In the age of social media, ‘sharenting’ has become an integral part of modern parenting. Coined in 2010, ‘sharenting’ refers to the practice of parents sharing their children’s lives on social media. It is a digital diary, a virtual scrapbook, and a way for parents to connect with family and friends.
But like any tool, ‘sharenting’ needs to be used wisely. This article will explore how to ‘sharent’ the right way.
Protect Personal Information
When sharing your child’s milestones, be cautious about revealing personal information like full names, birthdates, or the name of their school. Identity thieves or online predators can exploit this information.
Stick to using nicknames or initials. Plus, avoid sharing any details that could be used to identify your child’s location or identity.
Avoid Embarrassing Stories
While it is natural to want to share funny or embarrassing stories about your child, exercise discretion. Consider how your child might feel about those stories when they are older. What is hilarious at the age of five might be mortifying at fifteen.
So, it is important to strike a balance between sharing amusing anecdotes and respecting your child’s future feelings.
Set Clear Boundaries
One of the first steps to ‘sharenting’ is setting clear boundaries for yourself. Determine what you are comfortable sharing and what you would like to keep private. This not only protects your child’s privacy. But it also allows you to maintain a sense of control over your online presence.
Remember, you do not have to share every aspect of your child’s life. And it is perfectly okay to keep some moments just for your family.
Get Consent from Older Children
As your children grow and become more aware of their online presence, it is crucial to involve them in the decision-making process. Before posting pictures or stories involving older children, seek their consent. Explain why you want to share and ask if they are comfortable with it.
In turn. This will empower them to have a say in what goes online and ensure their feelings are respected.
Keep a Close Circle of Friends
On social media, it is easy to accumulate hundreds or even thousands of friends and followers. However, not everyone in your network needs to see your ‘sharenting’ posts. Consider creating a private group or close friends list where you share most of your family updates.
This way, you can control who has access to your children’s moments.
Monitor Comments and Interactions
As a ‘sharent,’ it is your responsibility to monitor the comments and interactions on your posts. Ensure that the comments are respectful and free from any inappropriate content.
If you encounter any negative or concerning comments, do not hesitate to delete or report them. Protecting your child’s online space is paramount.
Be Mindful of Online Predators
The internet can be a playground for online predators, and ‘sharenting’ posts can unwittingly attract their attention. Be cautious about sharing photos that may be suggestive or provocative. Even unintentionally.
Avoid using location tags that can reveal your child’s whereabouts and make sure your privacy settings are up to date.