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My 11 year old was relentless when it came to asking to join a social network (facebook, youtube, myspace). Each and every time I said no. I come to find out that on a day that I am sick in bed with a migraine, he went ahead and created an account on YouTube. Now, generally we monitor his internet and even password protect his computer for approved sites only. He used my computer, which is off limits. So...I make the discovery after seeing him sneak around in my office and frantically closing windows. Turns out my 11 year old has listed himself as "14, white and single". Disappointed is a mild reaction, I was furious. He no longer has any internet privileges. Period. Do other parents allow their kids to use social networks as young as 11? Am I just overprotective? If not at my house, will he just go to a friends and do the same thing?

Tags: internet, kids, network, social

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Ahh such a tricky subject! Well both my daughter and son who are 17 and 14 have myspace accounts, my 9 year old definitely not allowed. I only let the older ones have one with conditions. 1. they had to make their profiles private 2. they are to only have their friends from school and not strangers on their friends list and 3. they had to add me to their friends so that I can monitor what they put on their page. I don't think you are being overprotective, just cautious. There is just so much going on in the world and it's scary. 11 is probably still a little young but if you are concerned with him doing it at a friend's house than you may want to go ahead and let him so that you can monitor it to make sure he is not putting important information such as his school or home address on there. There are also ways that if he were to make his pictures or comments hidden you can get codes to make them unhidden so you can see what is being said or posted. Hope that helps you a little :o)
Well, I let my kids watch some utube videos ( almost 11 and 7). I think the key is to:

1. distract them to something else that is technology related ( like making movies)
2. really supervising ( having their passwords - no computers in the bedroom) and talking to them about SN - good and bad ( a few wks ago Oprah had a great segment on chat rooms - I watched it with my kids)

I recently blogged about this:

www.drheathermanleynd.com/drheathersblog/tag/technology/

Love this topic! - We need to help each other on this! Thanks!
We let our 11 year old get a myspace. We monitor it. Said no over & over. Then saw that over 30 of her friends from school & dance already had them, so we let her. She had to say she was 14 to make it. It is totally private & only friends with people she knows.

My daughter uses youtube as well, but we didn't let her have an account. I caught her with a facebook & we deleted it & she got in trouble for it. We had already said no in the past to that one.

I wouldn't say you are overprotective. It is your house, your decision. My 11 year old has friends with accounts all over the place & other friends that aren't even allowed to email.
Well my oldest son is 10, he will be 11 the end of the month. He is pretty mature for his age, but I think there are several factors that go into wether or not you let your kids do any social networking. Their maturity level for one. Another one is, how well have you taught them about what is wrong or right to look at and do while online. My son has a myspace account. It is set to private, only friends and family are allowed. I know the password so I log in periodically to check in on him, and he knows this. I am on his friends list so that I can also monitor that way. My thing is this, we live in a world full of technology, if our kids dont learn this, they are going to be left behind in an adult world eventually. So, I think the key is to teach them proper internet skills. Have the computer located someplace that the kids cant sneak around. we still put limits on his browsing, such as parental controls etc. But also, if we shelter them too much, I believe then when they do sneak around they are going to end up finding more than we want them to! Education about the internet is key in my opinion. Things like reminding them to not list a sports team he plays on, the name of his school, things like that, so that if there were a predator, he isnt an easy target. I also check the browsing history and cookies on the computer he uses, so far, we have been very luck that he hasnt over stepped any boundaries. I think that goes back to the fact that we have warned him about what could happen (predators etc) if he were to be doing the wrong things online. Also, he knows right from wrong, and we have to let him have some sort of judgement of his own, so far even on youtube he hasnt been looking at anything he shouldnt, mostly just music etc.
I'm having a similar issue with my soon to be twelve year old daughter and the short answer to your question regarding your son going to a friends home to access the internet is YES. My daughter's friends have web enabled phones and they use them to access these sites whenever possible. We came to the conclusion that we would rather set up the accounts, approve all friends, and monitor conversations by saving the logs. It's been working so far and it gives us t better insight on her friends and type of conversations they have while we are not around.

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