Sharenting: How do you decide what to post about your child?

Learn some tips to think before you post.

Holding a phone

Social media can help you connect to friends and family across the globe and it can help you feel connected when things get tough. Sharenting, or “parenting and sharing,” is a relatively new term used to describe parents using social media to share photographs, videos and information about their children. While sharing cute photos and videos of your kids and their accomplishments can be a great way to connect, there are concerns and risks associated with posting about your child online. We talk a lot about concerns related to youth media usage, but we don’t have any rules or guidelines for how parents use social media about or with their children.

In the article, “Parental Sharing on the Internet: Child privacy in the age of social media and the pediatrician’s role,” authors Baherah Ebadifar Keith and Stacey Steinber suggest the following guidelines for parents:

  • Understand the privacy policies of the social media platforms you are using.
  • Set up notifications for search engines to be alerted when their child’s name appears in search engines.
  • If you’re going to be sharing something negative or a personal parenting struggle, think about sharing it anonymously.
  • Limit the information you share about your child, like their full name, the school they attend, community groups they are a part of or location.
  • As appropriate, give your children the power and choice to control what gets shared about themselves.
  • Before you post, take the time to think about how it might impact your child in the future. Here are some example questions to ask yourself before posting.

For more articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

To learn about the positive impact children and families experience due to MSU Extension programs, read our 2017 impact report. Additional impact reports, highlighting even more ways Michigan 4-H and MSU Extension positively impacted individuals and communities in 2017, can be downloaded from the Michigan 4-H website.

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