Category Archives: online postings

So much unwanted advice

In the day and age of social media, things like blogs, web pages, Pinterest and Facebook are all peppered with things you should or should not do to raise a child. To spank or not to spank, homeschool, public or private school, are you a creative lunch maker or just a boring sandwich pusher, do you teach them things or let them figure things out on their own, and I could go on and on!

I admit, when I have an issue with my child, I first go to family and friends for advice. But, if I don’t find an answer that seems to fit my situation, I know I can turn to the world wide web. There are many professional child psychologists, pediatricians, nannies, childcare workers and moms that provide sound and calming solutions. It amazes me the wisdom you can glean from these sites. However, when articles pop-up on Pinterest urging you to read it or someone rants on a Facebook post about how they saw a mom doing or not doing something, this barges in on me like a neon sign and tends to irk me more than entice me. Why? Because advice for children is not one-size-fits-all. What my child needs to curb a certain behavior may not work for your child and vice-versa. The fact that a lot of these posts insinuate you are a bad parent if you AREN’T practicing their latest finding is downright maddening.

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There is pressure for our kids to be the best soccer player, the smartest student in school, the highest jumper, the most advanced in technology and the healthiest of eaters. I miss the days when it was okay for kids to try out a sport and see if they liked it before signing their summer away to be on the team. There is pressure from every angle, even from ourselves, to raise a kid that will overachieve as opposed to just succeed in this world.

Just don’t read the articles!

If only it were easy NOT to notice the articles.  However, because these articles pop up on Facebook, Pinterest, or as a header on a website you are shopping on, it is difficult to ignore the taunts. “What IF I’m doing something wrong?” If you suffer from anxiety or depression these articles can deepen your feelings of inadequacy and make you question everything you are doing or not doing for your child. The internet can be a great tool, a way to connect people with the latest information, but it can also be a dangerous web luring you in to “keep up with the Jones’s.” I think it is okay if you want to post what has worked for your child, but it would be great if you didn’t claim this to be the fix of all fixes and look down your nose to people who don’t share your ideals. I’m grateful that you had the luck to find that magic ticket in your family’s life, I might just try it on my child as well. But if it doesn’t work, or if I find that it isn’t in his best interest, then I will file your idea in my “things that didn’t work” file and move on. Don’t judge, don’t talk behind my back, don’t push your convictions on my family and give people a break for choosing their own path.

toddler

I do my best each day to try to be secure in who I am, what I’m doing and embracing the love and comfort of my family. If the internet is going to keep throwing out pop-up shaming and unsolicited advice, what I may have to re-think is the amount of time I spend on social media.

What you say matters

When we, as common people, go online to vent about our day or complain about a person, that information goes out into the world and then has the ability to influence other people.  But, what we also have to remember is that it matters what is said and how it’s put out there.  Because, the possibility that whatever you post, tweet or blog about may become a part of your ‘permenant record’ on the web could have consequences.

According to this article, with this type of communication you become the publisher.  And, as such, are bound by the same laws as the big media outlets.  In my mind, I am such a small person and have such a small presence on the web.  But, you just never know.

Back in the old days, somebody could rant and rave and complain for days and not have any impact.  They would be sitting in their rocking chair at home, yelling at the television about how that show was awful or that commercial was stupid.  If they were more ambitious, they could write a letter or make a phone call and have their voice heard that way.

Now, if we get upset by something, we go online.  We post mean words to somebody’s Facebook page.  We complain to a company website about their product or advertising.  Granted, we still may yell at the television, but maybe now, we’re on Skype and that yelling could be posted on YouTube before the rant is even complete.

As a publisher, we do have the option to remove the posts from wherever the rant occurred or apologize.  But, of course, there is always the chance that someone else happened upon what you said and decided to share it with the world.  It is now, potentially, in a permanent place in the world of social media.