Moms Talk is a weekly feature on Agoura Hills Patch, part of an initiative to reach out to moms and families. We invite you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in Agoura Hills.
Each week in Moms Talk, our council of smart moms will take your questions, and share stories and solutions. Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our community will have a new resource for questions about the thousands of issues that arise while raising children.
Today's Topic: Allowing your child access to social media
This week's question comes from Lori Hultin, the mother of two daughters, ages 17 and 12.
My older daughter turned 12 during the MySpace era, and my husband and I were adamant that she needed to wait to have an online presence, at least until she was 13. When she was ready, we made sure that we took the precautions of not only signing up for MySpace accounts ourselves, but making sure we had her username and password so we could keep an eye on her online activities and friendships.
Now that she's 18, and Facebook has long since replaced MySpace, she has become a pretty responsible online user who doesn't "over share". Cut to the last three years when my now 12-year-old daughter has consistently begged to have a Facebook like "everyone else" does. Facebook, itself, proclaims that you have to be 14 to sign up, but we all know kids (and parents) falsify birth dates to enable them access long before that age.
What is the appropriate age to allow your child to have a Facebook account or participate in other online activities, and what measures do you take to ensure their safety?