Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Parent to Parent: Facebook for Kids
It's a Facebook question almost every parent must face: When is your child ready for their own Facebook account? 7's Lynn Martinez asked our parenting expert for advice in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Dylan and Dalayni both excel in the arts.
Dalayni Etienne, 9 Years Old: "We sketch, we sculpt."
Seventh grader Dylan loves to sketch, and his little sister enjoys playing the cello.
Mom doesn't mind if they use the Internet for homework or a video game, but when it comes to Facebook she says, 'Not so fast!'
Sascha Ramsay-Etienne, Parent: "I think they're exposed to way too much at a very early stage."
She feels they're not ready for social networking online.
Sascha Ramsay-Etienne, Parent: "The gossip, the hurtful things that can be said."
7's parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says a lot of kids want their own Facebook account.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "More than likely, your child is going to come to you in about fifth or sixth grade and ask to be on Facebook, because all of their friends are on Facebook."
Dr. Val says if that happens, sit down with them and show them what's approriate and what's not; teach them not to talk to anyone online they don't know.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "That this is just for your friends, not somebody's friend of a friend, but your friends only."
And if they do get their own page, make sure you monitor it, checking it daily.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "So that means you have to work a little harder, in that you have to monitor Facebook and see everything your child is writing."
Dylan says despite most of his friends being on Facebook, he's not interested in having his own page. Yet.
Dylan Etienne, 13 Years Old: "I'm busy most of the time, so I don't really focus on Facebook."
Dalayni is staying in touch with friends in other ways.
Dalayni Etienne, 9 Years Old: "I can call them or text them and just get in touch with them if I want to."
Mom hopes she can hold off on Facebook, at least for a little longer.
Sascha Ramsay-Etienne, Parent: "Hopefully we can postpone that as long as we can until the maturity kicks in."
Lynn Martinez: "Facebook's current policy states you must be at least 13 to have your own account."