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Posts Tagged ‘parent child relationships’

Father taking photo of daughter playing in snow.

Think about what you share about yourself on social media. Do you make sure there are no photos of yourself with alcohol in hand? Maybe you only share photos from times you feel put together. How do you react when someone “tags” you in an unflattering or embarrassing photo? It is your right to choose what is shared on your social media.

Now consider what you share about your children on social media. Sharenting is a term used to describe an oversharing of information about children on social media. For the first time, young people are growing up to find they have an online presence they had no say in creating. In the United States 92% of two-year-old children already have an online presence and about one-third of these children were first introduced to the online world as newborns.

There are many benefits to parents sharing about their children on social media. Parents can share their pride in their child’s accomplishments or share photos with distant loved ones. Sharing parenting experiences with friends and family can help parents feel supported. However, sharing on social media creates lasting impacts that can follow a child throughout their life. Understanding that while most parents have their child’s best interest in mind, many have not considered how their social media presence can impact their child’s wellbeing and safety. Before sharing about children on social media there are some things you may want to consider:

  1. Your privacy settings on your social media sites.

Many social media sites have options that allow users to limit who sees different posts shared. Often users can limit posts to social media friends, or those users designate as close friends. Consider making your settings more private on posts that contain photos or information about children. Also know that people can save things you share and re-share them without your permission.

  1. Is there anyone you would not want to have this information about your child?

If the answer is yes, reconsider sharing the information. Examples of information you may want to reconsider sharing include, full name, birth-date, school name, home address, location of child, or phone number. Try looking up yourself or your child online, you may be surprised how much information already exists.

  1. Would you be OK if others used this photo without your permission?

While sharing a photo of children in the pool or bathtub may be cute and seem harmless, understand that others who can view the photo can use it for something else you may not approve of. One study found that almost half of all photos found on a pedophile sharing site were originally shared by parents on social media or blogs.

  1. Could your child be embarrassed about what is shared?  

The reality is, one day, your child will likely see what has been shared about them on social media. When I google myself, one of the photos that results is an unflattering photo of me in 9th grade. I wish that this photo could be removed, but it continues to follow me online. Before posting something online consider if you want it to be part of your child’s online presence. Other examples include information disclosed about a child’s diagnosis, behavioral issues, or criminal history that could follow them into adulthood.

  1. Are you willing to give your child the opportunity to “veto” what is shared?

In a study that surveyed 10 to 17-years-old what their parents shared on social media, it found that most of the youth preferred when the information shared was positive.  They did not like their parents sharing photos that they deemed unflattering, too personal, or highlighted the negative. Chances are you want your child to be viewed as well-behaved, smart, and happy- is what you’re posting supporting that goal?

Taking time to protect children’s online presence can be as simple as taking a moment to consider “would I want this shared if it were about me?” Having a conversation with older children, like the one modeled in this video, could also be a good step toward better understanding between family members as well as better online safety. 


Written by: Courtney Woelfl, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Cuyahoga County.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Sources:

Minkus, T., Liu, K., & Ross, K. W. (2015). Children Seen But Not Heard. Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web – WWW 15. doi: 10.1145/2736277.2741124

Moser, C., Chen, T., & Schoenebeck, S. Y. (2017). Parents? and Children?s Preferences about Parents Sharing about Children on Social Media. Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – CHI 17. doi: 10.1145/3025453.3025587

Steinberg, S. B. (2017). Sharenting: Children’s privacy in the age of social media. Emory Law Journal, 66(4), 839-884.

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I remember the nurse placing a screaming dark-haired baby in my arms like it was yesterday. 18 years later, this baby is graduating from high school and telling me she wants to change her address to one different from mine.  While I appreciate her goals and ambitions, watching her go is tough.  Preparing now with a few simple things I am hoping will make this big transition smoother for both of us as she heads to college on her own.

Prepare and You Will Not Fear

I remember being taught this principle in relation to natural disasters when I was young, this same mantra is bringing me some comfort as a mother as I prepare to send a child into the world.  There is a long list of independent living skills youth and young adults need to be successful on their own; more skills than can be taught in the summer between their senior year and heading out on their own.  Starting young with developing and teaching life skills can bring peace and confidence with parents and youth as they move on.  Giving young children and teens responsibilities at home, allowing them to make mistakes and learn from them will prepare them for obstacles and responsibilities they will face when they leave home.  These needed life skills include not only skills such as cooking and laundry but budgeting, relationship skills, emotional and behavioral control, manners, self-care, time management and more.

