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Hey, Mom and Dad: When Should You Let Your Kids Sign Up For Facebook?

Parents, Patch wants to hear from you on the questions that get families talking.

Welcome to "Hey, Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. Every week, we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked parents the week before on Patch Facebook pages from around the area.

Facebook currently requires that users be 13 years or older to have an account. While some parents think even 13 is too young, the company has considered reducing age restrictions. But even under the existing set-up, it's easy for children to circumvent the current restrictions by being less-than-honest about their age.

That brings us to this week's question.

When should a child be allowed to start their own Facebook account?

Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.

Vito Minneci: We allowed our oldest to have one on his 13th birthday.... no sooner! — Batavia Patch Facebook

Tommy Janito: 14-16. and keep an eye on the privacy settings. Also, our rule, they can only be friends on Facebook with people they actually know in real life. — Elmhurst Patch Facebook

Kelly Stare Guzniczak: My kiddo just turned 13 (today.) We are letting her get an account today. — Geneva Patch Facebook

Donna Mills-Wilken: No earlier than 13 — Glen Ellyn Patch Facebook

Veronica Valentino Severe: 18, so they can keep in touch with their friends after graduation. — Lisle Patch Facebook

Tara Kratzer-Opalski: My 10-year-old daughter just asked me for a FB account. I said "no" — Naperville Patch Facebook

Caroline Hill Cayton: My daughter was 14 with the requirement she had to friend me and I have her password. Never really had problems with her posts. Other parents apparently do not monitor their kids posts as my daughter had to remove multiple people as friends for their inappropriate posts. — St. Charles Patch Facebook

Saiward Brown: Our kids are only allowed on the computer in a shared part of the house i.e. family room, tv room, kitchen NOT in their rooms. They must also friend us on FB and give us all usernames/passwords they create so that we can check out their account whenever we want. Its also based on maturity level and whether they can handle it. I have one son who is on FB and another who will not be allowed on FB for quite some time. I believe its our job as parents to walk through the journey of online safety with our kids and teach them how to behave appropriately and safely while online. — Wheaton Patch Facebook

So what's your take? Tell us in the comments. 

Colin C. November 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I'm not sure that age is as important factor as parental supervision. If any child up through high school has a FB account the parents should also have accounts and be "friends" with their child as well as with as many of that child's "friends" as possible. (This is to prevent a child from secretly setting up an account under another name. By checking "friends" FB pages one should hopefully be able to spot suspicious activity). It would also be wise for parents whose children are "friends" to have their own accounts and be friends with their children's friends parents. That way everybody can watch out for inappropriate behavior and help each other with it. Also the parents must learn about all of the possible dangers online and repeatedly caution their children and teach them how to avoid them. Yeah, i know, parenting can be a lot of work. And when the kids say "But you don't trust us" you might respond with something like "That's not the issue. We love you but we do not believe that you have yet developed all of the knowledge and skill that you need to handle some of the situations that you might get into. It's our job as parents to help you learn what you need to learn to avoid serious problems and we are going to do our job because we love you, so deal with it".
Adam November 06, 2012 at 04:36 PM
i hope facebook dies by the time my future son is "old" enough.
Laura6 November 06, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I always trusted my sons to do the right thing based on the way I raised them..I kept watch but did invade privacy. Its never good to foster distrust in kids..I trusted them and they valued that.
Nyahoe Asmara November 07, 2012 at 07:19 AM
thanks Laura for yo gud coment.

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