I get a lot of questions from parents asking if their kids are "old enough" for email.
See the WBTV video with Kim to see how she handled this situation with her daughters: WBTV Video on Email & Kids
Eight hours a day! And we’re not talking about your work day. We’re talking about the time your kids spend surfing the net, on a smartphone, TV or electronic devices. Your kid also wants their own email account but is this smart or even safe?
According to the recent Kaiser Family Foundation study, kids 8 to 18 spend almost 8 hours a day connected to devices. That’s a lot of connectivity. Then your kid asks you for their own email account, is this safe & should you let them have one?
It’s become a rite of passage for your kids. Changing their fashion or hairstyles, listening to new music, and getting their drivers’ license. All things you went through as a kid but there’s a new twist to growing up now…getting that email account!
Under a certain age, I know parents want me to tell them “No!” and use me as the bad guy but I think email can be a good way to test responsibilities with your kids.
Before you answer “yes” consider these points:
1. How mature is your kid with communications with others when they are happy, sad or mad? Internet email might not be a good fit for them.
2. How old is your child? Many email providers have minimum age requirements – you should not lie about their age to get them their own account.
If you decide to say “yes”, I have 4 quick tips to keep your kids safe:
* ACCOUNT NAME: Choose an email that does not identify their name, age, gender
* RULES: Discuss ground rules about appropriate email communication; discuss the perils of cyberbullying, sexting, and sending pictures via email; the rule of “don’t talk to strangers” also applies; teach them to be wary of clicking on links in emails
* ATTACHMENTS: Tell them not to open attachments without consulting with you first. Kids are notorious for clicking on all kinds of sites online and then sending infected attachments.
* REVIEW: Tell them you will be reviewing their emails regularly and to make sure their friends know the email account will be monitored.