Social media is full of adults who are parents of young children also on social media. The older generation has been introduced to social media quite late in their lives and the norms have not yet been laid out as to what is acceptable to be put out on these public platforms.
Everyone and their dog are on social media. No, I am not joking about the dog — love has no boundaries in the cyber world.
But what worries me is not who is on social media, instead what they are putting out there for posterity, not realising the permanence of internet. Human memory can fade but the internet holds every shared thought within its folds. If parents do not realise the ramifications of this, how can they expect their children to understand the idea of cyber foot print?
Many parents have become members of social media before their children and then there are some who are trolling their children. Whichever category you may belong to, one question you need to ask yourself before posting anything is how will it look twenty years down the line when your child or grandchild or great grandchild is looking you up on the family tree? Will they see your post and wish you had fallen off the tree like a rotten apple?
I am surprised by our generation’s desperation to be “with it” that it has lost its ability to fathom long term implications of pouting lips, gyrating hips and glasses held up in photographs, especially when they are “friends” with their impressionable kids on the same page. I am truly shocked how cultural values are dropped for farcical celebrity status.
Parents want children coached for various reasons ranging from lack of focus to communication within the family. Many lament their child lacks motivation to excel, rebels and spends too much time browsing on his or her phone or laptop. But they do not realise what role models they are for their child. Why is it a shock when their young daughter is caught posing inappropriately or their son thinks it is cool to hold a cigarette for a photo on snapchat? Look no further than your own social media posts, parents.
If you want your children to be responsible young adults, then you need to play the role of a more responsible parent and adult in their life. You need to teach them to value person relationships and build laurels on real deeds in the real world.
This is an interactive column on parenting skills and child behaviour. If you have a query, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
— Sunaina Vohra is a certified Youth and Family Life Coach at Athena Life Coaching in Dubai. For more information log on to athenalifecoaching.com or call 056-1399033.