As a parent myself and one that works on the Web, my kids are very attuned to being online. That being said, I do not give my triplet 13 year olds “Carte Blanche” when it comes to choosing chat rooms or applications that their friends are using. In fact I do not even permit chat room use.
For me, I also do not allow at this time any instant messaging applications. I find them a distraction for my kids with the constant exchange with others while they should be doing homework or class research. I do however allow my kids to have Facebook pages, but I have set them up for them.
As a parent it is very important that if you allow your child to be on Facebook, that you carefully review their security settings yourseld. I found one of my kids had the city revealed in her profile and another allowed too much personal information to be shared to people other than friends.
I do monitor my own kids Facebook pages. I have friended each of them and their status updates appear on my wall. I do intervene both on Facebook publicly when needed to make sure my own kids AND their friends know that I am watching. I do periodically review that their privacy settings have not changed and I do periodically review their full profile online.
Kids want to be on Facebook, but it is important that you as the parent make sure that the Facebook environment is safe for them first by reviewing all the profile privacy settings.