‘First time baby said Dada’ or ‘Baby’s first tooth off!’ Haven’t we all as parents seen innumerable posts like this online? While it’s exciting to be parenting and share loads of our children’s milestones online, sharenting chips away at parenting. Let’s take a look.
Creating a photo moment
We all make our kids pose for pictures once more, with a hat, with sunglasses or once more because the eyes are closed and many more times for many more reasons. We all want the perfect moment to go online or in private groups or anywhere else. And by the time this perfect picture is clicked, the child is frustrated, you are upset that you didn’t get a good click and the ideal moment has passed. If nothing, you’ve all faked a smile or better still faked excitement just to send across an online “marketing” image of a ‘picture perfect holiday’.
In all this, we’ve actually missed the ‘real moment’ with our kids or families. Remember that excitement is experienced and not captured. So next time, digging up sand and pouring water over your child’s head can be more fun that clicking it! And kids remember these fun moments.
Showing off achievements
We all are proud of our children and what they do. But consistently adding every detail of their success online only appears like you’re showing off. And the fact of the matter remains that your kids should know how proud you are or are not of them, not the whole world. Yes, your daughter worked really hard to get a place in the school band, but telling everyone, doesn’t make you feel proud. A favorite meal at home to celebrate and a long conversation with her about how proud you are of her diligence will make it more memorable for her.
Craving for likes and followers
When we post something online or even in private groups, we expect comments, likes, or follows. And most of us keep checking every few minutes to see how many hits or likes or comments we’ve got. Definitely we start craving for attention. And our children see this and hope for the same in their future. When they don’t get the attention they expect from social media, they’re disappointed. They don’t spend energy in building actual relationships but start measuring their popularity in terms of likes or comments.
Creating a digital footprint
The minute you upload anything about your child online, it just stays there. It stays there even if you have all kinds of privacy settings. It stays there till you delete your account permanently. Which means that you have created an online presence for your child, technically without their permission and at an age when they don’t even know what it means to have one’s privacy violated. Is it fair? Organizations all over the world look up prospective students, clients, employees online to know more about them. The picture you uploaded as a child, will still be his digital footprint when he is an adult.
Trust me, there’s no measurement of parenting success. And after a point when kids are adults, parents are neither responsible for the success of their child nor their failure.
We’re only responsible for bringing them up as a responsible adult. Happy parenting!