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Do You Monitor Your Kids On Facebook?

I have granted permission for each of my children to have a Facebook profile. I find it a benefit to them to be able to keep up with family who don’t live close. In fact their day who lives in St Louis keeps in touch with them more often through Facebook. A benefit to my kids is that they can also keep up and communicate with friends close by.

My youngest, Tevin who is 12 usually only plays games and talks to his dad on Facebook.

This does not mean that I rest assured that my kids are practicing safe social media habits. There is tons of spam and people that my kids refer to as “stalkers” on Facebook. Also, when kids think parents are not looking, they tend to do things that I may not approve of. I have had to explain to my 18 year old daughter, Lakendra, what online bullying was by examples of what some of her friends had on their Facebook profiles. Teaching our kids social media etiquette is a whole different challenge.

Safely Social Monitor is a new service allows parents or caregivers the ability to monitor their children’s activities on Facebook for FREE This is a new type of service called “Familyware” by the same company that brings you Safely Locate and Safely Drive for mobile devices. These “software services increase awareness, improving parents’ ability to communicate with and guide loved ones through each stage of growth”. You can also subscribe to the Safely Spotlight that is available on the Safely Facebook page. The Safely Spotlight is a free digital parenting guide with tips and advice on keeping your kids safe in the digital world. You can also get helpful information by following Safely on Twitter.

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I have set up Safely Social Monitor on Tevin’s Facebook account. After connecting and allowing permission to access the account I was able to get a good snapshot of his account in minutes. I did not have to weed through his friends posts to get a good understanding of what pictures were posted or what type of people are his friends. The Safely Social Monitor gave me a good snapshot of all these things.

safely social monitor

What I liked the most about the social monitoring site is that I don’t have to log out of my own Facebook account to check up on him. I am happy to know that Tevin is behaving himself online. I also get emails giving me update.

You can sign up for Safely Social Monitor for free in a couple easy steps and monitor your child’s profile.

**This is a sponsored post by Location Labs Safely Social Monitor but all my opinions are my own.

Jessica Benton (1375 Posts)

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog post. It means the world to me. I hope you will join in the conversation and leave a comment below.


Comments

  1. says

    Now, even an kids can use facebook and meet various people from around the world. But in that age, they cant not understand yet how to avoid child predator. So as parents, we should give them the information that they need about the dark side of the internet.

  2. says

    Facebook had a rule that children must be teenagers before they could have a facebook account. No matter what the benefits are, should children not have to wait for something these days? If facebook explicitly says no 12 year old children and 12 year old children know this, where does a parent draw the proverbial line on rules? “Oh yeah, little one, you can break that rule and this rule and that rule, but NOT THAT RULE!” That doesn’t seem like a legitimate stand for a parent to take. If a parent can’t stand fast on a rule like 13 and above on facebook, then doesn’t a child have the right to question every rule a parent tries to enforce. It seems like waiting one year would give much more weight to a parents’ own rules during the teen years to come.

    I write this with my own 11 year old dying to get on facebook because all his friends have it. He’s not actually dying to be on facebook now. I told him no and he doesn’t question it any longer. It’s about the only thing he doesn’t question, but I’ll take satisfaction wherever I can.

    Of course, I agree with your post so much on monitoring your children on facebook. It’s an absolute must.

    If facebook rules have changed, please delete this post. Thanks.

  3. says

    Monitoring kids on Facebook is so essential. I used to teach high school, and I know first hand how powerful Facebook bullying can be. It’s not only the ‘bad’ kids who do it–’good’ kids get caught up in it as well, almost without realizing what they are doing. Parents need to stay involved in their kids’ online lives as much as their ‘real’ lives.

  4. says

    My wife and I have 7 kids, this is pretty interesting (our oldest just NOW started a courtship). My 11 y/o son is due for a FB account on his 12th (I think – I need to confirm with my wife). This would really help in that regard.

    Our two older daughters are solid on there – and since I work from home on the PC as a writer, we’re always home (my wife is a SAHM). But still – this sounds like another layer of protection – good tip!

  5. says

    Well, my son is not even close to old enough to use facebook and my daughter isn’t due until Monday, but as far as I am concerned I have every intention of monitoring the usage of the internet in general when it comes to my children. Facebook is just the tip of the iceberg for me… the entire internet is unsafe as far as I am concerned and I intend to watch everything they do.

  6. says

    Clearly age will have a lot to do with it. We just gave our ten-year-old (who tends to mature for her age) an email account, and we are careful about what she views on the Net, especially since we do a lot on Youtube relating to her singing and dancing “career” (which is how she thinks of it). By the time she is 12, I suspect that monitoring will start to become a little more challenging, and by 16 I am not sure what we can do. Once she is in high school, she might well need a cell phone, and then “anything goes” could be tough to beat.

  7. says

    Hi Jessica,

    The safety of our kids is paramount and service like this can help. I do think that your initiative to explain your kids (about online bullying) the hazards of the internet. I think that’s where it all should start. I think these days parents are not explaining all the problems with TV, internet, alcohol or drugs any-more.

    As regards to internet safety my whole family is on FB, we live across Europe so we have to be connected to keep in touch. The thing is everyone knows we follow each other and questions will get asked about certain friends that don’t seem to belong.

    My point is that openness and understanding of the dangerous could prevent the need of these services.

    Nik

  8. says

    You mention that your youngest is 12. Facebook’s policy clearly states that kids must be 13 in order to have an account. I think as parents we should uphold these rules and honor them. Were you aware of the age requirement?

    • Jessica Benton says

      You are absolutely right. However, Facebook has that policy because of the COPPA law, the same reason you cant register an Apple product to a child under 13. Even Mark Zuckerberg knows and understands that some parents have opened the door to social networking to their younger children, when they think their child is ready, as I did. Consumer Reports reported that there are 7.5 million children under 13 on Facebook.

      “It should surprise no one that many users on Facebook are below the required age of 13, but what you may not know is that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems alright with that. During a talk at the California NewSchools Summit, Zuckerberg voiced his desire to allow younger users to use the ubiquitous social networking platform. From ZDnet:

      “That will be a fight we take on at some point,” Zuckerberg said according to CNN. “My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age. Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe.”

      You can read this article here: http://www.geekosystem.com/facebook-age-restrictions/

      I am aware of what my child does online, I have his login details, I monitor him, and I encourage him learning about social media. The government tells me he is not mature enough, but he is mature enough to be enrolled in taking 9th grade classes when he is only an advanced 7th grader. To me that clearly proves maturity and knowledge. I will be proud if one day my child is creating the next social network at the age of 16 because I have exposed him and he has the knowledge.