social media parenting

Social media is a planet in itself. This planet is real and not like the one in the blockbuster movie ‘Avatar.” In the virtual world, there is a ‘universe” and a “world” of moms or mothers. Before we knew it, the stress of social media was slowly but surely creeping into the lives of mothers, just as it had become the most important relationship for youth. Ironically, the clan of mothers who tried to keep their children away from social media now became victims of the same.
Social media has greatly changed the feel, style, and face of parenting. Parents of the younger generation living in nuclear families are looking to social media for advice and support that used to be provided by older family members in India. When mothers are left alone by the family after the birth of a child, they feel lost, confused, and often guilty for having to care for the child.
Here the social mothers’ groups are a great support. Mothers receive a sense of belonging and the support they need from a community that is their own, as all group members are mothers themselves. It becomes problematic when the group becomes an alternative world for mothers and is given more importance than it deserves. It is thought-provoking when parents seek help from complete strangers when they have problems with their child on social media.
It was alarming when I saw a post in a high-level mothers’ group, where most of the mothers are educated and working, where a young mother wanted to know what she should do because her three-year-old child had been coughing for two days. The whole clan thought she must be the first to answer, and soon there were fifty messages with different advice, from home remedies to homeopathy, naturopathy, Ayurveda, etc., etc.
I really wanted to ask the one who posted this what advice she will now follow? How can parents not realise that every child has different needs, body, allergies or symptoms. Even the diagnosis can be very different. You may wonder why she did not take the child to the doctor. I have asked myself this question as well. I found the answer in the following post from the same mother who asked for a good doctor. She asked for suggestions based on the experiences of other mothers.
The same is true when they ask about birthday parties, schools, tutors, etc. It is worrisome to see the influence these groups have on parents, especially mothers. They are willing to change their child’s school if someone posts how mean the teacher was at the same school. Who would have thought that child rearing would also be outsourced one day? Parents also feel pressured when they see posts from other parents who attend events at a IB school or send their kids abroad to study, thinking they are not good parents because they cannot afford all that. My sincere advice as a parenting consultant to all ‘social media influenced’ parents is that every parent is as unique as every child. Parenting is a natural instinct and all parents will do what is best for their children no matter what the circumstances. So relax and enjoy the journey with your child.

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