Bad shar­ent­ing on so­cial me­dia

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FAMILY TIES -

PIC­TURES of chil­dren dress­ing up in goofy cos­tumes – or even in their birth­day suits – sur­face on Face­book as par­ents re­veal in­ti­mate de­tails about their health in chat rooms, and a new poll says this trend of “shar­ent­ing” is go­ing too far.

“By the time chil­dren are old enough to use so­cial me­dia them­selves, many al­ready have a dig­i­tal iden­tity cre­ated for them by their par­ents,” says Sarah J. Clark, as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of the C.S. Mott Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Na­tional Poll on Chil­dren’s Health.

More than half of mothers and onethird of fa­thers said that so­cial me­dia of­fers them relief from the iso­la­tion of par­ent­hood, ac­cord­ing to the poll of Amer­i­can par­ents of chil­dren up to four years old.

Shar­ing the joys and chal­lenges of par­ent­hood has be­come a so­cial norm, says Clark, and com­mon top­ics ac­cord­ing to the poll in­clude get­ting chil­dren to sleep (28%), nu­tri­tion (26%), dis­ci­pline (19%), day­care and school is­sues (17%) and be­hav­iour prob­lems (13%).

Al­most 70% of the par­ents sur­veyed said they use so­cial me­dia to get tips from those with more ex­pe­ri­ence and 62% re­ported find­ing it help­ful, say­ing it helped them worry less.

“Par­ents may share in­for­ma­tion that their child finds em­bar­rass­ing or too per­sonal when they’re older but once it’s out there, it’s hard to undo,” says Clark. “The child won’t have much con­trol over where it ends up or who sees it.”

Three-quar­ters of the par­ents sur­veyed pointed to ‘shar­ent­ing’ by their co­horts on the so­cial me­dia sites, iden­ti­fy­ing sit­u­a­tions in which they posted in­ap­pro­pri­ate pho­tos, shared em­bar­rass­ing stories and prob­lems or re­vealed a child’s lo­ca­tion.

Par­ents should be aware of a de­vel­op­ing phe­nom­e­non called ‘dig­i­tal kid­nap­ping’ in which strangers help them­selves to pho­tos they come across online and re­dis­tribute them, pre­tend­ing the chil­dren are their own.

Chil­dren whose par­ents over-share risk be­com­ing vic­tims of cy­ber-bul­ly­ing, and Clark points to a par­tic­u­larly no­to­ri­ous case in which a Face­book group formed that mocked ugly ba­bies they came across on the site.

“Par­ents are re­spon­si­ble for their child’s pri­vacy and need to be thought­ful about how much they share on so­cial me­dia so they can en­joy the ben­e­fits of ca­ma­raderie but also pro­tect their chil­dren’s pri­vacy to­day and in the fu­ture,” says Clark. – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.