“Dude, like, my mom totally read your comment and she’s going to tell your mom.”

On Saturday, my First Baby will turn 14 years old.
I can’t think about it without breaking down and crying. He’s my first child, he holds a very dear place in my heart and every time I’m faced with the reality of how quickly he’s heading towards adulthood, my heart breaks in a thousand different places and also bursts with pride at the same time.
Bittersweet. That is truly the only word to discribe it.
Yesterday, he asked me The Question that I’ve been dreading. The question I hoped would never come out of my son’s mouth.


“Mom. I’m going to be 14 in a couple of days. Can I get a MySpace now? All of my friends have one
(You thought I was going to say he asked for A Jimmy. Admit it.)
Ugh.
I wanted to shout “No! You can NOT get a My Space! YOU’VE SEEN TO CATCH A PREDATOR! You know it’s a Perv Magnet! Absolutely not!”
But instead, I told him that yes, he could. BUT! I would set it up for him and I will know the password and will check it every single day for comments and friend requests.
He was completely ok with that, because he knows that I have his best interest at heart and that I do not want someone named “HardBigOne4U_69″ sending him messages like “Let’s meet at the mall 2nite LOL.”
I’m still not entirely comfortable with letting him open an account, but I’d rather give him permission and be able to monitor what goes on and what information he makes public than to have him create an account at a friend’s house that I don’t know about.
How do you feel about allowing your teenager to have a MySpace account? I’m curious to hear other parents views on this because I’m so hesitant and creeped out by the idea of my son having one.

80 thoughts on ““Dude, like, my mom totally read your comment and she’s going to tell your mom.”

  1. Empie

    No big thing girl my oldest is 12 and he opened an account a few months back, I have the password and I monitor it, I sometimes help him upload songs and layouts I tell him what I feel is inappropriate to have on his page, and I am on his top 8 list, so that everyone knows I watch his account, I even make it a point to post comments on their so any pervs can see his mommy watches what he’s doing! Do you have an acct? If not create one and have him on your friends list and likewise for him, it has actually made communication with my son alot more open!
    Most kids who get on at least with my sons friends, most of them actually have only bands and celebrities they like as friends, so it’s not so bad, just keep an eye on it, and make it obvious to all who see his acct that mommy is watching!

  2. gc

    My teens don’t have myspace account because they haven’t really expressed interest in it. Oh, okay…that’s a lie, my daughter wanted one when she was 11 I told her no then but she hasn’t brought it up again. I think your approach is great though…it’s the same way I would do it…(I have their password and it will be monitored kinda thing.) As long as he understands that it’s for his own safety that you’re doing it, I think it’ll be okay.
    I hear ya on their growing too fast. My eldest turns 15 this month…in 6 months he can actually start learning how to drive. Drive!!! And to think I still see him as this chubby-cheeked, happy-go-lucky toddler.

  3. Becca

    I would hope that any future kids I have don’t want to go on there, but if they did (and I said yes) I think monitoring is a good idea. But, at what age do you decide it’s ok to stop monitoring it? Hmm..

  4. Katie

    My kids are 5 and 2. I’m hoping they never discover the internet. But I guess that’s unlikely, because my 2 year old already goes around saying “I need to check my email real quick.”

  5. Mrs Finklemier

    My daughter, almost 13 has a myspace I know her password and I am on her friends list. Her friends know I read and check her stuff and I know she picks the right kind of friends. My friend’s daughter, 13 has a myspace account and she will send bulletins to her daughter’s friends letting them know she monitors daily and she will delete them in a heartbeat if they misstep. You trust your son, so you know he’ll be ok with you watching over him.

  6. Kerry

    I heard somewhere that there hasn’t been a single instance of a child being tracked down through myspace without ever having interacted with the creep online first. (As in, they don’t just show up at your doorstep after having figured out which mountain it is in the background of one of your pictures…first they contact your kid, try to make friends with them, become their online boyfriend or girlfriend, whatever). I think some kids are susceptable to that kind of thing, and some aren’t. I was on the internet all the time in middle school or high school, but never had the time of day for anybody I didn’t know in real life. But I also know a guy who left right after graduation to meet some 30 year old woman he’d met online who lived halfway across the country. So umm, I guess you know your own son best. Is he a hopeless crazy romantic or a level headed pragmatist?

  7. DJ

    I’m not a parent but I set the rules for internet usage in my house when my 14 year old nephew visits. At first I allowed it (but wasn’t happy about it) but someone stole his photo and used it to leave comments on another family member’s space so my brother and I talked about it and decided that he shouldn’t be on it at all.

