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Hey, Mom and Dad: When Should You Let Your Kids Sign Up For Facebook?

Parents, Patch wants to hear from you on the questions that get families talking.

Welcome to "Hey, Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. Every week, we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked parents the week before on Patch Facebook pages from around the area.

Facebook currently requires that users be 13 years or older to have an account. While some parents think even 13 is too young, the company has considered reducing age restrictions. But even under the existing set-up, it's easy for children to circumvent the current restrictions by being less-than-honest about their age.

That brings us to this week's question.

When should a child be allowed to start their own Facebook account?

Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.

Trace Ricchio: 13 is what FB allows, and when I caved and let my son have one. All the bugging he did to have it, and he's hardly on it. And the rule is I have his password, and establish his security, and I do check it twice a day by logging on as him. —on Frankfort Patch Facebook

Laurie Arndt-Genardo: When they're mature enough to handle anything that comes their way on FB. Coming from a HS teacher, i strongly recommend not allowing kids to have FB at a young age.  —on Frankfort Patch Facebook

Tina Durbon: I do not have the answer for you, everybody has their own opinion....my 11 year old asked me to set him up an account on facebook, I did not do it, I am going to wait another year or two, mainly because I feel that I cannot protect him enough. So much needs to depend on the child's maturity level, and that is why I am waiting. —on Frankfort Patch Facebook

Gail Hoffman Bastas: We allowed our daughter to get Fb after 8th grade graduation. for the most part it has been good but i check it everday. rules are even if she likes someone's post and it is inappropriate, the computer and ipod are gone for a month —on Mokena Patch Facebook

Carolyn Mysogland Dudgeon: It's different with every child. There are some responsible at 10, and some not until....ever! —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook

Dana Sbragia: It is up to the PARENT, and just because you allow your child to have fb does not make you a bad parent. Funny, people are so quick to judge. There are PRIVACY settings you set up also when he gets a friend request, I see who it is and we talk about whether he should accept or not. No one can find him on fb if they googled his name because I set it up that way. By the way my kid ONLY talks to friends & Family and barely checks it, and yes it is a scary world but I will not keep him in a bubble. I trust him and we have open communication. —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook

Bonnie Serrato Pressler: There are soo many under age on Facebook right now...your son or daughter could have one right now and u don't even know about. They make up names and lie about their age. My kids will be on when I feel they are ready —on Chicago Heights Patch Facebook

Becky Fisher: My daughter is 8 and has an account, but it is only for her to play games. She doesn't know the password for the account and the email is her fathers. The only time she is allowed to go on is if her father or I are right there. —on Tinley Park Patch Facebook

Becky Haave Wharrie: They shouldn't have one unless it is regularly monitored by parents. It's the biggest source of cyber-bullying and sexually explicit conversation out there and the potential for danger is really high. My youngest is 11 and doesn't want one because of what others have gone through. —on Orland Park Patch Facebook

Mike Meyers: when the kids first get a Facebook account they're going to accept every facebook friend request they get... so make up a fake name and profile so you can back door their account without them knowing it  —on Orland Park Patch Facebook

Tom Kenny: 18 —on Orland Park Patch Facebook

So what's your take? Tell us in the comments. 

Michelle Power November 07, 2012 at 01:09 AM
My 7yr old uses my FB to play games. She obviously can not log in herself and must be supervised while on any internet site, but I don't think there should be an age restriction. Make rules, no adding friends without permission, and not giving them the. Password. I saw, sign them up!

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