Our 13-year old wants to have a Facebook account. Should we allow her to do so?

By on February 15, 2017

Everyone these days is speaking the same online language and interacting with others through social media platforms like Facebook. You must be at least 13 years old to open a Facebook account.

Meguro Counseling Clinic director Dr. Doug Berger, M.D., Ph.D. reminds parents that

“Humans have a natural need to socialize and interact with others and have a strong drive for acceptance and be part of the ‘in crowd’.

For parents, think of Facebook as your ‘internet eyes’. Explain to your child the need to start with the ‘Only Friends’ privacy setting in order to prevent people she does not know from viewing your tween’s page. Another rule to remember in friending: If they’re not friends offline, they shouldn’t be friends online.

Remind your child that you want to look after her online safety thus you will regularly be watching her Facebook behavior and call her attention if you find inappropriate content such as contact information being shared ‘public’ as well as suggestive photos or use of inappropriate language. Exercise tact and kindness when you tell her this and say you will take away her Facebook privileges if she defriends you. Lastly, be a Sherlock Holmes. Investigate what she doesn’t want you to see and monitor how long she uses facebook.

“ Too much time spent on one’s PC can impair family, school, or work function. If parents try too hard to control the child, there can be intense fights for control,” warns Dr. Berger.

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