Timid parents in fear of Facebook
ACEBOOK and Twitter are creating a generation of parents afraid to discipline their teens in case they are embarrassed on social media, a headmistress said on Monday.
Teens are increasingly refusing to back down in rows with parents as friends egg them on via social networking sites, said Alice Phillips.
Parents are becoming “less bold and intuitive” when disciplining adolescents amid fears family disputes will be broadcast to hundreds of the youngsters’ friends.
Whereas children might previously have reflected alone in their bedrooms and “moved on”, they now “continue the fight”.
Phillips said parenting was now more difficult because of money worries and the pressure of domestic disputes being put under “global scrutiny”.
Schools should consider giving parents classes to help them “hold the line” after making unpopular decisions, she added.
Her warning comes days after a large state study of 13-year-olds found they increasingly spent time alone at home instead of being out with friends. A portrait of today’s 13-year-olds found social networking sites eclipsing personal contact with friends after school and at weekends.
Nearly half of girls reported using social networking or instant messaging sites “throughout the day” and 30 percent of boys did.
Phillips, of St Catherine’s School, a private girls’ school near Guildford, Surrey, said: “Children, as grumpy as any of us are when given the answer ‘No’, retreat in the same way to their bedrooms, but instead of reflecting for a while to blaring music, broadcast their parents’ apparently unreasonable behaviour to all their Facebook friends or Twitter followers, whose own parents are apparently also completely out of touch.“