I received the weirdest message on Facebook this morning from a friend.

The message read:

Can I ask you something? What’s your problem? Why won’t you friend my son on Facebook? It’s kinda rude.

Um what?

Your kid is 11 years old.

For starters, the age requirement for Facebook is 13 years old. Why does your child have a profile to begin with? Secondly, I find the age requirement for social media platforms to be quite low. I don’t feel you child should be on Facebook. Thirdly, I’m friends with you. Your child is not my friend. He is your child. Your child is a child to me. A child that doesn’t need to know my grown up business.

There I said it.

Facebook started as a tool for college students to connect.

College.

Not middle school children. And certainly not children under 13 years old whose parents allowed them to create a Facebook profile with a bogus birthday.

Can we please just let our kids be kids?

I see what goes on with your children through you. You. My friend. From your posts. Your pictures.

I explained this. And that I wasn’t comfortable friending her child.

She has since unfriended me.

It is what it is.

In a world of cyberstalking and online predators, I will not add to this rising problem by accepting an underage child as my friend. Not to mention the adult content in which Facebook generates. I will not contribute to this.

He isn’t the first child I have avoided friending and he isn’t the last.

How old do you feel a child should be to have a social media account? Have you allowed your child to lie about his/her birthday to create a social media profile?

(This post first ran on Chi-town Mommy Mayhem.)

About the author: T.J. Falletti is a 40 something mom of an almost threenager. She lives with her fiance and their son in a suburb of Chicago. Her blog started as a way to cope with postpartum depression but now helps relieve the everyday stresses of toddlers and tantrums. After battling Secondary Infertility, she and her fiance have decided to become foster parents and hope to add to their family through adoption. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends, dogs, and sitting down with a good glass of wine.

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8 Comments

  1. I would have serious issues with my child having adults as friends (apart from me). Maybe aunties, uncles and grandparents but then I know what those people put on Facebook so not a chance in hell now I’ve thought about it!

  2. Misty ChickenLittle Browne Reply

    My son is 17…soon to be 18 this year and he has never asked for a Facebook account. He does have a Twitter that he opened last year after he was 17. I nor his father ever told him he couldn’t have one, he just never asked. If he had? No. Life is hard enough for kids and teens. There is enough drama to deal with in school and off the playground. As for adults…we deal with the same if not more drama on social media. I would never “friend” a friend’s child either.

  3. Wow sounds like it wasn’t much of a loss, honestly.

    I don’t, in general, “friend” my friends’ kids, unless I have a relationship with the child, or there’s a particular reason, as in the case of one friend who is recently divorced, and whose kids need all the support and connection they can get right now. it’s a case-by-case basis.

    My newsfeed is purposefully “safe for work”, because I use it to connect with friends and family, and that does include some young teens.

    I agree, though, that under-13s don’t need their own Facebook. For under-13s, there are things like Skype, which they can use to connect with a parent-approved list of friends, family, and so on. Any social media use needs to be supervised. Duh. But expecting other people to connect with your kid just because they them to sounds to me like raising an entitled brat.

  4. Travelbuds Reply

    My kids are 11 and 9 and my daughter (the 9 year old) asked if she could have a facebook page ‘as her friends do’ and I said NO. There is no way I would let them have a social media page at their age. She understood and was ok with it. When they are around 16 or 17 is when I think I will allow them to have social media accts.

  5. YES. You nailed it. If I wanted to have more kids in my life up in my business, chiming in their woefully uneducated (both book and life-wise) comments, trying to act cute/cool I would have had more of my OWN children. Your now un-friended friend who took offense to your denial of the cherub’s request is essentially allowing her children to now pick *her* friends too. How sad–for both her and her children.

  6. I totally agree with you. I don’t friend anyone under 18 or who I consider “a kid”.

  7. No, I wouldn’t let my child have a FB or IG account if she’s under the age.. and I would have very strict rules about their use if they were allowed to get one at all..

  8. I agree, 11 years old is too young to have their own facebook account. My kids weren’t allowed to have them until they were 18. And yes, I was the meanest mom but I didn’tcare. It was my job to be their mom, not their friend. And they survived. 🙂

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