Watching Over My 12-Year-Old’s Instagram Account

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It’s simple, Instagram is not for children under the age of 13 years-old, but some parents are allowing their children to create social media accounts prior to reaching this legal age requirement.

What message does this send to your child?

Are you children above the rules online?
or
Just because you believe the child is ready for this social media, you can over-ride the rules?

What is the lesson that will carry into your child’s future?

Rules, guidelines and boundaries are given to us for a reason. Whether we are adults or children, safety should always be a priority.

The Internet isn’t any different; it has rules and regulations for our own good. Sometimes known as code of conduct or terms of service (TOS), these guidelines are implemented to protect their users and age restrictions are put in place for a reason. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was enacted to protect children under the age of 13. COPPA actually makes it illegal for kids to sign-up for Instagram and other social media sites that have age restrictions.

What parents need to keep in mind is this is not about Instagram not liking little kids; it is about what is in the best interest of their children. Maybe parents don’t understand what is truly lingering on these sites — it may not be for little ones’ eyes. Remember, even with the best privacy settings, there can be mishaps in cyberspace.

Monitoring our children online is part of parenting today. Prior generations didn’t have to worry about texting, tweeting, emailing, or other digital habits. We have decisions to make today that our parent’s never had:

• When should we give our child their first computer?
• When should we give our child their first tablet?
• When should we give our child their first cell phone? Smartphone?
• When should we allow our child on social media sites?

In many families the first few questions may come down to economics, which is reasonable, combined with the responsibility of your child.