Should kids have email?

Contributing Writer: LaQuenta Wooten

So, I’m at my office and my son finished his snack and started the usual after-school academic routine. (Side note-The charter school he attends uses a project based learning model and doesn’t assign standard “homework packets”. Instead, the facilitator and I have meet throughout the year and we’ve identified his areas for attention and growth)…So that’s what he works on independently. On this day Lyriq, our 8 year old, was focusing on completing his math  & Spanish practice. Then my son turns to me and says, “Mom…now that I’m done, can I send you an email?”
I’m thinking – Wait. Did he just say email?..Does this little guy have an email account? Who set it up? So, I ask him –

Me: How will you send it to me?
Him: Through my ‘me-mail’
Me: How did you get an email…? (Thinking: You can’t even say the word right, you are not ready for electronic communication. smh)
Him: I set it up a few days ago on Google.

Me: Ok, what do you need it for…?

Him: I want to have pen pals and start a website like you, Mom.

Whoa. I was blown away. He really had a good reason. So, I quickly made some rules. Well when we talked I called them internet “safety strategies”. Then we discussed proper use, who he could email and even his password.

I don’t know if he is too young but I do know he is very aware of the internet based society we live in and he got involved in his own. His older brother has a cell phone and older cousins have Instagram accounts. Its very important as parents that we keep open communication about the digital age and help our children ease into it. I wasnt ready for it but my 8 year old decided he was and I am here to help him learn how to utilize technology and how to professionally maximize his new “me-mail”…Shouldn’t I teach him early? (That way he’s ready when its time to submit his business plan attachments to investors). #RaisingLeaders #DigitalKids #TechGenius

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