This Picture is meant to Shock!

Parents Urged to get Under 13s off Facebook. At the risk of nagging – can you please check for me that your tween is not on Facebook. If your child is, or is begging you to let them, I ask you this question: Would you allow your primary age child to leave the house, go ‘somewhere’ and meet up with their friends and friends of friends,  mix with teenagers and older people and hear and see things that are, not only age inappropriate but just not appropriate for anyone?  Silly question, I know but allowing children to access Facebook early is risking just that.

Even if you join them up and only allow them to ‘friend’ your family members, you cannot (and probably should not) guarantee that those family members won’t say or post something inappropriate for a child under 13 to witness.  Your family probably includes teenagers, young 20 somethings, and so on. Need I say any more.

Perhaps what concerns me most is that when we allow our tweens to witness language that some teenagers use, cyberbullying, the pictures and groups that are ‘Liked’ we risk  normalising the language and concepts a tween is exposed to.

I asked my 10 year old daughter if she thought children should be on Facebook and she said, ‘If we were, we might see things and think that are okay and normal.’ Precisely!

Tweens are just learning to relate to their friends in the real world, to read body and facial language, to pick up on physical cues, to connect verbal and body language clues and understand how they should/can react.  If a tween’s relationship experience is on Facebook it is likely that they will miss or overlook these subtle ‘real world’ clues.

A Queensland primary school Principal, was reported as being, so concerned about the number of her students on Facebook that she has asked parents to help delete their child’s Facebook account if they are under 13, in ‘a bold bid to stamp out cyber bullying’ at her school. Some of this Principal’s parents have argued that it is ‘none of the School’s business’ but when a child cyberbullies another on Facebook and the relationship fall out occurs at the School it becomes the School’s business, she says. Click here to read more: Students face expulsion for using Facebook

How to delete your child’s Facebook account:

View the video: http://youtu.be/ZgC-rqati5s

Alternatively, log onto your child’s account, visit the ‘help’ centre which can be found in the Account drop down box (top right of the page). When the help page comes up, type in ‘report underage user’ and then hit ‘search’. Follow the prompts to delete account and then press ‘submit’.

About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
This entry was posted in Cyber Bullying, Cyber Safety, cyberbullying, cybersafety, Facebook, Internet safety, Social Media, Social Networking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to This Picture is meant to Shock!

  1. Fiona Lucas says:

    Great initiative – it is so important to understand the full impact of Social Media on our children – but not just the negative, there are lots of positives too. Fiona – http://www.facebook.com/iRespectOnline

    • Renata Rowe says:

      Thanks for your comments, so true about the good side of social media, our Cyber Angels are wanting to teach our parents about the positives of social media. That will be fun!

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