Welcome to "Hey, Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. Every week, we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked parents the week before on Patch Facebook pages from around the area.
Facebook currently requires that users be 13 years or older to have an account. While some parents think even 13 is too young, the company has considered reducing age restrictions. But even under the existing set-up, it's easy for children to circumvent the current restrictions by being less-than-honest about their age.
That brings us to this week's question.
When should a child be allowed to start their own Facebook account?
Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.
Wendy Johnson Filip: Our daughter was on Facebook before we were - when she was 16. (She's 23 now.) I know there's MANY on it that are younger - but I would have wanted her to at least be in high school before starting. I also think parents should be "friended" with their kids so they can monitor what is going on there - until they are 17 or 18. I know a lot of parents think that is an infringement of privacy - but as parents we are responsible for them. I also feel younger kids should only use the internet in "public" areas of their homes. — Woodridge Patch Facebook
Anne Madden: My kids aren’t old enough for this to apply to me, but I
think parents are fools if they don’t mandate ‘friending’ their
children as condition of using FB. My niece is 15, and her parents
still won’t let her have an account. — Lemont Patch Facebook
Olivia Pikes: I'm not a parent but I think they should have it at say 12 with parents monitoring it up until age 15 or so. But even still, I would have the computer in a open room until they are 18. BUT, there is always the issue of their phones where they can do whatever they want, wherever unless the parent checks their phone but as a recent teenager that can feel too invasive. Really, I think it comes down to whether the parent trusts their kid or thinks their kid is mature enough. — Oak Park Patch Facebook
Darlene Gordillo-Perez: Mine are 10 and 8 and they dont have one. They wont have an account until my husband and I agree together they can have one. — La Grange Patch Facebook — La Grange Patch Facebook
Zig Markowski III: That would have to depend on the child and their level of maturity. Regardless of when they get it, you HAVE to monitor it. There's too much that goes on in the on-line world and to keep your kids safe you need to have access. If they don't like it? The account gets deleted. Very simple. — Downers Grove Facebook
Russ Foster: 13 -- I have the password to facebook and email. The privilege to use is still limited and subject to grades/chores/attitude/etc. By the time they reach jr high social interaction and character independence starts to become increasingly important. — Downers Grove Facebook