Am I invited too?

My daughter, who is leaving, sat at the table listening one night as my sister and I discussed future Thanksgiving plans.  When we were finished she asked, “Am I invited too?”  It never occurred to me that she might be having some questions about where she would fit in when she left home.  We talked about what our communication would look like, how often, ways we would stay in contact and what family events she might want to be included in.  I let her know she would be welcome in our home anytime, without an appointment or reason. 

Plans do not always work out.  Let your young adult know that they are welcome in your home and what your requirements might be after they move away and return to visit. Help your child know that while you are excited about their new adventure you are always there if they just need to chat. Communication can be vital during this transition, for both of you.   Do not assume they know they can phone you if they feel sad or need to talk. 

Have a Plan

Have a plan for if things go wrong too.  A clear plan for contingencies can help parents make a decision when emotions are running high or a quick decision is necessary. Have you discussed what will happen if your college student makes poor grades? What if they are homesick and want to return home? What if they want or need to change schools or apartments? What if they are unable to cover expenses and call to ask for money?  Having these discussions before hand can clear up confusion for you and your child. 

Take Care of You

Feelings of loneliness, loss, and grief may all be common when a child leaves home. Have a plan to deal with those feelings.  As I have discussed this transition with friends their advice and reactions have ranged anywhere from excitement to being seriously distraught over their son or daughter moving out.  There is no right or wrong way to feel.  Try to let your feelings run their course. If you feel like crying, cry. It is important to acknowledge how you feel and not allow others to dictate your emotions.  You will not react the same way your friend did to their child moving out and that is ok. 

Every family is different and will have different plans and responses to a big change such as a child leaving home.  Try to remember what a fun new adventure this can be for your son or daughter.  Your enthusiasm can go a long way to helping them move on.  Celebrate their successes and yours, and remember just like with anything else new in life- it takes time!

Good luck! I am in this one with you. . . 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-in-between/201406/5-steps-help-your-teen-leave-the-nest https://www.healthguidance.org/entry/18004/1/how-to-cope-when-your-children-leave-home.html

Author: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Miami County, barton.345@osu.edu

Reviewer: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

 

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February brings us Valentine’s Day. That makes it a prefect time to work on developing a loving relationship with our children.  Learning to communicate with each other will strengthen family relationships especially during the teenage years.

Not only is communication important for families, it should be the foundation.  Good family communication helps develop trust and builds respect between mevalentinembers of the family.  It will make it easier to solve conflicts and face the many challenges thrown at today’s families.  By teaching your children good communication techniques today they will have the lifetime tools needed to communicate with others outside the home.

Talking is not always the best communication.  In fact, best communicator is often times not the speaker, but the best listener.  We need to listen with both ears, with eye contact and with our full attention.

As a parent educator, I often hear parents moan, “Why won’t my child talk to me? But I also hear the other side from the children asking, “Why won’t my parents listen to me?”     So what can we do to communicate better?  Take time to discover your children.  A very important way to build a relationship is to ask questions about their activities, feelings and interests. Try to understand their point of view.  Remember what it was like at their age.  Let them know you care about their feelings even if they are different than yours.  Sounds easy?  You say you already do that.  Do you really take the time to sit down next to them, with eyes and ears opened  and interrupted by the television, computers or cell phones?  Here are some things that can enhance family communication:

  • Send clear and encouraging messages.
  • Watch our tone of voice and body language. It sets the mood for conversation.
  • Let them know you are listening. Look at your child’s face.
  • Don’t make it about you. Stay with the child’s ideas. A young child’s story may go on and on and get twisted up. But stay with them, they will learn though you to get better at expressing their feelings and ideas.

Communication is the bridge between you and your children.  It is a way for you to share love and teach appropriate behavior.  To honor St Valentine make some hearts from red paper or pink paper and write positive sayings such as:  wow, outstanding, way to go, terrific, much better, very nice, etc.  Pass then to each other.  Every time you give a love message you have made a change.  You will be glad you took the time.

Written by: Kathy Green, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, green.1405@osu.edu

Reviewed by:

References:

Bornstein, M. H., editor, 1995. Handbook of parenting: volume 1, children and parenting. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Gottman, J., and J. DeClaire. 1997. The heart of parenting. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Klauser, H. A. 1995. Put your heart on paper. New York: Bantam.

 

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