Do family dinners or get-togethers often turn bitter because of certain family members overstepping your comfort zone through criticism, shaming, or lack of consideration for your feelings? If so, then there is a clear need to create functional boundaries that will make you feel safer, valued, and even protect important family relationships. It’s not an easy thing to do but is a healthy and often necessary practice.
Introspect About Personal Boundaries
Establishing and maintaining boundaries is about self-love, self-care, and ultimately, about protecting relationships. There’s no external source that can tell a person which boundary needs to be put in place. It’s an individual introspective journey that determines whether the goal is to establish a better relationship with a sibling, gain more independence from one’s parents, or even cut ties with someone who’s repeatedly caused you harm, emotionally or otherwise.
Use Visualization Aids
Sometimes, to put our thoughts into focus, it helps to be able to clearly visualize them. This can be done by making a boundary circle on a piece of paper. Within the circle, write down what you need to feel safe, heard, and appreciated. Outside of the circle, place behaviors that you won’t tolerate, such as body shaming, belittling dreams and opinions, revoking personal freedoms, or anything else that applies to your personal experience. It’s important to keep in mind that boundaries can be flexible as they will change along with the person that sets them.
Contemplate the Repercussions
When making a boundary that’s potentially life-changing, such as ceasing to communicate with a person that willfully continues to cross a line, it’s very important to take the time to really consider the repercussions that will follow it. Consider if the cost is worth it and whether or not you truly believe that what you’re doing is the right course of action. It’s important to believe in and be comfortable with your decision.
Sharenting: Why Parent Oversharing on Social Media Might Be Dangerous
Experts dig into the trend known as “sharenting” which is the act of parents oversharing pictures of their kids on social media. While it may sound like something sweet, let’s take a look at how it may be dangerous and why people do it in the first place.
Why Do Parents Share?
Statistics show that more than ¾ of parents nowadays share photos of their children on social media. While some may be curating the perfect image, having the desire to show their children (and family life in general) in perfect light, some couples show the struggle of being a parent.
Social media is taking a turn and while there are still middle-class people who try to present their lifestyle as roses and flowers, many people take the opportunity to share the opposite. As we’re speaking of parents, the infamous #parentlife hashtag has grown into a movement that shows the not-so-glamorous side of being a parent. This is exactly why this movement is successful as people see an opportunity to relate to their everyday parenting issues with everyday normal people.
The Issues of Social Media & Parenting
Connecting with like-minded people has never been easier with the power of social media. However, though sharenting helps parents communicate and bond with their similar problems, there are also safety issues that no one seems to be considering before they hit that “share” button.
A child’s digital footprint begins the day they are born as parents want to introduce their child to their circle of social media friends. Often, such photos include the kid’s full name and birthday but parents rarely think about the chances of their children’s identity being stolen. However, statistics show that about 14% of parents report their children to have their identities stolen.
Other Risks of Sharenting
Not only does sharenting expose children to predators, but nearly 60% of teens have also been a victim of cyberbullying. Oversharing teenagers is a whole other topic but when anyone can trace down a person to their first photos of a human being (we’re talking about a random picture of a child, sleeping in the car with their mouth open), they can put that kid at risk of bullying later on.
So, here’s some advice for new parents: it shouldn’t be an issue to share a photo of a newborn, but just be careful with the information provided and think about the long-term consequences of such photos being exposed to anyone on the World Wide Web.