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.


Do You Know the Right Things to Do if Your Child Is Bullied?

Cyberbullying is complicated, and every situation is different. So it’s important for parents to know the best practices for dealing with cyberbullying.

When your child is the victim of cyberbullying or online harassment, there is nothing you want to do more than step in and make things right.

But it’s not always that easy.

Cyberbullying is complicated, and every situation is different. The content of the messages will have various degrees of severity, and the parties involved — the kids, parents and social officials — can make the situation easier to resolve, or in some cases, harder.

So it’s important for parents to know the best practices for dealing with the unpredictable, uncomfortable, and sometimes unrelentless situation of cyberbullying.

Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

The emotional response to learning that your child is being bullied is enough to make parents jump into immediate action, but parents need to be mindful of how their response can affect their child’s life, as well as their own.

Two fathers in Minnesota learned this when they found themselves in the middle of a national news story, that left one father without his job, after getting involved with their children’s cyberbully situation.

Brad Knudson’s daughter received racist messages from Deron Puro’s two sons, prompting Knudson to call Puro to try and resolve the situation. Matters only got worse when Puro was unwilling to help and exacerbated the situation by leaving his own racist voicemail to Knudson.

Knudson was not silenced by Puro’s unwillingness to help. After reporting the situation to school and city officials, he took the matter into his own hands.

Fearing that his daughter would become depressed and emotionally drained by the continued harassment, Knudson recorded and posted a YouTube video where he called out the bullies and asked them to own up to their actions. In the video, that was close to six minutes in length, Knudson also played the voicemail he received from the boy’s father, Puro.

The video went viral, receiving almost eight million views, and caught national attention. The result affected both the boys and their father; Puro was fired by his employer, a financial firm where he worked as a contractor.

The Best Ways to Help

Knudson and Puro’s situation shows how cyberbullying affects parents just as much as their children and how important it is to resolve problems in a healthy and productive way.

What to do if your child is being bullied:

  • Save the evidence.
  • Report threats of harm to the police.
  • Report the situation to the school.
  • Don’t quit until the bullying has stopped.
  • Don’t provoke the bully.
  • Don’t seek revenge.
  • If you know the bully’s parents and believe they will help resolve the situation, reach out to them.

What to say to your child if they are being bullied:

  • Tell them not to blame themselves. No matter what may have happened there is no excuse for bullying
  • Encourage them to talk to others about it. Don’t hold their feelings inside. And not just you, maybe there is a special teacher or counselor at school they feel comfortable around, or friends. But don’t bully the bully with friends, keep the conversation about your feelings.
  • Focus less on the situation and more on the things you love.
  • Understand that the bully has issues that go deeper than the surface situation, they may have trouble at home or at school. Teach empathy, but also strength, no one should accept being bullied.

What to do if your child is being a bully:

  • Explain the seriousness of cyberbullying.
  • Establish clear usage rules.
  • Set limits.
  • Remove access to private online communication.
  • Teach them to manage their stress in other ways.
  • Set a good example. (Bullying is a learned behavior, so be mindful of how you treat people in real life and online.)
  • Seek the deeper problem or stress that is coming out as bullying.

Be Proactive and Help Prevent Cyberbullying

The best way to deal with cyberbullying is to stop the situation early. Use a system for monitoring your child’s social media to stay in touch with what is happening in their online world.

With an app like MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™ available for free on iPhone and Android devices, parents can easily connect and monitor the conversation on their child’s social media streams. Being aware and informed as a parent, and getting involved before there is an issue, will always be the best way to prevent a more drastic and potentially dangerous situation from occurring.


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Despite what parents may think, cyberbullying includes far more than name-calling. Discover just how sinister a cyberbully can really be.

Do You Know Enough About Cyberbullying to Protect Your Children?


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Building a Safer Twitter with Improved Tools to Report Cyberbullying

Twitter Cyberbullying Reporting Tools: Twitter is fighting against cyberbullying by upping their game when it comes to user protection.

Twitter is fighting against cyberbullying by upping their game when it comes to user protection. 

The social media platform recently made changes to make it easier to report cyberbullying, harassment, and spamming.

Changes to Twitter Reporting and Blocking Features

Twitter has decreased the amount of information needed to report a user and made the process more mobile-friendly in order to speed up the process of reporting, reviewing, and managing cyberbully.

Recent changes also make it easier for users who see harassment to report it, enabling other users to step in when they see bullying.

Twitter also added features related to blocking. Users can now see a list of accounts they have blocked from a page accessible in settings, and users you have blocked can no longer view your profile.

When to Report a User

You should advise your child to report a user anytime they see the following.

  • Threats – user is making direct threats of violence, threats are directed at an individual or a group of people targeted by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Abuse – user is repeatedly engaging with individual in one-sided harassment
  • Targeted Abuse – individual has created multiple accounts in order to send messages to the same person from multiple accounts, the sole purpose of the account is to send abusive messages
  • Serial Accounts – user has created multiple accounts in order to be disruptive and spammy
  • Spam – user posts duplicate content, messages usually include links that are posted repeatedly and rapidly, user repeatedly posts misleading and false information
  • Private Information – user is sharing personal information (phone numbers, addresses, banking information, etc.) of other individuals
  • Offensive Content – users is directly messaging individuals obscene or pornographic images

Twitter considers all of these actions as a violation of Twitter Rules and may suspend users who engage in the activities. You can find full instructions on reporting violations in Twitter’s Support Guide.

Related: Social Media, Bullying and What You Can Do to Help

Remember that sometimes reporting a user through Twitter is not enough.

If you believe you or someone else is in danger due to information you saw on Twitter, contact local law enforcement.

Cyberbullying Is Still an Issue

Twitter is committed to making their social space safer for users, and they plan to add more features and controls for both reporting and blocking users. They recently stated on their blog, “We’ll continue to work hard on these changes in order to improve the experience of people who encounter abuse on Twitter.”

But that doesn’t mean parents should sit back and let Twitter handle it. Parents should remain involved in their child’s social media world by connecting with and monitoring the engagement on their Twitter account.

With MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™, parents receive notifications when their child gets a new follower or follows someone new, is @mentioned in a message, and uses certain restricted words or risky language. It makes for simple connectivity, easy monitoring, and fast response time to cyberbully and harassment.

See how MamaBear can help protect your child by adding it to your iPhone or Android.

Facebook Will Share Amber Alerts To Bring Kids Home Faster

Facebook will begin to show Amber Alerts in the news feeds of users who live in areas where a possible abduction may have occurred.

Facebook is using their audience of over 185 million users in the United States for some good. An article by Huffington Post reports that Facebook will begin to show Amber Alerts in the news feeds of users who live in areas where a possible abduction may have occurred.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Facebook launched the initiative after seeing user’s post their own alerts and photos — and help find missing children faster. While Amber Alerts (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) are already broadcast through radio, television, and highway billboards, Facebook is the first social media site to share alerts with their audience.

In a situation where time is of the essence, Facebook hopes that notifications targeted to areas near the incident will spread more quickly, reach more peoples, and bring children home faster.

To read more about Facebook’s new initiative, see “Facebook Will Now Share Amber Alerts On Your News Feed.”


Photo Courtesy of Facebook