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The dilemma: ‘Is a 10-year-old allowed on social media?’

Jacqueline (40) is the single mother of Boyd (11), Bruno (10) and Kjeld (6).

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“Bruno has moved on to grade 7. That makes him quite a peer, he thinks. Almost his entire class is already on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, and he has been nagging me for months about whether he can also have his own accounts. I think he is too young for that. His brother Boyd is in group 8, and does not yet use social media. But Bruno is extremely social, and according to him all communication is via ‘Snap’ and ‘Insta’, and no one in his class uses WhatsApp much – which fits with what I see happening on his phone.

Safe

My kids have had cell phones since they were eight. Not my choice, but that of their father, who does not interfere much with the upbringing. It’s his way of keeping in touch with the kids, because he prefers not to do it through me. Fine, I think; everything to keep that bond a little good. And I think it is a safe idea that my children can be reached when they are with their father or on the road with friends.

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Cyberbullying

I think group 8 is early enough for social media. They can call and text, is it all that is needed? We’ve talked about the dangers of social media. And about cyberbullying. About how you shouldn’t just post pictures of yourself on the internet; I am also reticent about that myself. But at the same time I understand that the world of ten-year-olds simply takes place online to a large extent.

Innocent

When I look at the social media accounts of the children of friends, I only see very innocent things happening there. Although of course I can not see what is happening in the ‘dms’ and ‘snaps’, the chat functions of Instagram and Snapchat.

Bruno has promised me that he will accept me as a ‘friend’ so that I can watch what he posts. Anyway, Boyd and Bruno know that once in a while I do a random check and read along on their phones, as long as they are not yet in high school. Purely to see if strange things are not being sent or being bullied. The eleven-year-old son of a friend recently received a porn video.

After the vacation

For now I have promised Bruno that I will think about it and inform myself about the subject. That keeps him calm until after the holidays. Then I have to pass judgment: should I allow my ten-year-old son to social media, or should I wait a while? ”

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