Date Published: 16 March 2015

Sharenting trends - some parents share too much about their children on social media

Health News from the United States of America (USA)

The recent Michigan University (Michigan. USA) and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health has revealed thought-provoking attitudes and statistics about parents' use of social media to describe, discuss and comment about their children's lives and development.

The results of this poll indicate that:

" "sharenting" isn't going anywhere anytime soon, with more than half of mothers and one-third of fathers discussing child health and parenting on social media and nearly three quarters of parents saying social media makes them feel less alone." Michigan Univ news at http://bit.ly/1Mjsj73

The main question posed on this subject is - how much information is too much for parents to share about the lives of their young children ?

Concerns about this trend include embarrassment caused to the children as they grow up with images or anecdotes from their personal childhood publicly online available for all to see. Such a situation was not a possibility for their parents and grandparents. Perhaps some parents of today's young children should pause to think further before posting, tweeting and generally putting details about their young children online.

According to the survey:

  • Almost 70% parents said that they use social media to obtain advice about parenting.
  • 62% parents reported that their use of social media alleviated some of their concerns, helping them to worry less
  • Common concerns about discussing parenting on social media include:
    • Compromising a child's privacy
    • Concern that photos of a child will be re-used or re-shared
    • Risk of embarrassment to the child/children in later life
  • Popular parenting issues discussed on social media include:
    • Sleep and getting children to sleep
    • Diet, nutrition and encouraging children to eat healthily
    • Behaviour and discipline
    • Arranging care placement such as 'play school' (pre-school)

Sarah J. Clark, M.P.H., associate director of the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, observed that:

" ... there's potential for the line between sharing and oversharing to get blurred. Parents may share information that their child finds embarrassing or too personal when they're older but once it's out there, it's hard to undo. The child won't have much control over where it ends up or who sees it."

" Parents are responsible for their child's privacy and need to be thoughtful about how much they share on social media so they can enjoy the benefits of camaraderie but also protect their children's privacy today and in the future", she added.

The need to protect children both now and in the future must be taken in to consideration when, doubtless well-intentioned, parents share the questions, concerns, experience and advice with others in similar situations.

More about the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health

For further information visit www.mottnpch.org. See also more news about child welfare.

Source: Michigan University, Michigan, USA
http://www.uofmhealth.org

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