A recent study interviewed kids and wanted to know what they thought about their parent’s social media activity and rules about technology. One major concern was “sharenting.” That’s when parents talk too much about their kids on Facebook and other sites.
Researchers at the Universities of Michigan and Washington found that twice as many children as parents expressed concerns about family members oversharing personal information about them on social media without asking for their permission. They also gave kids a chance to describe what technology rules they would set for their families.
Here is a little insight about what your kids are thinking. Take a look at this survey and what kids had to say, along with some ideas on social media use for parents.
Tips for Overcoming Parental Oversharing
Today’s kids understand the importance of controlling their online image. Pictures and stories that seem cute now could have unwanted consequences in years ahead if they cause bullying at school or make a potential employer think twice about scheduling an interview.
1. Ask first. Of Course your kids are a big part of your life, however they own their own life experiences. Be sure to get their permission before posting anything about them. Let them make the final decision once they’re old enough to understand the situation, which is usually around age 9. Trust me, you will want the same respect when it comes to what they post of you. Make it a household social media rule.
2. Think Before You Post. Posting good grades and sports victories is more popular than mentioning eating disorders and messy bedrooms. Handle the sensitive subjects in private.
3. Consider your audience. Facebook privacy settings may not prevent leaks. Alternative sites like FamilyLeaf and WhatsApp groups make family communications more secure.
4. Examine your motives. Be honest about why you’re posting. Is it about you as a parent or how you feel about your kid’s accomplishments Are you proud of your kids or fishing for compliments for yourself?
5. Seek advice. A lot of parents were attracted to the internet and social media because they’re looking for information and encouragement from their peers. Just keep your kid’s privacy in mind while you’re being social.
6. Resist the constant, “my kid is the “Best” posting.” Do you sometimes feel inferior to parents who brag about their children’s accomplishments? Or those parents who are struggling to find room for their kid’s academic and sports trophies? Being humble, gracious and kind to yourself and your children A little humility can help everyone feel more comfortable.
More Technology Tips for Parents
In addition to cutting back on sharenting, kids had some other great tips they wanted their parents to follow.
1. Create quiet zones. Turn off your devices at the dinner table and a couple of hours before bedtime. Spend time talking to each other in the same room or sit together while you read or work on hobbies. we do this in our family and our kids love the family dinner around the table.
2. Drive safely. My kids will demand that the phones are all put away when we are driving. Children will copy your habits. Texting while driving is a major distraction. Even hands-free devices interfere with your concentration. California just past the law where you can’t even have your phone in your hand.
3. Create balance. Technology is one of the many things crowding out other priorities in in our lives. Putting sensible limits on browsing and streaming frees up time for quality time with your family, visiting the gym, taking long walks together, planning fun family outings or playing board games.
4. Make your rules easy to follow. There may be sites you want to ban completely, at least until your kids reach an appropriate age. Discuss your reasoning so kids can start learning to make sound decisions for themselves. Discuss and set rules in a family meeting so everyone is on board.
5. Be present. I love this tip. Kids are asking us to connect and be present. Focus on enjoying your children and then time you have with them rather than recording it. Applauding your child at the school play is more important than experimenting with camera angles. Seriously be in the moment and put down the device.
The Internet has made it easier to embarrass your kids now that you’re no longer limited to photo albums and baby books. Be a parent who uses social media responsibly. Ask your kid’s permission before posting about them, and think about the long term impact of your pictures and comments. Create this as a family rule of treating each other with respect and consciously connect with your kids.
Okay, how you measure up? If you have other tips please share in the comments below. Let’s help each other out.
I really like your work. It’s understandable and relatable.