ASK MUM & DAD
Mum and dad answer all your questions about parenting. They may not always agree but they’re always full of advice. If you have a question, send it to email@example.com. Dear Mum & Dad, My ten-year-old daughter keeps asking if she can get onto some form of social media like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. I’ve said ‘no’ repeatedly, but she keeps asking and whining that all her friends have it and that I’m ‘the worst mum in ever’. Should I give in? Almost giving in, Malacca
No. Ten is too young. There’s so much information, imagery, bad advice and the entire Kardashian clan with their lip kits and waist training which girls at an impressionable age should not be privy to. They have all the time in the world to get sullied by social media. Parents should know that Instagram, for example, has a minimum age restriction of 13 for good reason. The problem is that at ten, a kid doesn’t really understand that one seemingly innocent post or contact with the wrong person can cause problems. Tell her to ask you again in two years.
Even though I’m not keen on social networks, I do understand that this is the norm now. Yes, ten is probably a bit young but if you sit her down and lay down some ground rules, explain what privacy setting are, to think very carefully about what they post online, and to always keep information private, maybe. The most important thing is to have access to your kids’ pages and accounts to keep an eye on them and conduct damage control if need be. Better to be a bit lenient so they don’t go behind your back and do it anyway. Communication and transparency is very important.