  8. Jess in Mi

    Someone else said it, and they are right… You can make the profile private so only invited friends can see his profile and whatever he puts on it….everyone can, however, see the main pic that is posted. So maybe have that pic be something he likes, or a famous person/cartoon ect.
    I think you did the right thing, I dont think you have anything to worry about! HUGS

  9. Christy

    My oldest is 5, so what do I know. I’m still working on getting the pee in the toilet.
    But, I think I’d be ok with it. I’d monitor the heck out of it. As in, “I noticed that you forgot a period there.” because I would be reading it THAT carefully.
    I think I’d also talk to him a lot about what behaviors from others are warning signs. I mean, it’s obvious to us that sending someone a pic in a swimsuit is a problem, but 14 year olds don’t always realize that sort of basic stuff.

  10. Amy S

    I have sisters that are 17 and 15 (I’m 32). I freaked about them getting myspace accounts and I’m not technically their mother! However, both girls are very responsible, and know that I go in and watch whats happening, they’ve both gotten bored with the whole thing and prefer to actually hang out with their friends than on-line. I think it’s great that you are trusting him with the responsibility…next it’s jimmys and car keys!

  11. sophie

    How funny that you posted this today. This morning Sweetheart and I were discussing my step-daughters (who are 8 year old twin girls). They use the internet now only for playing games like Hannah Montana, etc. They have yet to ask for email accounts of Myspace, thank goodness. We decided that we would invest in the spyware and tell them we were doing so when the time comes. You teach them what you can, but ultimately (like Christy said) they may or may not recognize all the tricks the pervs may use. Good luck, I think you handled it very well!

  12. trish

    You know my son is 6 months older than yours and I went through this when he turned 14. He has a page and it has worked out fine so far. The 14 and under pages cannot even be searched by e-mail address. They have to give someone their specific address and approve them before anyone can see anything on the page.
    I know every situation (and child) is different but I have been happy with his behavior and his mature attitude about it, so I think you are doing the right thing in giving him a chance.

  13. Susan

    Bad mom that I am, I let my 11yo son (middleschooler) set up a MySpace account. Like you, I set it up, so I created his password and put all the limits on it. (Like, I appreciate how you can set it up where a friend has to know his e-mail address or last name in order to even request him as a friend.)
    He has had it a few weeks, and he has ONE friend besides me, LOL. And that friend never posts on his page.
    So, so far, he & I send messages and post pictures to each other. I doubt it will stay like that forever, but so far, so good.

  14. Jessica

    I am 25, so I was a young teenager when the internet really started to take off. We had AOL back when you got charged by the minute, and the only thing my parents ever monitored was that I didn’t spend several hours on the damn thing. They never knew that at 13 I was talking to boys living across the country. They never knew I met a guy who ended up dating a friend of mine in a chatroom. I would have never told them because I knew they would have worried and since I thought I was invincible and all, I thought they were ridiculous for worrying. Now I am a mommy to two little boys and am praying that MySpace, and perhaps the internet (except for the blogs I read of course) will be extinct by the time they start showing interest. All that said, I think you are doing the absolute best thing you could do. Good for you for being an involved parent. Your son will thank you when he gets older.

  15. Jen from boston

    I think you’re going about it the right way and marking private/friends only should be good enough to keep the creeps at bay.
    The fact that he *asked permission* from you and he knows the drill and why you are doing it the way that you are. He seems like a very responsible, mature guy (from what I see) and not out to abuse this, so why not?
    If you’re really worried/wanting to be extra cautious, I might water down the requited info requested from the myspace ppl. (I can’t remember what they ask/require, but if they did ask for a city, maybe put “southern CA”, or use a last initial for last name, etc.)
    was he happy-surprised when you said yes?

  16. katy

    The only place my 16 year old daughter can get on the computer in my house is in the family room…..right where I can see what is going on. I know her password too and occasionally check what is going on.
    My son who will be 19 this summer just bought his own laptop and I had to let go and let him do his own thing. I still sneak around and check his laptop sometimes, but I can’t monitor him forever.

  17. tiffers

    i don’t have any kids, but i do have to teenage sisters. (14 and 16).
    i am on both of thier friend’s lists.
    and i totally spy on them all the time, and when olderish (in this case, guys who are even 2 years older than tem) boys leave comments for them, i leave a comment right away about how only gross loser boys hit on younger girls through the internet. i also make fun of the spelling and grammar of the olderish loser boys.
    anyway, i think you did the right thing.
    and i think you’ve been doing the right thing for a long time, if you have this kind of relationship with your son.
    i mean, imagine how many parents have no idea that their kids have a myspace.
    you’re doing good.
    not that it means anything, coming from a childless person.

  18. Kerry

    You don’t even have to put Southern California. Put Funkytown. Or Antartica, or whatever. It’s not a legal document, any information they ask for that you don’t want to give them, try leaving the field blank and if that doesn’t work, put in an obvious lie. It’s the internet way.

