In the digital age, there are plenty of challenges popping up for parents. The ever-connected world opens doors to risks that parents have never had to cope with in the past. The need for digital manners is just one of the major negatives associated with raising children today.
Thankfully, it’s not all bad. Opening up lines of communication and bringing together resources across the internet (and thus the scope of human understanding) is a big benefit that many parents can use. Below is a sampling of a thread from Facebook that points to some of the benefits of social media for parents.
It wasn’t the toughest question to answer and didn’t really have a huge impact on the art of parenting, but it did give some important insight from others who have either faced a similar situation or took the time to put themselves in the same situation. Yes, there are humorous answers as there will always be on social media, but these and some of the comments that followed truly helped to give answers to a father who really didn’t know how to answer his daughter’s question.
The internet is loaded with support groups, forums, websites, and blogs that help parents make choices and get help in raising their children, but social media is in many ways an untapped resource. Most people have access to more opinions readily through Facebook than through any other form of communication. Ask a question, pose a challenge, solicit advice – all are possible on Facebook and the answers can easily come in minutes, even seconds of asking. Try that a decade ago when the best place for advice was to pick up the phone and call the grandparents.
Social media cannot replace the solid advice we get from friends and family that know our children and circumstance. It cannot replace experience. It can, however, allow parents to tap into the experiences and collective insights of others. This is the true power of social media for the family and it’s something that can be translated into just about any other worthwhile endeavor.
Unfortunately, there are risks even in this practice. We often put out too much information on social media. Some people think that by going “private” or being selective with groups that their information is protected. It’s not. There are those who are combing social media sites looking for any piece of information that can be used to exploit others and discussion of family is one of the easiest entry points. Be mindful of what you’re putting out there on social media. The benefits are there, but the risks are there as well.
* * *
“Parenting” image courtesy of Shutterstock.