Parents Are Oversharing on Social Media and It May Be Impacting Their Kids

Parents Oversharing Social Media

Parents spend a lot of time worrying about their children oversharing on social media.

But for many parents, oversharing wasn’t something they were thinking about when they were posting baby pictures, videos of toddlers, and funny stories about their child’s embarrassing “firsts.”

When it comes to social media, are parents as guilty as their teenagers when it comes to oversharing?

How Many Parents Are Sharing?

Both mothers and fathers say they use social media and many admit to sharing photos, videos, and/or anecdotes about their children on social media. According to a national survey conducted by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s hospital:

  • 84% of moms use social media
  • 56% of moms use social media to discuss parenting
  • 70% of dads use social media
  • 34% of dads use social media to discuss parenting

Why and What Are Parents Sharing?

Parents reported that sharing parenting stories made them feel less alone and over 50% said that sharing helped them worry less.

They also said that “sharenting” was a useful way to get feedback about parenting. The survey found that nearly 70% of parents use social media to get advice. Parents most frequently discussed:

  • getting kids to sleep (28%)
  • nutrition and eating tips (26%)
  • discipline (19%)
  • daycare/preschool (17%)
  • behavior problems (13%)

Sarah Clark, M.P.H., associate director of the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health and associate research scientist in the U-M Department of Pediatrics, talked about the positives and negatives of sharing about parenting, “On one hand, social media offers today’s parents an outlet they find incredibly useful.  On the other hand, some are concerned that oversharing may pose safety and privacy risks for their children.”

How Parent Sharing Impacts the Kids?

While many parents use social media to discuss parenting, they are still concerned about what that might mean for their kids and feel that other parents are sharing too much.

Three-quarters of parents said they see other parents sharing information or photos that are embarrassing or inappropriate and information that identifies a child’s location.

Others are worried about what their own sharing will mean for their children:

  • 68% worry about their child’s privacy
  • 67% worry someone else will reshare their child’s photos
  • 52% worry the child will later be embarrassed by the information

These concerns are valid. Oversharing on social media has created some problems for parents.  

Parents have experienced “digital kidnapping,” where an individual steals photos of children and reshares them as if the children were their own.

Photos of children taken as babies or toddlers have become the basis of cruel jokes and cyberbullying, such as the Facebook group about “ugly babies.”

Related: Do You Know Enough About Cyberbullying to Protect Your Child?

How Parents Can Keep Privacy as a Priority

Parents are responsible for managing their children’s privacy from birth through their teenage years. They are also responsible for setting a good example and giving their children the tools to manage their own privacy when they become adults.

So, before you hit the share button, consider how the photo or information could affect your child if spread throughout the internet. Then, when children are old enough to have  their own social media accounts, use MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™, available for iPhone and Android devices, to monitor what they post and what is posted about them, and to  teach them how to safely manage their accounts on their own.

 

Cyberbullying Is Now a Parent’s Greatest Fear, Survey Says

A new survey finds that parents are now more afraid of cyberbullying than teenage pregnancy, drug use, or alcohol consumption. | MamaBear App

If you are worried that your child could become a victim of cyberbullying, you aren’t alone. According to an article published by The Windsor Star, parents are now more concerned about cyberbullying than any other youth problem.

In a survey, backed by Canadian telecommunications provider Primus, almost half of parents said they were concerned about cyberbullying (48%). Parents were less concerned with other issues. Forty-four percent were worried about teen pregnancy, 44% about drug use, and 38% about alcohol use.

It could be that parents are extra worried about online bullying because they don’t completely understand it. Unlike pregnancy, drinking, and drugs, this is a problem that wasn’t around when they were teenagers. They have not experienced the situation first hand, so they don’t know how to handle it. This highlights how important it is for parents to educate themselves on online safety habits and cyberbullying prevention.

To learn more about the study, read “Cyberbullying has become the greatest fear of parents, survey says.”

Suddenly, Parenting is a National Debate, Again.

Parenting was yet again thrust onto the national debate stage this week. A pair of Maryland parents are under investigation for letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter walk home from their nearby community park by themselves.