  19. ktpupp

    My 14 yr old daughter has had a MySpace for a little over a year… I told her I am fine with it as long as I always know her password and she knows I may occasionally check it out. I have a MySpace too, and many of her friends have “added me” because they think it’s cool that a mom has a MySpace. I feel better knowing who she’s interacting with and that they know I am around too. Some of her friends have even messaged me to ask for advice and stuff that they aren’t sure how to bring up with their own folks. I, of course, suggest they talk about it with their parents, but also let them know I am there if they need someone just in case they can’t…
    I monitor the pics she puts up and suggests she remove the ones that might be a bit inappropriate. If she refuses, I tell her I will log in and do it myself, or delete the account all together and block MySpace via the router. She usually agrees pretty quickly!

  20. Steph

    I think you made the right choice, if you said no he’d want it even more. It’s great you will keep watch on it. Just make sure your not the bogus account. My cousin had one her parents knew about, one they didn’t. I found the didn’t one. Yeah, it was bad.

  21. DebbieS

    I think you did great, and you have done an awesome job raising him if he asked for permission like that! I actually do have a suggestion…I saw a clip on the news just last night about MySpace and sexual predators, and they did a test of pretending to be a perv seeking out a young person. One 15 year-old girl had her school name down and how she liked to play soccer, and from that and a couple more clues (pics of her on her site, etc.) they were able to locate her, just as a real predator would have. So I would say, no real “clues” like name of school should be posted. This is tricky, b/c some of the friends in his list might have their school on there and then it’s just simple logic. No photos within a specific context, like in a sports uniform. Stuff like that. My two cents, anyway.

  22. Eliza

    Not much more to offer than what has already been said. My rules for 14 year old daughter:
    Mom has to have the password.
    No photos of daughter.
    Private/Friends only.
    Friends have to be someone she actually knows (not someone from another state who is also “14″ and loves Fall Out Boy).
    So my daughter now has 92 friends. And other than a couple of bands that send her updates, she does indeed know all of those kids. I was a geek at 14 and she’s a butterfly.

  23. Lauren

    Hi Y!! First time commenter and I LOVE you and your blog!!!!

    I have a 5 year old and the concept of the internet is SCARY. With a few clicks of the mouse, an online predator could learn everything he/she wants about my child. Myspace just makes it all a bit TOO easy.

    For everyone worried about their children’s safety online, there is a great new program that has just started, called safeTspace. It is a system that helps parents who want their children to experience all that the internet has to offer while protecting them from the dangers of the internet. It is an new and secure process that ensures that ONLY CHILDREN can access the safeTspace community. Using fingerprint ID technology and a network of rigorously screened, background-checked agents to verify registrants, they ensure that it is the internet’s first secure kids only community. There is even a great parental administrative tool that is both informative and proactive.

    If you are interested, check out:
    http://www.safetspace.com
    and
    https://parents.safetspace.com

    The internet is a powerful and scary place. Keeping kids safe is our job as parents in the 21st century… I like the idea of knowing who my son would be talking to, when, about what, etc. It’s a little big brother, but I’d rather it be that way than be the next new story…

  24. Y

    HAHAHA
    Of course you can.
    I have a SEPARATE myspace for family.
    Now, go comment on my rack…NOW!

  25. Barb

    I have 3 kids (21 -girl, 18 – boy, 16 – girl), All my kids have a myspace, my 2 older ones (in college) each have facebook. They were the ones that actually talked me into creating my own myspace account and they all sent me a friend request. It’s kind of neat I get to chat with them and see what their up to whenever I get the urge.

  26. margalit

    I have 14 year old twins, and they both have had MySpace accounts for a couple of years now. Both of them use my email accounts, so I get the email of every message they recieve. I also have both of their passwords, and I do go and read their stuff every once in a while. I used to do it all the time, but they’re careful and it got to be exceptionally boring for me. I trust them. My daughter has over 200 friends (I know!) and my son has about 70.
    Both of them also have facebook accounts. My daughter has pretty much moved over to facebook and left myspace behind, but my son still likes MySpace.
    In all the time they have had MySpace accounts, only one perv has contacted one of them, and that was a guy who was first in contact with one of my daughter’s former friends. I reported him to the police immediately. Otherwise, absolutely nothing untoward at all.

  27. Mel

    My son is only 9.5, and I just helped him start a blog. I monitor everything, comment-wise and emails. Right now, I see everything before I show him…not the same as at 14. I help him screen picture and info he wants to write. He wanted to post pictures of the sandcastle he and his cousins made at the beach, but they were shirtless. I nixed that one. What a sad world we live in.
    I think you made a good choice. Set the profile to private, monitor, and it will be fine.
    I love the first part of this post. My son is my first and the years go by so quickly. It is very bittersweet. He will be in “double digits” in a few months. Ack.

