« Sometimes parenting is what you don't say | Main | “Get Cooking” by Sam Stern »

March 21, 2009


I'm of the mindset that you let them PROVE to you that they're ready by letting them have the accounts and then taking the accounts away if they misuse them. You won't ever think she's ready, and she's feeling already out of place because all her friends DO have accounts (and have probably had them for years), so it's a no win situation until you let her try. It's just like anything else, if you become overprotective you're not doing her any favors in the long run.

I don't see the problem with a young teen having access to AIM. There's not much she can do with it except chat with her 'buddies' and if you monitor her buddy list (it's my opinion that her chats are none of your business unless you suspect her of overtly bad behavior) and ask questions about who every buddy is, she'll be fine.

The trouble usually starts in high school, when the kids start making facebook pages and post things that are reckless because all their friends are stupid, too. I've taken down two of my daughter's facebook pages due to rank stupidity on her part, but I never go through her IM sessions, nor do I check daily on her text messages. Random checks, yup...but daily? That's going WAY overboard in my opinion.

When you decide to let her start emailing and IMing, keep the computer in a place where you can look over her shoulder anytime. Then do it. Supervision is key to keeping our kids safe.

I share a lot of your concerns. My oldest is a 6th grade girl, and I still haven't caved on the cell phone issue (mostly because there's no reception at her school, and there really aren't any other times that she'd need one yet). That said, she and her friends are very active emailers. It's pretty much required at the school... not just socially, but also for school work... checking up on missed assignments, coordinating group projects, etc. I know her gmail password, and told her when she first got her account that I reserved the right to check on it, but I won't unless I think there's a problem going on.
Socially she does waste some time in the evenings just IMing her friends, but she almost never spends time hanging out on the phone, so it's a time-sink fair trade as far as I'm concerned. Also, a lot of the group plans/birthday invites etc these days are done via email (minor stuff) or evite (bigger parties)... and kids this age won't always go out of their way to track down the friends that don't have access to that to let them know.
Just my 2 cents :-).

You can get print outs of all texts incoming and outgoing from your cell phone company. I don't do it all the time but daughter knows that I can and do check them regularly.

Daughter has a myspace acct. but since she is not a sit around on the computer kind of kid, her being on the computer 24/7 hasn't been an issue. We set it up together so I could make sure the privacy settings were properly set up and I also have a facebook so I can see what she writes. PLUS I have her password (for email too) so if her friends write something too revealing about her identity or location then I can go in and delete it. (Daughter knows all the rules and how to be smart but some of her friends are completely clueless.)

The reason I allowed her to have a myspace was because a couple of her friends parents have banned their kids from myspace and the kids have simply set up an account on their own at the library or at friends houses. The ones I know about I sat down with and set all the privacy settings and showed them some real life news stories about how online stuff can get ugly quickly but if I hadn't known, they would have been online with no supervision or guidance at all.

You know your kid best but in my experience, if something is totally forbidden it usually becomes more desirable to kids than it may have been to begin with.

wtxlryz hfsm pqzsjdi karhz mlnwgojuh gqsfycxun idfgu

Hi, It's the second time i'm posting you without a reply. I found your site using Yaehoo, does your site support firefox?

The comments to this entry are closed.


ugg boots




Advertise on MCMM


Subscribe with Bloglines

View blog authority

More parenting videos

Tour, Tour Reviews, Travel Guides, Places to see - RubaRuba Ponzi Tree Contest - Tours, Tour Reviews, Travel Guides

Blogger Black Book Member


propsnpans button

pbn button

MSU button

modmom button

GMF Button

CMP button

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A place where working moms connect