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

Friendly discussion on all issues related to parenting. Stories, experiences, alternatives, tips and support. This is a place to share ideas with other parents on the tough job of raising kids.

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

Postby wee_opal on Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:41 am

Here's a question ... any input appreciated!
I have a daughter who will be starting middle school next Sept.
Kids in her grade 5 class are starting to get phones :eek: - iPhones, flip phones etc ...they are 10! I am soooo not there yet. She is also talking about wanting email and FB too.
My first response : Hell no! lol. I don't know that I would feel comfy with that due to cyber bullying, able to be contacted by anyone ... etc.
Some other parents say that if you open a Facebook account with them, being a 'friend', having password etc, you can monitor them. You can guide them, because some kids will just go onto Facebook and make an account and then you'll never know.
I am trying to hold back for as long as possible!! Thoughts on Phones and Social Media with tweens?? What age did you let your kids get either, would you have waited? Tips?
Thanks!!!!!
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby CharleneK on Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:14 am

I am in the same boat as you - so looking forward to your responses!

Personally I am leaning towards our DD having to save up her allowance to buy her own cell phone (so hopefully she will take care of it better/take ownership) and we will pay for the monthly plan.

Vic PD Sgt.Darren Laur informed us that legally you have to be 13 to have a Facebook account, so am waiting until then (*I* don't even have one yet! :shock: ) ;-)
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby Benjorsam on Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:41 am

I have a 14 and a 12 y/o. They will not be getting phones until they can pay for them themselves. Yes, according to them they are the ONLY ones who don't have one, but I see no need for them to have them at this point. When they are out, they can borrow my phone if I need to get a hold of them but that's as far as it goes.

Facebook...my 14 y/o has no interest in it and the 12 y/o is too young. When he turns 13 if he wants an account, he can have one with several conditions namely that I know his password and will have access to his account. If he choses to get a Facebook account, he will need an email address for that as you can't have more than one email address registered with facebook. But I don't think he'll use it for anything else.
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby Sunnygirl on Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:18 am

My oldest is in grade 5. This year they needed access to email for school group project communication. I finally caved, and am loving him having his own email - he sends me emails to tell me he loves me :D I have it through Shaw and have any junk mail automatically deleted so it never arrives in his account.

He has an ipod and as long as he is on wifi he can text me or even phone me with his ipod (as long as I am also on wifi for the call (through Viber)) with no phone plan needed.

I don't agree with facebook though at this age - will hold out on that as long as possible. Too many people say what is on their mind or share posts without thinking about how young some of their "friends" may be.
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby FairyElf on Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:02 pm

If my kids want cell phones, it's on them. They have to save and pay for it. Teaches them responsibilities for their own things. IMHO I feel far too many kids now a days get what they want instead of working for it.
My oldest 14 does not have a cell at this time. He does have fb but is rarely on it. Originally went on for the games. Rule is both parents have to be friends on it so we can monitor it.
My middle will be going to middle school in September as well. No fb for him, not until he is 13. No cell.
My youngest 7 has neither as well. No need really.
Even if I hear 'but my friends have it', we won't budge.
They do know the rules (applies more to my oldest) if he goes somewhere after school. He must call and let us know where he is going, who he is with and when he will be back, etc.
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby quackers on Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:46 pm

Unless you are prepared to "help" your child maneuver FB and email don't do it.
If you are, then make a deal with your child that you will have the password(s) and check inboxes etc.

My dd got FB in gr 4 when FB was brand new, non of her friends had it at all which was fine by me! We hooked her up to stay in touch with her grandma (my MIL) that lives in New Brunswick. When she was in gr 5 she needed an email address for class. My dd is now in gr 10 and I still check her FB and email, we have a really open and close relationship and it has never been an issue with her hiding things. She only adds people she knows (I'd say her friends list is pretty small compared to her peers that have hundreds of "friends".)

My youngest is in gr7 and has had email for a few yrs for school. This year he has FB. He isn't into as much, he prefers playing mine craft and listening to music.

As far as a phone goes, my dd had one last year, it was a very non fancy one..pay as you go. However this year we discovered a texting app for her ipod,so that's what we do during the day if we need to be in touch. My son isn't old enough yet to bring his iPod to school, maybe he is old enough....but he is not responsible in my opinion. (Maybe next year)
Last edited by quackers on Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby PeaceOut on Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:27 pm

my DD has an old iphone, she has had a cell phone since grade 5 (now in 6). We originally got a phone from 7-11 - the phone came free with $100 worth of minutes.a few months later, her older sister gave her an old iphone, so we switched her sim into the iphone.She walks to and from school, and this gives her, and I, some comfort.
We top up with $25/minutes a year.

She takes the phone to and from school. They are not allowed phones in class.

She has also had facebook for awhile now, not under her name tho - to play games, candy crush and weetopia, etc.
I trust her 100%.
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby beany on Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:47 pm

I got my 12 yr old guy a phone ( actually it is my 2nd phone and I let him use it,) this year when he began taking the city bus to his school which is out of our catchment area. I want him to be able to contact me if he is in trouble. He has to text me when he gets to school as I am at work already by then. If he had a problem he would not phone my cell as it is in my locker until break, but he calls the unit and they get me. One of the teachers locks it up until after school so it is safe. For me it is about safety for him, he does not have fb as he is not 13. He has an email and has had for a couple of years.
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby wee_opal on Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:26 am

Thanks for all your feedback everyone! It makes us feel a little better about being a 'stickler'!
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby koleanddylansmom on Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:52 am

Both my kids have phones, 11 and 13, since they were 10 and 12. They are out early from school on fridays and have to walk a bit as well they have to hang out at school for 1/2 till I can pick them up. For me it was the ability to know where they were at any time as well as if they were in trouble they could always have a way to call for help. For me, times have changed, when i was young we went outside in the morning and came in when our parents called us for dinner....my mom never worked so she knew where we were, we both work and its a comfort thing for me. They are both very good with them...I don't want something to happen and wish they had a phone and they could have called for help. Just my opinion...
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby quackers on Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:59 am

^ and when we were kids there were pay phones all over the place!
(just wanted to chime in with that.lol)
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby Nuck on Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:31 am

My DS (12) has a phone, he can talk and text, but data turned off. We share our plan through Telus, so I can look at his history when ever I want and disable it if needed. Our deal, is that I get to look at his phone whenever I want, and I get to know all of his passwords. He comes home by himself and is starting to walk to the rec-centre, hang out with friends and go to 7-11 after school, so this way he just sends me a text and lets me know what his plans are. I was super against it, but he has shown great responsibility with it, plus it gives me great peace of mind!!!
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby StitchedUp on Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:36 am

That's a good point about pay phones. When my siblings and I were old enough to start going downtown on our own, making our own plans, etc., we never went out without change for a pay phone so we could call home if needed, and pay phones were easy to find. When my children are that age, I know I won't be able to rely on them being able to find such a thing!
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby quackers on Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:31 pm

And good luck with businesses allowing your teen to use a phone too!
I'm sure many of you will find this when your kids become teens, somehow they are given a bad name. My dd has told me on many occasions when she is buying things, how rude the associates can be.
(Anyhow that's a while nother rant in its own.)
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Re: FB account, email, cell phones for your kids - when?

Postby Benjorsam on Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:33 pm

quackers wrote:And good luck with businesses allowing your teen to use a phone too!
I'm sure many of you will find this when your kids become teens, somehow they are given a bad name. My dd has told me on many occasions when she is buying things, how rude the associates can be.
(Anyhow that's a while nother rant in its own.)


I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean they can't use a phone in a business?
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