  28. Lisa

    I don’t comment much (like NEVER), but I do know a lot about Myspace,so i thought I’d delurk. I have an account and also monitor my younger brothers and sisters accounts. Basically you can set up an account so to even send a friend request the person has to know your last name/and or email. They can’t view your page at all. People who view your sons friends still can’t see his page, he’s pretty much safe, But I agree with at least knowing his password, I know all my younger siblings password’s and once in awhile do “spot checks” they all know I do these at random times and it keeps them on their toes as to what they put up. I severely limit their pics and they aren’t allowed to put their real names or cities on their page. :) Just some info so you can breathe a little easier, the internet is a scary place! LOL.

  29. nila

    New adventures in parenthood for you. I feel for you and will look forward to seeing how it all turns out. This questions is right around the corner for me and I’m scared.

  30. Velma

    I think you’ve found the right balance of freedom vs. protection for both of you. He’s at an age where knowing you trust him means a lot, and since he’s cool with you monitoring everything, you’ll be able to weed out contacts that you don’t trust.

  31. Grammar Snob

    My nieces and pseudo-nieces all have accounts. I use my account to be their friend, so that I can monitor all of their accounts. I’m pretty sure none of their parents know, because none of them are real techo-savvy. But they are all cool with me watching and I have been very impressed with them and their friends. There is a lot of banter, some flirting, etc, but I have never seen it cross the line.

  32. Patty

    Hi, I have never posted to you before but I have been reading you for probably over a year (found you through Notes from the trenches BYH). I have 2 teenage daughters (18 & 14). They both have My Speace accounts. I don’t feel that there is an issue with it. You sound like you have done a great job raising your kids and they seem comfortable talking to you with questions. By you holding the password and monitoring it will be fine.
    Patty

  33. meritt

    Ah, don’t worry about it. It’s not like the media plays it up to be. You know the whole “the sky is falling” mentality.
    My 16 and 14 year olds have them… I read them about every other day or so. Well – skim them. I actually set my sons up for him (he asked, just like yours did, and I aquiesced).
    My 11 year old has a xanga account right now because that is the ‘in’ thing with her group of friends and really, MySpace is NOT user friendly and is set up pretty pathetic so I actually helped my 11 year old to set up a blog page too. LOL.
    Calm…. no biggy. Let him have his ‘space’. :)

  34. geeky

    As an Internet expert (ha!), I think your bargain is a perfect compromise. Plus, it’s a good opportunity to teach him about being safe on the Internets, which is a valuable skill these days.

  35. Jackie

    I can understand where you are coming from. My son is 15. Knowing when to let go and how much to let go is soooooooooo freaking hard! I want him to be independent but, I HATE that he is growing up and needing me less and less. Myspace hasn’t been bad other than the fact he would rather be on that then visiting with his parents. I keep reminding my husband that we were the same way when we were kids. Not on myspace maybe but not wanting to be around our parents. He is our only child. At least you have two back up plans! Hang in there.

  36. The Real Kyla

    Heh. I have one. I can spy on him for you. *lol*
    But seriously, I got one because the kids I worked with all had them…so I’d message them and be all “Study for your math test tomorrow!” or whatever. And it was also a mighty fine way to keep an eye on what they were up to.
    My kids are 4 and 2, so I can’t say. I think that you are handling it wonderfully, and that it great that he is okay with it. I can’t think of a better compromise than that…because you are right, if you said no, odds are he’d make a secret one. Good work, Y.

  37. Shannon

    Both of my girls have them (15 and 17) they have them set to private and as soon as they got one the deal was they had to add me as a friend. Now all their friends want to be my friend which is funny and according to my daughters – I’m the coolest mom around.

  38. BOSSY

    Bossy doesn’t know – she’s just perplexed because she can’t remember what we were all doing before the internet. Maybe hanging out with real live friends?

  39. Valeta

    Geeze, I don’t know what I would do if my son asked for one. He is almost 4 and he already says, “Can I read my blog about kids letters?” He means starfall.com but whenever he asks me what I am doing on the computer I am usually reading someone’s blog. So now he thinks his little website he goes to is also a blog. :D

  40. AA

    Wow, I’m so far down on the list you probably won’t see this, but just in case…..
    I teach middle school and I know a lot of the kids have my space accounts. Really it is not the account itself that is the problem. Like anything else, it is parental involvment and supervision that is the key to how things work out. The problem is that takes a lot of time and energy as a parent. Truthfully, it is not the predators I would be most worried about – I bet that is a very small percentage and you can do things to block that kind of stuff. What you really need to watch for is the things the kids say to each other on these sites and talk each other into doing. While some of it is just big talk it does lead to old fashioned peeer pressure. Most people have no idea what middle school and high school kids can come up with when left to their own devices for too long.
    One of the best pieces of advice I ever read was on the placement of the computer. A kid (teenager too) should never be on the computer in a private place. The computer should be in a main room where people in the family walk by a lot. That makes the most sense to me! And that would be my main suggestion on the My Space thing. Make sure it is where you can see it and he won’t be able to click out without you knowing.

