.

Picture tagging. If you are in a picture and have a FB account people can put your name on a picture. If you don't like the picture you can't do much about it if it is on someone elses wall but you can untag so your daughters name isn't on that picture. Once you untag a picture you cannot retag yourself.

Become a member and start learning FB. My grandma, mom, Aunts and Uncles are on. They are slowly getting it.

Know your daughters account and how to log on. Check what is being posted and talk to her.

There is an email in FB. I can communicate with friends without the world seeing our private conversation.

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My 16 yr. old son has one and so does my Goddaughter. So therefore I have one. I mainly did it to catch up with my friends, but I also become friends with my son's friends. Therefore I can check up on them and see what is going on in their lives. I do it as a precautionary and if I don't think something is right, I inform their parents just to keep an eye open to what is going on around them. I also have a MySpace acct. and do the same thing with my GD. If she post a picture or says something I don't agree with, I let you know about it real quickly. So just a thought for you, consider getting one yourself so that way you can check up on your kids without them really knowing what you are doing.

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The biggest rule is that you get your own Facebook account and they are your "friend" with no restrictions. My kids are college age, but I'm their Facebook friend. You can then monitor what they're doing and use it to communicate with them as well. By the way, I spend more time keeping up with my Facebook friends than they do. You can find long lost friends this way, very cool.

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as with any internet site she should only add friends that she knows. if a friend posts something that is not approved. explain to her why that is trashy and why she shouldnt even want to post it. why dont you get a face book yourself. i have losts of family and old highschool friends that i caught up with again on there! you could also have full accsess to her page, friends, photos. i am sure there is information on the web about profile page and safety. i recomend that she has all profiles set to private. i like face book much better than myspace ( although myspace is simpler). face book dose not have open chat rooms that strangers can pose as kids in. at least not that i have found!

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I had a Fb before my kids!! lol The other good side is that my girls are friends with all the relatives and it really is the best way to stay connected with photos, happenings, etc. If you approach this as another thing for you to teach them the proper ways, it will help create that trust with your kids. Just warn of the dangers they same as you did about going in the street!!
For my 17 yr old, I let her get myspace 4 years ago and she showed me her acct she already had from setting up at a friends house! So you definitely want to allow it so you can supervise the acct!! I had her password for a few months until I felt all was okay. I was also her friend and several of her friends' friend (I let them ask me). It is also a quick way for me to send them a reminder on something to do this week, etc.
The computer has always been in the family room but now after several years, I have gotten internet for her on her cell phone.
I realized that if I don't allow this, she will do it w/o my advice/supervision and next year, she will be moving away to college.
I also allowed my now 13 yr old to get one 2 yrs ago but I watch hers closer. I also made her put my age!!
Caution them to put a different age, clues about the town but not the real name-(smallville, podunk, etc.) Watch for photo posting of school name, events.
Google your kid's names occasionally to see if they post anything elsewhere-my daughter answered a post about a dog with my permission and it still shows up on search.
If your relationship is slightly difficult with your child, you can always try some of the free keylogger software to get their passwords and look at the acct w/o them knowing but I preferred to be more open with mine.

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I STRONGLY suggest you either get a Facebook yourself and friend her or know her password and check it frequently. The reason for this? Kids can be cruel and inappropriate. My daughter is 12 and I let her have a Facebook and for the most part its fine but there are some kids who post cuss words and inappropriate stuff of a sexual nature. My biggest concern though is the instant messaging and cyber bullying. Any time you have a page like this, you are opening up to cyberbullying. I've told my daughter she is only allowed to post "nice" things and things about herself. She's not allowed to post gossip or anything about anyone else on facebook. Unfortunately, she's been the victim of cyberbullying herself and it can be really hurtful. I can't believe some of the things these kids were saying. I was able to print it out and show it to the school counselor though. I also know that if you have a parental control program such as Cybersitter, all instant messaging conversations are recorded so you can easily read through them. This may sound "Big Brother" but you would be really surprised at some of the language and sexual talk these kids are getting into so early! I even found where a boy had asked her to send him a naked pic of herself!! So...needless to say, it doesn't hurt to monitor.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,
Here's two cents worth. Hope it helps.

Get on Facebook yourself, create and account and noodle around on it. It's easy to use and there is no better way to understand it than to do it. The fastest-growing demographic for Facebook is people in their forties (my 74-year-old mother has her own Facebook page and loves it - she gets to see pics of her granddaughter easily, talk with far away friends, etc.). You can set the privacy settings so that only your friends - i.e., those people you invite to see your information or whose invitation you accept - see it.

I truly believe that you'll find it's easy and you'll gain a huge understanding of how to help your daughter use it safely and wisely. My 15-year-old stepson has a Facebook page and his mom and my husband have been very careful about talking with him and setting up the privacy settings so that information is limited - and my stepson was all for that.

And then there are the standard, practical suggestions such as having a family computer in a place in the house that is accessible to everyone (so your daughter isn't in her room without much possiblity of you gliding by and taking an interest in whatever it is she's doing), etc.

It's not scary. It's fun. Once you get going, I bet you'll see the appeal.

Good luck,
J.

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- You need to limit the time your children can be on the computer for non-school related activities. 1 hour / day for social / games should be fine.
- The computer that is being used should be in a general area of the home where conversations and site access cannot be hidden. Put the computer in the kitchen, dining room, living room - whereever people are in / out.
- You should have access to her Facebook account as well as any email accounts and have the freedom to check them whenever you wish too. Make sure you and your child set ground rules and everyone understands all expectations of the other.
- If you see postings from kids on her Facebook page that you are not familiar with, who post things that are not appropriate, etc - talk TO (not at) your child and find out more about this person. If your mom's gut tells you there is a problem - there is a problem and it should be corrected.
- Monitor conversations that are taking place as well as chat rooms that your child may venture into. Make sure they understand about internet predators and how they can disquise themselves as teens.

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I think one great safeguard is to have the computer in a high-traffic area of the house. Also, I just ran across a UT staff member newsletter and the gentleman was expressing concern about college kids and what they post on FB - such as their whereabouts and what they are doing - his concern was that it leaves them wide open to stalkers and others who would take advantage. I had never thought of that before, so make sure your kids understand these safety issues and the fact that not just their "friends" can see what they have written on FB. Their comments come up on people's screens that they don't even know - that is how it works. NEVER write where you are, where you are going, or that you are alone! EVER!

1 mom found this helpful

I have my own Facebook account so that when my kids get a little older and want one (they are almost there). Then I will make them make everything private and friend me so that I can see what is on their page. They would not be allowed to friend anyone they do not know.

Timing is a little different. You can use that as a reward for grades or chores.

1 mom found this helpful

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