I have what you call a “tween”. She is 12 years old going on 35. She is a good kid who does well in school, sings , and plays volleyball. For her 12th birthday I finally caved and bought her a cell phone…and what is funny, is that she truly was one of her last classmates to get one. I allowed her to have an Instagram account, which I felt out of all the social media outlets was the one that a 12 year old truly could have the most age appropriate phone with only because she hounded me for months to get on Twitter or Facebook, like her friends. I informed her that I did not agree with her friends or their parents for allowing a 12 year old to have a Twitter or a Facebook account, and no matter how mad at me she got, she would not get one of those social media accounts until her father and I felt it were appropriate.
Her IG account is monitored and private and pretty harmless. Her little friends post photo challenges with each other and post pics of their favorite One Direction member. She doesn’t have any boy friends on her IG account either making it easy to monitor for inappropriate behavior.
My daughter however says to me the other day, “I am bored with IG, can I have a Twitter account.” I firmly said no, and just like any good Tween, she incessantly asked me for the rest of the day if she could get one, hoping I would at some point cave. But see, even though I may seem like the cool mom due to the way I dress, I still have very strong traditional values in the sense of what is age appropriate for a kid to do or not do , and I am sorry there is no reason for my 12 year old to tell the world in 140 characters or less what she is doing all day long. As a social media junkie myself I know that Twitter is harder to manage and keep private and while I trust her, I just don’t feel its necessary at her age. For me, I am like, you will have social media to join for the rest of your life…be a kid now and wait. Similiar idea to kids who want to dye their hair, or rush into a relationship…be a kid now, there is time for all of that later.
For you moms out there, I am curious if you agree with me, or if you are one of those mothers who has allowed their pre-teen child to have a Facebook or Twitter account even though the rules of usage state that you must be 13 years of age to join. What is your reasoning? Your logic? No judgment, just curious.