Timid par­ents in fear of Face­book

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - DAILY MAIL

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.“

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