Young kids and Facebook

It really comes to something when your child’s Head Teacher has to put a notice in the weekly school newsletter telling parents about the dangers of letting their little ones go on the internet unsupervised. Apparently some of the 7 – 11 year olds at this particular primary school are regulars on Facebook, and are even posting information about which school they go to! Seven years old! I won’t go into why these young kids would want to even go on Facebook, but maybe someone could explain in more detail than me. What I want ask is why their parents are even letting them go on. Apologies to some of the parents of this school who may read this message  (if you even know that I blog!), but how on earth can you let your child say that they were born in 1987? Did you know that Facebook only allow over-13s on? I know that younger kids go on there (my 11 y.o. daughter is on it – completely supervised and not allowed to post any messages/comments without me or mrs mistrust approving it first). It makes me wonder if these parents who let their kids go on the internet unsupervised actually about parental controls, or even that they should really be supervising their kids when they’re on the web.

I’m not saying what me and mrs m are doing with our own kids by supervising them when they’re on the web, but as I’ve said before now in my post “A is for Amazon”, I really think it’s necessary to let you kids learn the language of the web, and get a grip on new technology, new ways of communicating. However, apart from needing a balance between going on the web and doing real-life things, kids really need to know the pros and cons of going on the internet as soon as possible. My kids are hopefully fairly sensible when they go on the internet, because we haven’t stifled them and stopped them going on every site they come across. To me it’s like teaching kids to learn to ride a bike. You don’t just put a 7 year old on a new bike on a main road, and say “off you go”, and let them get on with it. You teach them how to ride the bike, put stabilisers on so they don’t fall off, and you teach them what dangers to look out for – “don’t go on that busy road until you’re old enough”, “don’t go too fast or you’ll fall off”.

So. back to these kids at the local primary school… it must be a complete lack of ignorance about what’s out there on the web, or a couldn’t care less attitude, that lets a 7 year old child go on Facebook and post details of which school they attend. Which is worrying. The school is holding a session in a few weeks showing parents how to help their kids improve maths and literacy skills. They should also be holding a session about how to improve parents’ and children’s awareness of using the internet safely and securely.

Finally, if you have a child or want to know more about child safety on the web, please visit Thinkyouknow, which I came across a while ago, and which should help you enormously!

Moving my blog…

No more posts on here… I’ve moved my blog and website to  www.mistrustmusic.co.uk

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