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Sharenting – how much is too much?

Mother looking at tablet with babyThere’s a new thing for parents to get their heads around/feel guilty about.

It’s called ‘sharenting’ (the sharing of parenting information – geddit?) and according to a new piece of research – The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health – it is possible to do way too much of it.

But we all know that right?

Who hasn’t rolled their eyes at a baby bore on Facebook? The kind of friend who changes their profile picture to their baby the moment they are born and you’re never quite sure if you’ll ever see your actual friend again.The kind of friend who posts a dozen baby photos a day and regales you with online tales of potty training and humble brags about whether it is normal to be walking at six months.

This is clearly an extreme example, but sharenting in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just depends who you sharent with.

Whilst there are some parents around who are so protective of their children’s digital footprint they don’t take any digital pictures, to me, that would be depriving my far-flung family of seeing how my children are growing and what they are up to.

It would also be depriving me of their support. With so many miles between us and our family, we need the occasional piece of encouragement or advice. Having experienced parents to talk to can make the world of difference.

Sharenting can stop parents feeling isolated and enable some much-needed conversation, but there are a couple of golden rules:

1. Make sure the people you’re sharenting with want to see your photos of your children.

I’d hate for anyone to be rolling their eyes at photos of my kids. Don’t give anyone the opportunity. Only share with the people who will treasure and protect your photos as much as you.

That probably isn’t going to be the old school friends and ex-colleagues you’ve somehow amassed on your Facebook page.

2. Think about whether your kids could be embarrassed by who you are sharing with in 10 years time. Truly embarrassed.

We are soon going to be in the situation where everything we do embarrasses our kids. Revenge will be mine for the public tantrums and I can’t wait.

My son and daughter will most likely be mortified when they try to imagine that I used to wipe their butts and they used to bath together every night.

Nothing is going to change the fact that their family will have those memories forever, but I don’t want them to be embarrassed that far too many people know far more than they should. I make sure I only share their photos with the family and important friends who care about them.

Image credit: evgenyatamanenko/123RF Stock Photo

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