  41. Dawn

    My son is 16 and he has had one for a few years. I’ve heard all the horror stories, but our experience has been great.
    1) I’m good with the computer. I know what he’s doing and check it often.
    2) He has his blocked from adults, unless they are on his friends list.
    3) I have a huge step family which means my son has a ton of cousins. We (the kids) were adults when our parents married so it’s kind of hard to get to know each other… Well a bunch of the cousins have myspace and they’ve kept in touch and gotten to know each other. It’s been great.
    4) The kids from church stay in contact with each other on there and he’s even reconnected with kids he went to elementary school with.
    I think it’s important to monitor them and teach them safe internet behavior. It’s like everything else. We can’t shelter them from everything and then expect them to know how to handle difficult situations.

  42. Candy

    Well I do not have kids but I was a kid once. I think kids should not be sheltered from all the aches and pains of life. They do need a certain amount of exposure to learn how to deal with things in an adult manner! I was sheltered and my sisters were sheltered. We weren’t even aloud to watch the Simpsons! I was raised and treated as a child until I was 22 then sent out to the world to be an adult. I am still learning how to be an adult and it’s been a few years.

  43. amanda

    Boy, I don’t have that one on my radar yet as both my girls are still in diapers. I am sure there will be a host of entirely new ways for adolescence to quake me to my core. Good luck!

  44. Ryann

    Ah, the wonderful world of internet paranoia. I’m a nineteen-year-old lurker, and as someone who has dealt with the internet issue from a teenager’s perspective, I feel like I should delurk and say a few things about kids on the internet. This is really directed at some of the commenters more so than Y, but here it is.

    1) I have been in chatrooms, on message boards, and the like unsupervised since I was twelve, and I have never once been solicited by a predator. Yes, there are sickos on the internet, but it’s not like there are swarms of them IMing your kid every day. The media wants to scare you, they want you to think that there are child molestors everywhere online and your kid is too stupid to realize it. In reality, kids are smarter than they’re given credit for; if confronted with a predator online (not likely, but it happens), most of them will realize it rather quickly and block them, and life will resume as usual. I’ve had friends who have been solicited before, and that’s the course it took every time. Read this for a realistic idea of what kids face online.

    2) DO. NOT. SPY. Monitoring is fine, as long as your kid KNOWS you’re doing it. My mom spied on me online for several years without telling me, and even worse, she lied and told me she wasn’t. I understand that she was just trying to protect me, but by going behind my back like that and lying to me, it said to me that she had so little respect for me that she would rather spy on me than, you know, ASK me what I was doing online and TALK to me about what’s acceptable. This happened three years ago, and our relationship still suffers from it. Learn from my mom’s mistakes, and be honest and open about what you’re monitoring with your kid.

    3) Simply laying down rules with an iron fist and monitoring everything your kid does will not protect them. I know this will scare you all, but it’s something you should know: unless you have a mindlessly obedient robot child, you will never know everything your kid does online. My generation has grown up with the internet, we know how to get around things and cover our tracks. Even if you keep your eyes glued to the screen every time your kid is on your computer, you still won’t know everything they do, because they’ll get online at their friend’s houses or at school, they’ll create alternate Myspace accounts, AIM screennames, and email addresses, and then they’ll clear the history so you will never know about it. It’s not like they’re doing something bad that they don’t want you to see, they just don’t want their mom reading everything they write to their friends. You were all teenagers once, you must understand that sentiment. My point is that even the most rigorous rule enforcement will only do so much good. The best way to protect them is to make sure that your kid knows the dangers of the internet and takes them seriously, knows the warning signs to look out for and what to do to protect themselves. That way, they’ll be safe even when you’re not watching them, and as far as I can tell, that’s the whole point of being a parent.

    4) For younger kids (11 to 14-ish), I can understand keeping the computer in a public place and knowing their password, because at that age, they’re more naive and vulnerable and they won’t really be having too many interactions that they won’t want you to see anyways. But as they get older, I don’t think it’s such a good idea anymore. For example – your 16-year-old daughter’s boyfriend might break up with her over AIM (it happens pretty often), and instead of crying in a private place, your kid will be sitting there in the family room weeping as everyone who passes by them starts talking to her, asking her what’s going on, and possibly even reading the IM conversation over her shoulder. No teenager needs that. What I’m trying to say is, some things happen online that aren’t dangerous, but still should not be public knowledge. Try to be sensitive to that fact.

    I know the internet can be a dangerous place. All I’m saying is, be realistic, don’t buy into the “OMG THERE’S CHILD MOLESTORS TALKING TO YOUR KID RIGHT THIS SECOND! More at 11!” hype that the media is creating, make sure your kid knows how to stay safe, and try to give your kid some privacy online after a certain age. I know this was an awfully long comment, but the paranoia over kids on the internet is so extreme sometimes that I feel like I need to put things in perspective. Seriously, parents, there is no need to check your sixteen-year-old’s Myspace messages. If your kid is old enough to drive somewhere unsupervised, they’re old enough to be online unsupervised.

