Usually when we think of kids and social media, we’re brainstorming for how to keep them safe or worrying over who they’re talking to online, but what happens when it’s the parents who are the culprits? Though it may be completely unintentional, many parents are unwittingly harming their children through social media. Are you one of them? Ask yourself the following questions to find out.
### Do You Share Pictures of Your Kids Online?
A large portion of the images found online are of kids, and it’s no wonder. After all, who doesn’t want to share pics of their little cutie with their friends and family? And social media provides a quick and convenient way to do just that. Unfortunately, it’s not always wise to post images of your kids online, especially without using privacy controls. It’s terrible to think about, but some of the more nefarious characters online can swipe these pictures and use them in horrific ways that could do irreparable harm to your child’s self-image and even their safety. If you do choose to share pictures of your kids, be sure that you share them with a select group of trusted individuals, not the entire virtual world.
### Do You Use Social Media to Complain About Your Kids?
Parenting can be one of the hardest jobs there is, no doubt. Kids are notorious for trying their parents’ patience, and we’ve all vented with a friend about how our kid is driving us nuts. Unfortunately, some parents choose to use blogs and social media to tell the world about how annoying their kids are being. While this may seem like harmless chatter at the moment, remember that what you post online is permanent. In ten or fifteen years, your child could be reading your comments and they may find your parental ranting embarrassing or even hurtful.
### Do You Give Out too Much Information?
Just as kids should never give out their personal information or whereabouts online, parents should follow this same rule. It may be fun to tell your Facebook friends where your daughter’s prom date is taking her for dinner, for instance, but do you really want everyone online to know exactly where to find your child? Though it’s not likely, a seemingly innocent post could turn into a nightmare for your family. Why take that risk?
Social media is a relatively new world, and we’re all learning to navigate it—kids and parents alike. As you’re interacting online, keep your child’s safety at the forefront of your mind, and think before you post!