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FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby Siobhanta on Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:18 pm

My older boys, (who are getting ready to turn 11 and 12 respectively), won't have phones until they can pay their own phone bill. So that will likely be after they are 15/16 and have jobs.

Both of the boys have iPod touches that they saved their birthday and Christmas money for, and they use them to facetime, text, and email us and other family members. They both have email addresses for that I have the passwords for, and they mostly use them to email family who lives far away.

FB policy says 13 years old to have an account, so that is the earliest that they will be allowed to have accounts. That being said, I may not be ready when that day comes. Haha.
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby wonderwoman on Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:55 pm

My 10 year old has her own ipad and my 9 year old has a nexus 7. They were both given $150 at Christmas and they had saved their own money to purchase the rest (my eldest had saved birthday and Christmas money for 3 years). I have full access to both devices and check in them regularity.

Neither have Facebook or Instagram or anything like that. My eldest daughter primarily watches YouTube (loves her you tubers like ijustine and Bethany Moda) and Pinterest. My youngest plays Minecraft and writes her 'book' on it. Neither are allowed Facebook until they are 13. Instagram is off limits too, as are other sites.

I might get my older daughter a cheap pay as you go phone next year (she will be in Middle school) as she will have to make her own way to school in the mornings and it's a 2.5 km walk.
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby iknowjanis on Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:58 pm

Something you should look into before you give your child a phone with internet access

Sandy Garossino is cofounder of the Red Hood Project, a Vancouver-based group of concerned citizens dedicated to keeping children and youth safe when they’re online. -
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby Brenda N on Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:38 pm

Our rules:
When they move on to the high school (grade 8 for us) they get a phone because they have such different schedules and often have to wait or get home on their own or get picked up at different times. Its a matter of convenience for me - and to a lesser degree a matter of safety. I pay the bill - its $25 per month per child. It gives them some freedom - they can text as much as they like to their friends but the only voice calls they are allowed are to parents, home, or emergency. They get NO data until they can pay for it themselves. I don't pay for the phone itself - just take whatever is free with the plan.

They take care of their phones for a couple of reasons - first because they are good, responsible kids who appreciate what they are given - and second because its on a plan and if they break it they'll get the leftover old, cheap, crummy phone that would be hard to text and impossible to do anything else with. I will NOT pay for a replacement or repair for any reason - even accident. So they know if they break it they need to pay or suffer. They are CAREFUL. They also have to pay for their own phone cases..... because I think it is really valuable for them to have some ownership in the whole thing.

I don't know the security codes to unlock their phones - I believe they should have some privacy. And I know from watching other kids (good kids too!) that if they have no privacy then they find ways of getting it. Often the technology is way ahead of the parents and I recommend to everyone to educate themselves and their children.

Too many children who are too young have unlimited access to the internet (WiFi) and no idea of how to filter what they read (too many adults too!) or what they see or do.... Remember when we used to say we'd make sure the computer was kept somewhere the whole family could use it - and never let them have a computer in their bedrooms? Now they carry their laptops to their friends' places and they have mini computers (phones and ipods) in their pockets that they take to bathrooms, bedrooms, and out behind the buildings. And too often we don't realize what they can get up to, until we are blindsided with it. I think education for all of us is the key - not so much just restriction.

As for Facebook - legally you have to be 13. If you are going to break that law then I think you need to think long and hard about how you justify that and be prepared for those words to come back at your from your teen when they break their first law.... Having said that - I let my oldest have a Facebook account when he was 12.5. For lots of reasons - and after much discussion - and I certainly had the password and checked it from time to time. Ditto that I was on Twitter (anonymously) when many of their friends were, and ditto with email - when they are younger they have their own email but I have the password. When they are older I don't need the password any more. I don't get copies of their emails because I find that too much watching - I think they need some trust and some privacy but I still pay close attention to what is going on in their lives.
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby Parent on Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:31 am

Both of my kids have phones but they are older. They got phoned towards the end of middle school The first one texts a bit has Facebook but isn't really addicted or that tied to his phone. My daughter is in high school and is addicted to her phone…. I have some pretty strict rules and she knows that I check the phone regularly and I have her passwords. I pay for the phone which I think is better that having them pay -- the reason is then it can be taken away as a consequence. -- harder to take away or block or put limitations on something that the kid pays for themselves.

My best advice is that you need to learn about the phones, social media accounts, apps and parental software BEFORE you even get the phone. It needs to be set up so that you know what is happening on that phone.

1. Figure out the rules for the phone (how it is to be used, when, what apps, passwords etc). If your kid gets Facebook and their friends get FB in elementary or middle school - they will send you friend requests (because they are young and don't know any better) - be sure to accept those friend requests - you will be glad you did when they are 4-5 years older.
2. Figure out rules for passwords/use of apps etc and sort out how you can monitor what is going on with the phone FB is actually good compared to a billion other scary social media sites like askfm, snap chat and KIK
3. Go to a talk by Darren Lauer and consider installing PhoneSherrif or some other monitoring tool on the phone.

Good luck
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby newmom2006 on Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:57 am

My DD is 9 and we've passed along my old phone to her (i upgraded) but there's no data (only wifi) but she can text via imessage. She doesn't get to take it to school but maybe when she's in middle school, we'll consider getting a text only plan or something for her.

Right now she only uses her "phone" for texting us as she's recently started travelling to away meets for sports and it's our way of communicating with her and we also do facetime at night before curfew. And I put music on there so it's like an ipod too.

We have parental locks on the phone so she must have permission from us to download game apps and she must tell us what her lock screen password is. She has an email account (only to set up the phone) but for no other reason - she knows not to pass along that information and she definitely won't be having any FB or Snapchat or whatever the latest social media app is until she's much older. She's good with letting us see who and what is being texted to her and right now it's not much so I hope this continues on.
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