  45. Ryann

    Blech, when I previewed my comment they didn’t put the spaces in, so I put them in with HTML, and now I have SUPER SPACES. Oh well.

  46. Michele

    You’re absolutely doing the right thing – letting him feel connected, while still monitoring and making sure he’s safe. In my ever so humble opinion, it’s the perfect compromise.

  47. Izzy

    I think you’re doing the right thing. Better to concede a little and know what’s going on than have no clue at all.

  48. Helen

    I let mine sign up, as long as she knew that I would be there too, with my own mysace account,a s her friend, my name is SOPHIES MUM so that everyone sees I am there. Except now she is 18 and has a bebo account or something and 18…well she is a grown up now, shame she still doesn’t wash her dirty cups and pick up rubbish. I really hate MYspace, really I do..

  49. Jen

    First I would like to say Happy Birthday, we are also celebrating a birthday in our home. My daughter is 3 today!
    Soooo I’m nowhere near having to worry about her wanting a MySpace account….
    BUT…. The thought of her going on one when she’s older, makes me sick. I don’t know if its just me being overprotected because she is a girl, ( Not sure it would make too much of a difference if I had a boy though…) But I think what you are doing by monitoring him is a great idea. At least it puts some of those worries at ease!

  50. Jessica

    As of now, I have no teenagers. But since I HAVE a myspace… I can’t likely STOP my children from having one. But I’m going to be allowed access to it, if need be.

  51. tonya cinnamon

    my son has one and hes 14.. i have his password and moniter it i do have his profile set to private so only his friends can see it..
    and we are both cool, with it
    hugs
    tonya cinnamon

  52. Dyane

    All of my kids have them, granted 2 of them aren’t “kids” anymore, but my younger son was 16 when he started his & his sister was 14. I never had any problems with my son & his contacts, he’s pretty untrusting to begin with, but my daughter had friends on her list she’d never met in real life, had an online “relationship” with a girl she met on myspace (yes, it was a romantic one) that ended up with the other girl calling her constantly & never leaving her alone where ever she went online. After that I made her delete everyone she had never met & she knows I watch her page now, I’m in her top 8, so is her dad.

  53. Nina

    I didn’t read the other comments (I’m lazy…haha), but if you’re in on it, I don’t see a problem. I’ve seen plenty of 14, 15, 16 year olds on there with their parents as friends (or some other older relative). At least you care enough to worry about him. There are plenty of kids on there with no one even worrying about them.
    And my kids are 4 and 7, and the 4 year old is always talking about “momma’s space” and the 7 year old has a classmate on there…I saw the profile the other day (through his mother’s page).

  54. Denise

    I haven’t read the other comment because there’s so many of them, but I’ll throw in my two cents. My firstborn son will be 14 in a few weeks. He doesn’t really want a myspace, but if he did I wouldn’t let him and here’s why: there is so much trash on there. There are many ways to keep your son from predators. My concern is what he can see while on the myspace site. I’ve seen some nasty por*ographic stuff just by innocently clicking on some of the comments on my friends’ sites. I think boys our sons’ age are at real risk for por* addiction.
    If you have your computer in a public area and monitor so that your son is only going to his friends’ pages, it should be okay, but when one is on myspace filth is often just a click away…
    Just my thoughts. I’m sure you will do whatever you can to protect your boy.
    And trust me, I can SO relate to your heart brokenness over how fast your boy is growing up. Watching my son play baseball tonight, I was thinking back to what feels like yesterday when he was a five year old hitting balls off the tee. The years are like minutes when it comes to our babies.
    God bless you, Y.

  55. nobody

    Moderation. It holds true with everything that if you have things in moderations, you will be ok.
    Your sons being on the Net should be in moderation AND should be moderated (monitored).
    A mysapce page, if you monitor it and have him ask you before he invites anyone to be able to view it, should suffice.
    I know it is a difficult decision and even one with small risks even if you monitor and set rules. But you have to aks yourself “are those small risks worth quelling his creativity and ability to express himself?” That is one of the beautiful things about myspace is it gives people and outlet to by creative, expressive, and a voice. Yes, with anything, there are risks. I hioghly doubt with monitoring and rules, the pedophiles will be banin at your door to get your son. I think that ris is very low to highly unlikely. The risks I talk of if one of fhis friends on myspace, perhaps from school, all of a sudden, turning mean. It happens regardless if it is on myspace, or on the school playground. But again, eventually you have to start severing the cord sometime and let the boy grow into a man.
    It is hard to see your kids start to grow into young adults. Especially in the context of how fast time goes by. It really does seem like yesterday, these little children could barley get up unto the couch, so eager to curl up next to you and follow you everywhere because they wanted to be with mommy, grow into a teenager who is talking to girls, taking driving permit tests, talking about a part time time job, filling out college applications preparing for the SAT, talking about prom, spending a week down at the beach after graduation and then heading off to college after summer time. All of that in 4 years time of your 14 year old, Y. As it much as it hurts, you have to let him grow into a young man who isn’t afraid of the world.
    I wish you luck in that regard.

