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Parenting In The Social Media Era

Updated on August 15, 2017

Thank you Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Ect.

Parenting comes with a million different choices you will have to make for your child like: To co sleep or not to co sleep? Should I vaccinate my child? Breastfeed or bottle feed? What is a healthy diet for a child who refuses to eat anything but gummy bears and boogers? These are things many parents ask on a daily basis and thanks to the several different types of social media we can now be even more unsure about everything. Too often now we see parents using social media to push their objective on other parents almost bullying them into thinking the same way as they do. I like to refer to this as parent shaming and in all honesty people who do this are the problem. Not only has social media turned into a place where parents can bully each other but if you make a mistake now as a parent there is a good chance you will not only be locally judged for it but judged on a nation wide level if not globally. We put our entire lives on the internet and parenting is no exception but when did it become so easy for us to use this as a way into scaring other to think the same way we think? And an even better point is why does it matter?

Why Do We Care.....

Why do we care so much about the choices other people make for their children? If one mom wants to co sleep and breastfeed their child until their five why does it affect other parents so much that they need to rant and parent shame over social media. Is it because we have become so accustomed to spewing out our opinions at anyone that will listen on the internet that we are missing the bigger picture? Is it because we have become so self absorbed that there is no possible way other people can be right the way we feel we are? Its one thing to share your opinions when asked but social media has become a place where you can easily shove your opinions down other peoples throats with no invitation aside from a friend request. I know this goes for a lot more than just parenting such as gender equality, politics, ect. however those things affect a wide spectrum of people in multiple ways. Parenting I feel is different.......

Here Is Why Parenting Is Different.....

When becoming a parent you begin to evaluate what kind of morals and lessons you want your child to grow up learning. It's our own personal way of being the change we want to see in the world. I know I personally think if I can make my son just a little bit better of a person than me then I am improving the future of man one person at a time. I doubt parents start raising their child hoping to create the next Ted Bundy or the next Craigslist Killer on purpose. I mean don't get me wrong there are some things that are beyond our control even as parents but that's besides the point. Being a parent and the way you choose to do it is something that comes from with in and outside sources like social media are not something that should be able to change that for us. When I think about the kind of mom I choose to be and the values I want my child have as he gets older I look within and focus on what is important to me. If you wouldn't walk into the grocery store and shame a parent at the top of your lungs why is it ok to do it over social media. I have only seen this happen once or twice in my entire life and even as a child I was terrified because even then I knew it was not ok to criticize the way somebody parents their child. If you did not make, birth, foster, or adopt the child then your two cents should not be given on how they are raised. Period. End of story. As I have said in a previous article there is no cookie cutter for parenting so nobody should be trying to shove somebody else into their personal mold.

The Exception....

I feel ridiculous for even having to write this because I feel like it is just obvious but I can hear it now....."What if the person is hurting their Child?" , "What if the child is in danger?" It goes without saying that there are exceptions to every rule, if there is even a question that somebody is hurting their child. REPORT IT. However if a parent wants to bottle feed their infant and feed their 10 year old pizza for breakfast then mind your business. Don't be ridiculous, we should all know the difference between poor choices and dangerous choices. Again, if you know somebody who abuses their child or puts them in direct harm please report it immediately.......

FOR LIFE THREATENING/ABUSIVE SITUATIONS

CALL 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
CALL 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) | Source

To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate.....

For the sake of this argument I am not going to give my opinion either way. However, I feel like this topic has shown the most disgusting behavior in recent years when it comes to the subject of social media interfering parenting and parents being judged for their choices. I have seen people who are against vaccinating their children post some extremely brutal horror stories about the worst possible situations that have happened because a child has received a vaccine. People posting pictures of mass children who have died, videos of babies seizing, and parents who have posted their stories about horrible side effects of their child receiving a vaccine. This is fine to a point because staying informed and educated is the best way to make informed decisions for your little ones but I have seen it paired with disgusting posts when shared. These things have included "People who vaccinate their children want their kids to die." "How could you ever do this to your child?" "Vaccines are sure to cause Autism." I get it as a parent I tend to go a little crazy about things involving my child when I feel strongly about them however there is a HUGE difference between informing other parents and scaring them into having the same beliefs as you. A mom and dad should be able to make their own decisions about vaccines without feeling like they are going to permanently harm their child no matter what they choose. And parents who don't vaccinate their children aren't the only guilty ones of everything mentioned. I have seen parents who are all about vaccines going into incredible detail when describing all of the diseases a child can die from when they aren't receiving the recommended vaccines. So many arguments have come across my screen when vaccine friendly parents call anti-vaccine uneducated, hippies, stupid, and other names as well. Here is my stance on all of it. Why do you care if somebody else does or does not vaccinate their children. If your child is vaccinated and they are around a non vaccinated child, they are still safe whether the non vaccinated child is disease carrying or not. And parents who do not vaccinate their child all of the side effects that may or may not come from vaccinations aren't contagious and shouldn't be your business. Both parties can have what they want without attacking each other or deeming one another's child unsafe to be around. What happened to accepting each other with the understanding that we each have our own opinions? We are preaching a world of equality while still attacking each other for having a different opinion than us and it needs to stop.

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