|Teaching Preteens And Teens About Facebook And Internet Safety|
Firstly, I find this article on Top 10 Tips For Parents - Getting Started On Facebook Monitoring useful so I'm going to bookmark it here. Facebook monitoring is something new to many parents and this article introduces some new ideas to think about.
Next, I also find this site very informative and useful. It is for teaching kids all about netiquette and internet safety. You can watch videos together with your child and print out a related lesson plan. These are for Grade 4, 5 and 6 and include topics like online privacy and cyber bullying. I think it is a good idea to educated your preteen and teens BEFORE you introduce or allow them to use social sharing sites or social media like Facebook.
Finally, here is another video on Safe Web Surfing: Top Tips For Kids And Teens Online that any child just starting to use Facebook should watch. If you're done watching the video, you might want to browse around their other videos. There are some in there that are useful for teens including videos on cyber bullying, puberty, maintaining friendships, how to study for a test, etc. Not all of the videos in there are for teens though. Some are for adults but they are all motivational self help videos.
I think that it is inevitable that our children will use social networking sites eventually. You cannot prevent or forbid it forever so as parents, we MUST learn strategies for us to help teach our kids and teens about Facebook and internet safety. Google Safety Tips For Families is a good place to start your research and reading. It is our duty as parents to teach our kids how to use the internet safely and responsibly. In order to teach your kids, you must first educate yourself.
There is much debate on what age a child should be before they are allowed on social media. I think a general cutoff date should be around 13, the age restriction for Facebook and YouTube. A young child should be allowed to play and learn in the real world first before they are introduced to the cyber world.
Whatever age you prefer to let your child start to use Facebook, there will eventually come a day when your child will enter the cyber world and you as a parent are responsible for teaching them how to use social sharing sites like Facebook smartly.