  56. Brandi

    Y,
    One of the main reasons I have a Myspace account is to see what my niece and nephew have on their site. They know this…they are careful what they put on there. I won’t freak out about the least little thing like their parents might, but I certainly watch their comments and their friends lists very closely to see who they have.
    I think you are right to monitor his Myspace openly and have a very open conversation about it. If he knows you are willing to let him do his thing and he knows the boundaries, he won’t have any reason to try to hide anything from you.

  57. Jenny

    my mom shoulda done that for my sister. i dont think mom knew she was on myspace at first tho…meh…but yea that was a good idea on your part. if that site is still around when my son is older, then i will do the same. we parents need to stay in the loop!!

  58. Samantha

    Okay, i have a myspace and i will tell you that is not as bad as the news and other parents think it is, as long as he only adds people he knows to his friends list then i am sure things will be fine. Most parents that say bad things about it are the ones that dont know much about it or dont know how to use it. You are an awesome mom for understanding and coming to an agreement with your child, instead of just telling him “no” without even thinking twice. in fact you should make a myspace for yourself. its an awesome way to keep intouch with friends and or family.
    I am going to add you to my site as blogs i like to read!

  59. Bev

    My kids are grown. My theory was always that I gave them enough rope to hang themselves, in other words, I didn’t “distrust” them before they gave me reason to. Nothing worse than an over-protective, over-superstitious Mother. I know I grew up with one, and decided I was finally going to give her something to fret about! heh

  60. Jenn

    I am 30 now but I still remember what it’s like to be a teenager and I think if your kid has a good head on his shoulders and you trust him then there’s really nothing to worry about. You can’t protect them from everything forever and I think it’s ridiculous for people to think the internet is evil because there are some creeps out there. There are creeps everywhere, you just have to be smart about it.

  61. trac

    De-Lurking- both my kids have them (14 y/o son and 17 y/o daughter) and like many have mentioned- I monitor. I’m also on their friends list- #1 on my daughter’s- so all her friends KNOW I’m looking.
    I would rather know about it and try to be “cool” about it than to have her get one I don’t know anything about. Also, I have her friends myspaces saved in my favorites at work, and I check theirs as well (as long as they aren’t private)- and let me tell ya, my daughter has been banned from certain girls because of myspace- what ignorant teen thinks it’s cute to put drunk pics up of themselves on myspace? Like, do these kids really believe that their friends are the ONLY people who see these? And, remind your son that his teachers may well see it as well. My daughter overheard a teacher telling another teacher about a myspace one of her students had- and that the teachers opinion of the child personally had really changed, as she had no idea that that particular student talked the way she did or acted the way she did (based on what she posted up about herself on myspace). I also keep my computer in the family room and it will stay there- anytime either of my children minimize a window when I come close, I make them open it back up so I can see what they are trying to hide.

  62. demondoll

    You are such a great mom. My 1st reaction would’ve been- no way, not only can you not have a myspace acct, i am getting rid of all technology. let’s go to church for entertainment. I like your way better

  63. Heather

    I am very far from having to think about this b/c my daughter is only 2 1/2 however I did want to comment. I agree with you. As hard as it seems to let him have an account like that it is important for him as well. Also I applaud your wanting and needing to be involved in what is going on! Friends of mine do the same with thier 2 teenage daugthers and they have a respect for thier daughters and thier daughters have a respect for them now too!

  64. Reese

    You are 100% right I think for being uncertain of your son having Myspace. My little brother has myspace, correction HAD myspace, as did my sister. But once I informed mom, and their dad; told them what I had on watched on NBC, they were both removed. If the child is being monitored that is one thing, but letting them do what they wish on myspace, I wouldn’t let my child do it – that’s for sure. I’d be all up in their business, which clearly you said you would be, which is great. Also, for times you are not; there are also key-loggers, which work amazing. It enables you to see EVERYTHING typed from your computer. The sucky thing is you cannot see what is being said back to the person on your computer.
    *shrug* Anyway, happy birthday to your son!!! =)

  65. Pocket Dragon

    Frankly, the kids I know didn’t even ask their parents.
    But I saw my little cousin’s (who is also across the country, so I couldn’t *whoop her ass* over it) and I was appalled. It wasn’t that she was hoochied up (like her friends are) but it was how open she was. Pervs go for the lost, innocent, vulnerable look.

