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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Posts: 279
Location: Hertfordshire
As we're now nearing the end of another school year, many of our DC's will be moving on to secondary school and saying goodbye to many of their friends. So as parent's we're going to be under pressure to allow them to have facebook accounts and more on-line access.

After reading Milla's posts I'm really concerned. How can we keep our DC safe on-line and teach them to use social networking responsible ?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:28 pm
Posts: 950
Location: Bucks
They don't go on it, simple as that! Children have plenty of time to grow up, they aren't even meant to have a facebook account until they are 13, so I am in no hurry to allow Midget access to these chat places. He enjoy's being outdoor's and so do I!!

Don't make kids grow up before their time!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:48 pm 
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You need to be 13 to have a Facebook account. Explain that your DC. The following tips are from DD's IT teacher (Secondary school).
1. Computer needs to be in the family room/kitchen where the whole family can see what is on the screen. Do not let them have internet access in their rooms.
2. Open a Facebook account yourself and tell DC that if he/she wants to have an account they will have to add you as a friend.
3. Family members (especially DC) should not have secret passwords.
4. Develop a relationship with your DC in which they feel completely comfortable talking to you about everything. If they see something on the computer which makes them uncomfortable they should feel they can come to you.
5. Tell them that if they find something on the internet which makes them unconfortable they should not switch off/log off but come and tell you. This way you will be able to see what it is and take appropriate action (inform service provider ect).
6. The only way to keep them safe is to have a healthy and open relationship with your DC. If you ban them from using the internet/social networking sites you risk them doing so without your knowledge (this is very easy now with Smart phones).


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:28 pm
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Location: Bucks
I have explained it to Midget and all is fine, he isn't that bothered!! Obviously when he is 13+ this will be more allowed but really, children under this age have even less need to be using it and I for one would not be encouriging it in my house. As for smart phones,even I don't own anything fancy, just something that rings in and rings out so that's all Midget will get until he's old enough to have earned pennies to buy himself something else. Again, this is not likely till he's 13+ anyway.

I will continue to encourage them to be out enjoying the outdoor's, playing cricket or rounder's, out on the bike or climbing trees than sitting at home chatting on facebook.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:04 pm
Posts: 1055
Midget Man wrote:
I will continue to encourage them to be out enjoying the outdoor's, playing cricket or rounder's, out on the bike or climbing trees than sitting at home chatting on facebook.

Absolutely! My DC and friends spent the whole afternoon in the park on the swings, playing cricket, football and badminton!!
P.S. I was composing my post while you posted yours MM, so mine is on the board after yours and it may seem I was having a go. I wasn't. Honest!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am
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Location: Barnet, Herts
My DS was exactly the same as yours until he went to secondary school. He was not remotely interested in computers, phones etc. Fast forward 2 years and if you removed his mobile he would be traumatised! All his friends are on Facebook, both from his current school and old primary school. I think if you don't allow them on facebook, they would do it behind your back - it is very important to them.
As long as they are aware of the pitfalls and as previous poster said, willing to show you any thing worrying them I don't have a problem with it. DC's school had a presentation on the dangers of social networking recently and a similar talk for all parents in the evening.
We have to remember thast things are very different now compared to when we were young. When I was a child I was never allowed to have/do anything that my peers did as my parents are strict Christians and it affected me badly- so much that I vowed I would never be like that with my own children.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:29 am 
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As you probably know, I am with Midget Man on this one. My DD is now 14 and still not interested. I am 100% sure she is not going on it behind my back, Zorro, as she really has no interest whatsover - she is outdoors, or playing sport, or winding me up, or phoning her friends (she does have them!) but rarely on the computer and never on FB. Contrary to what some posters have accused me of, we have not 'banned' FB; but the culture (for want of a better word) in our house discourages it in the same way as we discourage smoking, watching rubbish TV and eating at KFC. OH and I rarely watch TV and do not do social networking (this forum is the nearest either of us get to that); we tend to be outside too, or doing something else, so the children do not pick up on the idea that FB is good. One quite interesting fact: at the beginning of Year 9, DD and one friend were the only ones in her year who did not have FB. Now at least half a dozen others have de-registered, saying it is 'boring' and even 'scary'. So maybe it has peaked - I did read somewhere that de-registrations are now outnumbering registrations.

Children learn from what we do more than what we say. I tend to think if we lead by example, and keep the boundaries firm, they will follow the right path in the end. Fingers crossed!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:51 am 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
Oh Amber, I do hope so! I think one of the reasons DS loves it so much is that he lives some distance from school and his friends are also scattered around. When he comes home from school he has loads of homework so can't go to play with his friends, so this is his way of socialising. He will be in Y9 in sept so maybe the novelty will have worn off, it's only in the past 6 months or so that it has peaked. He is a very sociable boy and at the weekends is either out playing tennis, going to parties or at his friend's houses.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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I really struggle with the concept that its OK to break some rules - like lying about your age to get a facebook account - or using false i.d to get into clubs before they are 18.....


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
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I’m afraid we haven’t found sport/being outdoors and FB mutually exclusive :(

DD plays sport most days and plays netball, basketball, Tag rugby, athletics, cricket and tennis for either school or club, or both. She also loves skateboarding and hanging out at the park with friends, but she still enjoys checking in on FB most days.

I’m not sure there’s anything inherently wrong with this as long as parents and DCs are aware of the possible issues that can arise. That set of guidelines which bromley mum posted seems very sensible to me.


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