Social Media’s Impact on Parenting

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When our adorable bundle is born, we are not given an instruction manual on how to raise our delightful progeny.  We guide our offspring through the many milestones of life and on this journey, we take photos and record events in the lives of our children and families. 

Over 30 years ago, these events would be placed in a photo album and shared with grandparents and others at family gatherings at someone’s home. Nowadays most of us go online to share a plethora of family snaps, our collection of decorative images and ideas, we involve ourselves in group discussions, and network with others in the business area. Social media has brought us closer together, connecting with relatives who live a considerable distance, and creating communities of online friendships.

There is so much information sharing now that the disadvantage is that we can over-share, which compromises privacy and safety. Be particularly careful about posts and images that are posted about yourself and your child. Is it a positive representation of yourself and your family, or could it be misconstrued? It’s very easy on social media to condemn others due to a misunderstanding of a post or tweet. We can be so thrilled with our child’s achievements such as running a race or climbing ropes in a playground that we take a happy snap instead of congratulating our child or encouraging their physical activities. It’s uploaded to social media and then we wait for the Likes and Comments, instead of a parent and child sharing a special moment. Another downside to sharing on social media is that some parents compare themselves to other parents who appear, outwardly, to have it all – nice home, adoring partner, bright obedient children. What we see on the outside, though, is not often the full story.

Have a rule that there will be no devices used during meal times. Have at least a one hour device-free time during the day when you all re-connect with conversation; or play board games or puzzles; make a meal together; go for a walk.  Research shows that close human interaction helps children thrive physically and gives them an academic advantage.

Social media is a great thing.  We are able to access information and news quickly.  Families who live in faraway places remain connected with the extended family.  Groups are a great resource for information-sharing and support for each other.  We must role model the use of media within our family. If we ignore our children now, then in a few short years our children will ignore us.

If you would like to learn more about understanding and supporting your child’s development, please contact The Northern Centre on 9334 0111 or connect@thenortherncentre.org.au to arrange to talk with one of their experienced Family Workers in a confidential setting. 

They also welcome you to join their Dads&bubs supported playgroup which is on Saturday mornings in West Ryde.