  66. Gina

    I’m completely okay with my daughter (15) having a MySpace, because she has to follow our rules, or she will not have one, or access to the internet. Rules when it comes to anything online.. Anything she does on there is fair game to myself or her dad. User logins, passwords, emails, conversations. Her MySpace account is private, and I monitor it pretty much weekly. She can only add people that she goes to school with, and if she ever wants to join anything, it goes through us first.
    I’m amazed that it is not a struggle. She follows the rules and I think she’ll end up not only safer this way, but respect herself for it.
    Parents HAVE to be involved in everything their kid(s) does online. I can’t even see how a parent wouldn’t.
    You’ve approached this the right way. Good job.

  67. teachbroeck

    What about FACEBOOK? ONly invited “friends” can be on. I use it with all my cousins and friends. No LUVTOSUCYNGCUM crap!
    **This suggestion may have been made above, but on a short break! NO time to read all 94578930457102394 comments!

  68. sharon

    Honestly, I think that myspace gets a pretty bad rap.
    Maybe I just dont understand because I am not a parent, but I spend a great deal of time with the youth of my church – all teenagers that I love dearly – and they all have myspaces. Most of their parents are not directly involved in the process, other than to have the computer in a main room so that they cant retreat to their little internet world in the basement for hours on end. My husband and I both have myspace accounts and we are their friends in the system. I love it because it gives me an honest idea of what’s going on in their lives – I dont use it to judge them, just to understand them better. I love seeing the way that they express themselves, and I think it would be a shame if their parents were too paranoid to let them.

  69. Kerry

    Facebook is a much much better site than MySpace. MySpace pretty much has all the class of late night advertising on cable, with trashy ads and cheap gimick “games” that I can see younger kids being foolish enough to click on (However, I know my gay friends get a different set of ads than I do…lots of dating sites and the like, so maybe they clean up the ads they subject younger kids to? We can hope at least.), and people’s accounts get hacked to send out weird messages. I once got this really graphic anti-abortion thing from a friend who didn’t mean to send it, and I imagine similar things happen with porn and who knows what else. Of course, it doesn’t take long to figure out that you probably don’t need to click on bulletins with subject lines like “OMG YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE IT!!!!!”
    Facebook has a much more clean, professional look and the site maintenance seems to be much better. However, if all of your friends are already committed to MySpace, that doesn’t really matter too much. That, and Facebook has more emphasis on giving out real information (they want you to use at least your real first name, they sort people by school or region, etc) so it may not be the answer for someone who’s really worried about being anonymous.

  70. jennifer

    We allowed our oldest to have a myspace account two years ago with the stipulation it was for friends she knew in real life only. However, we later revoked that due to drama from other high school kids, etc.
    It just wasn’t worth having to constantly worry about what was there, who was there, what kind of information might ‘accidentally’ be revealed, like what school she goes to, where we live, etc.
    As for being able to block adults or predators, many of them initially pose as kids online so the ‘blocking’ isn’t too effective. While I know some people may feel we’re a little paranoid, we had a cousin that was approached and stalked by a predator. I have had an online stalker. It happens. I just didn’t want to open that door until she’s old enough to handle it.
    As for privacy, we explained that the computer belongs to their dad and me. We allow them to use it so it cannot be considered private. They were pretty upset at first, but after reading about what has happened with other girls, they understand.

  71. ombra

    our kids both have them (11 & 13) but they set them up at their mom’s house without us knowing. My husband did get their passwords, now, and he checks on them. I don’t worry about the adult pervs as much as I worry about the white trash ho-bags that seem to populate the oldest’s site. I am glad we have boys. Yikes!!!

  72. Lucky

    Hey Y :) I can relate! My oldest turns 13 on Sunday. WHERE in holy HECK does time go? And WHO decided it was time for me to be the Mom of a TEENAGER already?!?!?!? ARGH! I know Haley is a year younger, but still, she’s already cruising the net quite regularly. She’s not ASKED for a MySpace account….but I know its coming. I just don’t think I could allow it. Heck, I have one – though I stick to my blog instead…its broken in and comfy, like a good pair of chonies ;) There are just too many creepy things AND people out there, and I just don’t think its time…..not yet. I would consider making her a blog off my own domain, or perhaps a different forum, such as Xanga or LiveJournal (where I got MY start) – someplace that doesnt have the same creep factor.
    Anywho. Just my thoughts. Oh, and I really enjoyed watching the video, and plan on checking out the show on Monday – I had no clue who or what it was, but thanks to Y…..I’m gonna check it out!

  73. becky

    we monitored the kiddo pretty closely. didn’t read her messages or anything, but made sure we knew what she was putting out there.
    in fact, at least once we made her take down some stuff that we thought was too personal (it wasn’t about her even, but me & my best friend).
    we didn’t let her post where she went to school until she was 17 and then we figured she was old enough to start judging what was appropriate. but i still kept an eye on it.
    i highly recommend you make his profile private and only viewable by friends. that should help in keeping tabs on things.

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