At least once a month I seem to run across a conversation or an online posting asking when it is time to allow kids to have access to email. We can be as overprotective as the best of them, but on this front we’ve taken the approach that early online access is as much an opportunity as a risk.
Education: The most important idea I want my kids to learn about any electronic communication is that once you text, tweet, or hit send, whatever you posted is out there forever. You can’t delete from a server. Someone might have hit print. The message may be stored on someone’s phone. Electrons are forever. That means there is no room for regrets if you forget the golden rule.
Insurance: There is one condition for having email access–and, later, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I always have the current password, and the first time I try to log onto an account and the password has been changed, account closed. In the 7 years that at least one of our kids has had an email account, they have always followed that rule.
So far, so good.