Social Media and Parenting

WE LOSE PRECIOUS MOMENTS

Who else sees their kid doing something cute, rewarding, funny, entertaining or sometimes not so safe and the first thing we do is grab our phone for a photo to post instead of high-fiving, kissing or running to the rescue or just simply being present.  In that moment, we lose out on something special, those intimate moments with only you and your child, no sharing or likes by anyone on the outside

WE DOUBT OURSELVES

As a mom, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll run into THAT mom who is always bragging about her child and all their fantastic accomplishments.  Thanks to social media, you don’t have to leave your home to be bombarded with this information.  It’s all laid out for you in a beautiful timeline with pictures included of the very best of everyone’s children.  Parents react with likes and comments, but many parents compare their parenting style on what they see online.

You see Brenda has happy smiling kids at the Carnival this weekend, Nancy has taken her kids out for ice cream, Victoria’s son just won a race, Mark is cooking a nice healthy dinner for his kids.  All the while you and your kids are home this weekend eating take-out and staying in.  You doubt yourself, you think “should I be doing all those things with my kids this weekend?”  “Am I doing enough?”

When you look at social media, parents aren’t showing the good, the bad and the ugly.  They are showing the glossed over versions of their lives.  It leads us to believe that everyone is doing better than us and creates undue stress.

WE SPEND WAY TOO MUCH TIME DISTRACTED

I catch myself often scrolling through social media when my kids are trying to talk to me, and I have to make an effort to put my phone down consciously.  If you were to honestly write down every time you picked up your phone to indulge in your social media feeds, I think you might be surprised how often you do it.  Social Media will suck more time than you thought possible.

My daughters just recently had their dance recital, and my 13-year-old daughter asked me how she did, and of course, I said she was terrific.  She replied with how would you know, you were looking through your phone videotaping it and not actually watching.  That was a blow to the gut, I was watching, but in my daughters’ eyes, I was not present at the moment. Ask your kids if they think you are a distracted parent. 

I’m not saying we should abandon all things social media. Just set limits for yourself like you would your child.  Kids grow too fast, we need to unplug and enjoy.

WE ENCITE EYE-ROLLING

We are all proud of our kids because they are fantastic, of course, but some parents take that to the extreme with bragging.  I know that I have rolled my eyes at many parent’s updates.  My personal favourite is the “Look what Santa brought” posts that show a disgusting amount of perfectly wrapped gifts waiting under the Christmas tree.  This says to me- look how much money I have and look at what a great parent I am because of it.  Puulleesssee.

WE CREATE FAKE MOMENTS

Okay, I admit I am guilty of this.  My kids do something cute, and I think, that would have been an excellent picture.  So I ask them to do it again, but wait the background is messy we should do it over here, you were blinking let’s try it again. CHHEESSEEE.  By the end of it, my kids are rolling their eyes at me with frustration.

Just snap pictures and have fun with it, you take the pleasure out of it if everything is staged.  Your children will thank you for it.  Also, I do think that as our children grow and understand what social media is, you should ask them permission before posting any pictures.  My 17-year-old son asked me years ago to stop posting pictures of him, and I have stopped unless I ask him permission first.

LIKES, SHARES, COMMENTS – WHO CARES

If you disappeared from social media tomorrow, would that make you any less of a good parent? In fact, would it make us feel better about ourselves and our parenting skills?  Who cares what Brenda is doing with her kids this weekend.  Focus on what you are doing with your kids this weekend.  We should take a step back and think of the effect social media has on us as parents and the effect it has on our children through us.