Parenting was yet again thrust onto the national debate stage this week.  A pair of Maryland parents are under investigation for letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter walk home from their nearby community park by themselves, as covered by the Washington Post. 

CNN reporter Kelly Wallace asks ”have things suddenly gotten way out of hand when parents are being arrested — or investigated — for doing what was considered totally normal and appropriate not long ago?”

Did you walk home from school in your elementary school years? Would you let your kids?  Do you think your community is safer now or when you were a kid? Most states don’t have an age regulation on the books when it’s considered negligent to leave kids alone, but putting your child at risk could be considered a crime.

Parenting today is under a microscope by many, and parenting in the digital age is proving to be more complex than imaginable.  Data is now showing that our kids are at risk just as much digitally as they are physically.  This increased parenting complexity, and risk to our children, has sparked major creative technology innovations for parenting in the digital age.  MamaBear, the Ultimate Parenting App™, provides an all-in-one tool for peace of mind parenting, and managing your family through today’s complicated social issues.

It is clearly important that parenting remain top-of-mind and the subject of healthy discussion. This incident raises awareness of the need for parents to protect not only their children, but also themselves, throughout the parenting process. By availing themselves of the latest advances in parenting tools, such as location-based services, social media monitoring, and driving alerts, parents can find it easier to maneuver through the ever shifting sands of today’s social landscape and parent in the style that best suits them.

What if Rafi Meitiv, walking home from the park that day, showed his smartphone to the police officer who stopped and said, “My parents know exactly where I am.”  Could it have been different?

 

 

Photo credit: Meitiv family photo used on WashingtonPost.com

Give Your Children Larger Location Boundaries With A Top Notch Family Locator App for iPhone

family locator iphone app

The MamaBear App offers several benefits as a family locator for iPhone and other iOS powered Apple devices. The most popular MamaBear feature is, quite simply, locating family.

The MamaBear family locator for iPhone allows families to locate each other quickly and efficiently.

This can help both day-to-day parenting as well as during family outings and vacations. Parents and kids can both save themselves time and trouble by using the MamaBear app to communicate their location. Parents can use the app to check on the child’s location at the tap of the app and can selectively share their own location with their children when they choose. Children can check in with parents and notify them of a variety of needs and situations with a simple three button interface.

Families of all sizes can benefit this spring and summer from the MamaBear family locator features and alerts for iPhone. When parents can readily locate their children across a large area, it opens up a wealth of options on vacations and family trips. Parents can allow children a lot more freedom on playgrounds and parks, as well as on larger trips like beach vacations and amusement park visits. The GPS features and location alerts from MamaBear allow parents to watch their children’s location from a distance, and receive an alert when they have entered or left a specified location. This makes letting the kids have a little adventure that’s worry-free for parents.

When used as a family locator for iPhone, MamaBear gives children a measure of extra freedom and safety.

Children don’t need to call to check in when they have the MamaBear app. Parents simply receive alerts for programed destinations. Or children can choose to check in with parents with a single button tap, saving time and alerting parents when they have arrived somewhere new. Children can also use the one touch app to call for a ride, or alert parents of an emergency situation. This means mom and dad aren’t calling or texting often because they’re worried. We encourage parent to open up their children’s location boundaries with this new knowledge in the palm of their hands.

The MamaBear app is easy to install onto iPhones, iPads and other iOS powered devices running iOS 4.3 or later. The children’s version of the app works best on an iPhone 4 or better, which offers advanced GPS functionality that MamaBear uses for optimal results. Parents can use any web enabled iOS device to monitor children but should also use a phone with advanced GPS to effectively share their own location.

The MamaBear app is available in the App Store and can be used to track and communicate multiple children via email and push based alerts. This makes MamaBear an excellent solution for a wide range of summer activities for families of all sizes. With MamaBear, the kids can learn to grow and explore places, events and social situations while we parents maintain a watchful eye from an unprecedented distance.

The MamaBear app is also available for download on Android-powered devices in the Google Play Store.