Is your child ready for Facebook?

Is your child ready for Facebook?

Is your child ready for Facebook?

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by Kyle Iboshi

kgw.com

Posted on May 9, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 10 at 10:33 AM

PORTLAND -- Like it or not, Facebook has become part of our culture. But is it safe for kids?

There are around 500 million users, with many more added every day.

Facebook has a minimum age requirement of 13. But there is no set age for when a child is ready for Facebook.

“You have to look at the maturity level of the child,” explained author and parent Ellen Currey-Wilson.

Most experts agree the older a child is when they start using Facebook or other social media sites, the safer they will be. And when that time comes, the parents need to be involved.

“Being a parent isn’t a popularity contest. And if it is, often times those parents were doing a pretty crappy job because we are not very popular with our kids when we have to say 'no,'” said Dr. James Mol, a behavioral health expert from Providence Portland Medical Center.

Facebook suggests parents should talk with their kids about security and help set privacy settings. Parents should also discuss appropriate online behavior to avoid bullying or embarrassing posts. And parents should set limits on how much time their teenager spends on Facebook.

No matter how old your child is, Facebook also suggests that parents have an ongoing conversation with their kids about the Internet and technology.

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