TMI*: Is ‘sharenting’ a national dilemma?

An Ofcom report shows that parents are divided over ‘sharenting’: whether or not to post online photos and news about their children online.

According to the Communications Market Report, 56 per cent of parents choose not to share pictures of their children on social media and other online platforms. The majority of these gave the reason that they prefer to keep their children’s lives private. Meanwhile, 42 per cent of parents do share images, and at least half of them do so on a regular basis.

Katharine Hill, UK director of Care for the Family, cautioned parents to be responsible when choosing what to share: "When they are little, just think about if they really want to have those photos of them in the paddling pool when they are teenagers because those digital footprints don’t go away."

She encouraged parents to talk to their children if they are going to put something online, particularly photos. She also criticised the societal pressure to appear a certain way online: "There’s that huge pressure to portray a perfect family life that often is far removed from reality. That is what young people want to try and keep up with, and then they measure their worth by how many likes they have on Facebook and it’s a really big pressure on them."

Parents shared their feelings of apprehension regarding ‘sharenting’, many fearing the safety of such a public platform. Rachel, a mother of two, described the difficulty of balancing the benefits of social media with the problems it can bring: "I get really torn about my kids online. On one hand, Facebook is a source of support and a way of keeping my far-flung family and friends up to date. However, it does concern me as well, so I try to avoid mentioning locations or school names and have the highest security setting

Mark, a minister and father of three teenagers, highlighted the importance of children having the right to say no to pictures being shared without having to justify their reasons.

Mother of two, Catherine, said: "I would love to put lots of photos on Facebook, but I was shocked by accounts of online grooming. My privacy settings are set as high as possible. As children get older, they don’t want to be shown on their parents’ Facebook! We have to respect their wishes."

One mother of five linked sharenting to wider parenting issues, where parenting becomes public property: "In the day and age when a princess is criticised for parenting her children in public, I’m not entirely convinced that any fault in sharenting lies solely with the parents."

*‘Too much information’ for those who aren’t down with the kids.


Pope Francis’ tweet on Charlie Gard as his parents fought a controversial court case to have him released for experimental medical treatment in America

Church kids say the funniest things

Here’s some of the best things our readers have heard kids say recently…

"Did you know, Daddy, that God can hear you even if you say it in your head? Maybe you should try it, Daddy?"

After I said maybe too long a prayer with my 5-year-old!

Mark, Chichester

2-year-old about a local lay preacher:

"That’s not Adam, that’s not Eve, that’s Steve!"

Catherine, Cumbria

"I wish I could be a vicar. They only work four hours a week and get a house and a wage!"

Small child, while the vicar was standing behind them.

Scott, Whitstable

Have your kids said anything brilliant recently? Get in touch on Twitter @YCWMag or Facebook.

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