Posts Tagged ‘lying’

Parents Helping Their Children Lie To Get On Facebook

November 2, 2011

To those parents who are contemplating assisting their underage children to get on Facebook, I strongly suggest you reconsider.  The age requirements for Facebook is necessary, as Facebook has a clear downside.  From cybersafety issues to cyberbullying, Facebook is clearly not designed for pre-teens.

Almost all parents of ten-year-olds signing up for the site – 95 percent – were aware of what their children were doing, and 78 percent of those helped them do it.

“Although many sites restrict access to children, our data show that many parents knowingly allow their children to lie about their age — in fact, often help them to do so — in order to gain access to age–restricted sites in violation of those sites’ ToS,” the authors write.

“This is especially true for general–audience social media sites and communication services such as Facebook, Gmail, and Skype, which allow children to connect with peers, classmates, and family members for educational, social, or familial reasons.”

The survey found that 55 percent of 12-year-olds, 32 percent of 11-year-olds and 19 percent of 10-year-olds were active Facebook members.

The authors suggest that the COPPA rules may need re-examination, given that they appear only to be encouraging parents to lie. Universal, rather than age-based, privacy protecitons might make more sense, they say.

The full report is here.

When Do I Admit That the Tooth Fairy Doesn’t Exist?

October 18, 2011

I read a brilliant article in The National about the lies we tell our children and when is the right time to confess that the Easter Bunny they are so fond of isn’t real.

Below is just an excerpt of the article.  I strongly encourage you to read the entire piece by following this link.

The world is a confusing place for small children, particularly as they only learn to distinguish between reality and fantasy between the ages of three and five. Jacqueline Woolley, a psychology professor at the University of Texas in the US, found that by the age of four, children learn to use the context in which new information is presented to distinguish between fact and fiction. So, before long, your little one will be figuring out that the tooth fairy isn’t who you said she is. Which begs the question: at what age should we tell our children that their beloved magical characters aren’t real? Or, should we even claim that they’re real in the first place?

Last Christmas I witnessed the most heated debate I’d ever come across on Facebook. It didn’t involve politics, religion or money. No; it was Santa Claus who caused the divide. One friend posed the question: “Should I tell Sophie Father Christmas is real?” What followed was a polarised debate between those who wanted their children to enjoy a magical gift-giving time and those who believed that perpetuating the story of Santa was being dishonest with their offspring. “I was devastated when I found out it was my mum, not Santa, who hung the stocking on the end of my bed,” admitted one father. Whereas others regretted never having the chance to believe in Santa because older siblings had spoilt it for them.

“I make a point of always being honest with my daughter and now she has turned six I’m feeling increasingly uncomfortable with perpetuating the lie of Santa Claus,” admitted Rosie Cuffley, a mother of two.

According to Carmen Benton, a parenting educator and educational consultant at LifeWorks, Dubai, Rosie shouldn’t worry. “Sharing the world of fantasy characters with our children is not a lie, but rather a playful way of storytelling and connecting as a family to fun events. Think about the joy and excitement that thoughts of characters such as Santa Claus can induce. You have the power to create a magical world of dreams, wishes and storytelling for your kids and I believe these are part of being a playful parent.”

It’s a different scenario when children ask directly whether Santa Claus, for example, is real. Most psychologists agree that children need to know they can trust their parents to tell them the truth, even about magical characters. “The majority of children will let go of a fantasy after the age of eight, and most would be happy for the years of the imaginary world they had been able to enjoy,” says Benton.

I feel terrible that my daughter still believes in the Tooth Fairy.  I don’t like perpetuating a lie (especially one I know will be uncovered sometime soon).  I have a feeling, irrational or otherwise, that when she does find out, her first thought will be, “What else is he lying to me about?”

Facebook Banning Children For Lying About Age

March 23, 2011

Congratulations to Facebook for actively banning kids who are lying about their age. Age requirements are important, because young students are often prone to making bad choices with social media and fail to use the recommended privacy settings:

Social networking giant Facebook is banning 20,000 children every day because they have lied about their age to join the site.

The company admitted it had to do more to stop young people using Facebook, as it revealed about a third of Australia’s population uses the site every day, the Herald Sun reported.

At a parliamentary inquiry into cyber-bullying, other social networking and online companies called for campaigns to highlight the dangers of the internet.

And there have been calls for an overhaul of the Australian school curriculum to include more effective cyber-danger classes.

The chief privacy adviser of Facebook, Mozelle Thompson, said many Australian children under the age of 13 were trying to access the site by lying about their age.

“It’s something that happens on a regular basis,” Mr Thompson said.

Globally, about seven million children who lie about their age are blocked from the site each year.

For those parents/teachers unaware of the problem of cyber-saftey or if you have children or students that don’t use the privacy settings option, I urge you to watch this clip with them.


%d bloggers like this: