Parenting blogs are a huge deal in the parenting community. It seems like there are blogs for every type of parenting perspective. The intent of these blogs was to help parents form a community and lean on each other. As we all figure out this crazy parenting process and try to navigate the complicated waters of raising a human being. But, that’s not really what happened. Parenting blogs and social media groups have turned into a huge source of online bullying. And the drama is very real.
There have been many cases of parents getting threatened, or having the police or social services called on them. Or having strangers approach them in real life because of the comments they made on a blogger’s site or in a social media group. Are parenting blogs fulfilling their original purpose of providing information? Or have they just become a toxic mess of fame-seeking and judgment? This is just as important as dealing with your child not answering your text messages.
After spending a decade following parent blogs and social media groups, I think both statements are true. When you’re a new parent and have no guidance, finding a parenting blog is helpful. Especially when written by someone going through the same issues you are going through. It lets you know that you’re not alone when you panic and think that the responsibility of raising a human being is beyond your capability. It gives you inspiration and information that you can use to be a better parent. You may want to use an iphone spy app, but just don’t click on that blog.
This can increase the anxiety that parents feel about whether or not they are not parenting “right”. There’s also a lot of exclusion and cliquishness in parenting social media groups. Log into a Facebook group with a question and you’ll probably end up getting judged. Or called a bad parent, and get answers from 40 other parents who are trying to one-up you. What started as a desire for parents to connect and uplift each other has turned into a giant virtual schoolyard complete with bullies.
Look For Positivity
But just like anything else on social media, there are pockets of support, inspiration and sound advice. The trick is to know the signs of a toxic social media environment. And avoid groups that seem to be more focused on bullying than on providing information. The same advice goes for parenting blogs. It’s pretty obvious which ones are genuinely trying to be helpful and which ones are more about making money or getting attention.
As a general rule of thumb, you should take a few minutes to look around anytime you join a parenting group. Look on social media and see how the group responds to questions. If the responses are short, judgmental or just plain mean leave that group and find another one. It might take some time to find a good parenting blog or social media group but once you find one you will get a lot of help and support. If you enjoyed this, check my last post about is technology changing education?