Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Social Parent

Webpages, Google, Facebook, Twitter .. the list is endless.

Parents these days have a tool that many may have only dreamed of years ago - Social Networking.

Yes the Facebook mummy.

It can distract us, but it can also be a grate source of help, an outlet, an online parenting hotline almost.

It's 2 am and you are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed your poor little one is teething - you Facebook it, and with in minutes you have words of encouragement from other mothers in your social network, even advice.

No one wants to phone up a relative, friend or ask a neighbor, especially not at 2am - but with social networking we have a whole network of parents that can put in their two cents.

This very obviously can be both good and bad, we all parent different, we don't want to offend but we may not like what people suggest or what they think or feel about our parenting style - this of course is only natural, we open ourselves up to both positive and negative aspects of online parenting. However think of the positives and be thankful for this generations unique parenting tool.

Our generation has the ability to compare situations, share advice, and be an emotional crutch when others need us.

We can post pictures, share our stories, ask questions and offer advice to others.

By doing all these things we allow insight into our world and have insight into others ... and I mean don't pretend your not just as curious to see what some random parents house looks like after a long day! Regardless be careful not to reveal too much, we often forget the world can be a cruel and judgmental place.

It can be hard to understand the vision and direction that some people take parenting and otherwise. Likewise remember not to be too judgmental, everyone does what they feel is "right", so unless a parent is saying or doing something that harmful, destructive, dangerous physically, emotionally or something down right stupid, be that support you would want other parents to be.

Parents want to do the best they can but were human, its ok to ask for advice no one is expected to know everything, parenting is trial and error.

It's nice to share your successes and failures and I'm sure 10 or 20 years ago parents would have killed for the parenting network we have today.

Open, honest discussions. Pictures of our successes failures and amusing moments make this generations parenting quite different to say the least.

The negatives? A lot of parents are overly distracted - Children have to compete with technology for their parents attentions, parents constantly looking at their phones, computers and other devices and missing those quickly fleeting moments in a young child's life. It's so easy to be distracted by the world around us let alone technology.

For the most part I do believe the Positive outweighs the negative, what do you think? 

1 comment: