Our 12 year old has been asking as to why we do not allow him to create a Facebook account or “at least gmail” account for him. He complained that all or most of his friends have an account.
We denied, telling him that he is not old enough to open an account. It helps that as a family we are not heavy users of social media. Even when we do we do not put in personal details.
One day, we made him sit and enter all the required information for creating the account. He was all excited and started entering all the details. He gave the date of birth too and was stopped from creating the account.
At that point, we gave him the choice. He can lie about his age and create an account or wait until he is old enough to create one. Till then he can use our accounts if it is really required to communicate with his friends or do a project work. He will not get the password and he will not use without our supervision.
He chose not to lie. It also showed him that his friends had to lie to create the account. Immediately in his eye the cool factor went down because he learned the truth. Now the next step when he is old enough, to teach how to use social media with caution.
I am sure this is an issue many parents would be facing. Let me know your strategies in keeping the social media control for the family.