Sharenting, I thought I was being a good parent!

At Milestone School – we are all set to have a very busy few weeks…. Our school Heritage Fair is tomorrow, and we are hosting Prairie Valley Regional Science Fair on April 5th.  With all of the major activities taking place within the next week of school, I wonder how many parents will be “sharenting”? Over half of mothers and one-third of fathers post about their children on-line – and it is there FOREVER.  Are we opening our children up to cyberbullying?

Natalie Krawczyk wrote an article early this year about parents who just share too much and need to stop, not only creating a digital footprint for themselves (and sometimes including embarrassing images of themselves) as well as those of their children. I agree with Amy,  parents are creating digital identities for their children, some as young as fetuses – just because our children belong to us, does that give us the right to create digital footprints before these children have a say?  Remember, at the rate that digital identities are moving, our children most likely will not need to create a resume when applying for jobs in the future, their IP address will be all that their future employers require.  Would you want a picture of yourself as a young child learning to potty train on your resume?  I think not!

sharenting

Remembering that there are two sides to every coin, not all people feel that “sharenting” is a bad idea.  Some parents use the photos and posts to reach out to others in search of building a community re: looking for advice or moving thought a similar stage of your child’s life alongside others whom are experiencing the same things.  C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found the following information:

Who uses it most:
84% of moms, 70% of dads
56% of moms, 34% of dads discuss child health and parenting

Common topics:
Sleep, nutrition, discipline, daycare/preschool and behaviour

Benefits:
72% say it makes them feel less alone
67% say they get advice from other parents
62% say it helps them worry less

Concerns:
68% worry about child’s privacy
67% worry someone will re-share child’s photos
52% worry child will be embarrassed when older

Honestly, I really did not think too much about “sharenting” until reading this weeks articles.  Sure, I share pictures of my son’s on my Facebook – but somehow I feel a bit immune to the whole “sharenting” ideal as my sons are much older (19 & 17 – yes, I feel old), and they are at the age where they can untag themselves from a picture that I post.  But, as a parent of teenage boys, I have been very cognizant of what I post as I do not want to post any embarrassing photos (although I have really, really wanted to at times, haha, I guess those pictures will just have to wait until their weddings :)).  Or, should we just show photos like the one below of my son’s, Rhys and Dayne?  I feel that I am the same as most parents,  I just want to share moments with my family and close friends of my son’s lives, showing their milestones, but is there a fine line that needs to be drawn in the sand?

Rhys Dayne Lacrosse 2015

I wonder, how many of you sharent?  If you have, do you regret sharing as much of your child’s life as you have or have you used it as a way to reach out to other parents going through the similar situations you are experiencing as a parent of young children?

 

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7 thoughts on “Sharenting, I thought I was being a good parent!”

  1. I am not a parent, so I can’t say that I “sharent”. I have, however, viewed posts from friends who have children with behavioural challenges. These parents have posted videos of their child during an outburst. I feel this posting was out of desperation and not having appropriate resources to deal with such issues. They were looking for help but I can’t help that these posts can be extremely embarrassing to the child as he/she gets older.

    I feel for the parents because they are seeking out support, but they may be damaging a child’s digital identity in future years.

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    1. Good point. There’s definitely a line. Celebrating successes may be appropriate to share but when is a success “worth sharing”?

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  2. I would consider myself to be a sharent but I don’t think I’m over the top. I do share the odd picture when I think it’s just too cute that I have to share. I try to stay away from anything embarrassing. I don’t often vent about tantrums, sleepless nights or other issues (although I have once or twice). I also post from time to time to ask for advice on things like sleeping, potty training, activities etc. I have to admit that after taking ECI832 last semester and reading this again this semester that I have though more about what I share about my kids online.

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  3. I also had never thought too much about this topic. With how important digital identities are becoming, it is something that needs to be discussed. Personally I don’t post pics of my daughters but my husband does. Usually he shares them to a private group Facebook page we have for family, but we will definitely have to have a discussion about what is appropriate to post.

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    1. I’m like you, Jannae, I don’t share pics on Facebook but my husband does. I don’t feel the need to share much of my personal life, but it’s amazing how many people I know share the most intimate details and have wide-open profiles. I’ve even heard that someone I know thought that I didn’t do anything fun with my kids because I don’t post any photos! People just expect pics of camping trips, days at the park, etc and assume you’re not doing fun things unless you post about it. It’s insane!

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