We live in a digital age, and as a result, it can sometimes feel like our whole lives are on display for judge and jury including how we parent. In the past, it was almost as though that what happened at home was swept under the rug or kept in the family’s communal vault never to be shared. Now in the midst of a social media frenzy, it’s hard to avoid sharing in a culture centered around putting a spotlight on even the most mundane tasks.
Along with the added attention, comes a lot of pressure. It’s the same reason college students seem to always think their friends are having more fun than they are because they add more photos or share more events. We fall into the comparison trap and more times than not the grass seems greener on the other side.
If you put it out there – prepare for the good and the bad.
Everyone’s a critic, so if you know you don’t respond to criticism well, odds are you shouldn’t open yourself up to a critique online. Along the same vein, don’t feel pressure to share, because everyone else does it. Remember when your parents told you not to jump just because your best friend did – this is one of those times. Do what you feel comfortable doing. Sometimes that’s a Christmas card shared on Facebook once a year. For others, it’s a post a day. It doesn’t matter, and It’s not a reflection of you either.
In the midst of the oversharing trend, people also need to consider the lasting impact. As Mackenzie Dawson describes, “Even though no parent’s unaware that her posts are creating a digital footprint for her kids, it’s still hard to resist sharing. Twenty-four percent of our survey respondents say they worry what they post will come back to haunt their child as a teen or an adult, while 32 percent have deleted a post about their child that they feared was oversharing.”
Computers don’t tell the full story.
Photos, blogs, facebook feeds, you name it, don’t tell the full story. People don’t usually care to share their dirty laundry or whiny toddler all over the internet. Who would? Remember that if someone’s sharing a picture-perfect moment, odds are they’re sharing it because it’s a picture perfect moment not because every minute is one.
The constant internet chatter creates a situation where every approach faces another article that ‘disproves’ it. If you are strict and teach with a tough-love approach, some people assume you kill your child’s self-esteem. If you are too involved, then you’re deterring your child from developing a sense of independence. There’s no right answer so consider what works for you. It may not be the same as your sister or your parents, but one thing will always be consistent: You are doing what you think is best for your child and that’s what matters in the end.
Most importantly though, don’t sweat the small stuff.
Just because your old college roommate uses a different brand of diapers than you, doesn’t mean you’re disadvantaging your child.