The 5-minute guide to deal with your children on Facebook

The 5-minute guide to deal with your children on Facebook

Everyone is on Facebook these days. You can keep in contact with old friends or make new ones. Distance is not a problem and even the Holy Father is just one click away. So you shouldn’t be surprised if your child is drooling to get a step closer to One Direction by joining one of these networks. Even though Facebook’s policy is not to allow children under the age of 13, this is rarely enforced since it is much more difficult than it seems to implement age restrictions online. The truth is that 40% of all kids have an active Facebook account. Even more shocking is the fact that in 1/3 of the cases, the parents, not only knew that their children joined Facebook (before the permitted age) but they actually helped their kids setup the Facebook account! The age restrictions where not imposed to make our kids miserable by keeping them away from Justin Bieber (even though that would be a very legitimate excuse), but rather to protect them.I would like to use the analogy of a knife to help you understand social networking usage. When our kids are still tiny, we tend to keep them away from knives. When they become toddlers, we give them plastic knives which are pretty much harmless (and useless) but which make them feel independent whilst teaching them about the use of real ones. When they are old enough to have developed a good sense of control and judgment, we start giving them real knives while the family is eating even though guardians still intervene when they need to cut a piece...