By Donna de Levante Raphael
Pride Parenting Columnist
After you become a parent, it seems your Facebook personality can grow a new life as well. All of a sudden, you’re faced with an unbeatable way to share pictures of your little one, join the cause of boycotting those unsafe sippy cups, and check out who else is up at the ungodly hours you’re now intimately familiar with. And that’s all fine and good. But certain common behaviors among new parents can spell trouble. Are you guilty of any?
Paging Dr. Facebook:
It’s one thing to ask if anyone in your friend circle has experience dealing with croup, or to survey some opinions on which vitamin brands go down best. It’s quite another to treat your friend list like it’s the Canadian Paediatric Society. (Unless, of course, your friend list actually is the Canadian Paediatric Society). Let’s repeat: Facebook doesn’t wear a white lab coat. Quite simply, if your baby has symptoms you’re concerned about, refer to a physician, not a wall post.
Investing In Embarrassment:
Yes, we all swore that we’d never be that parent: the one giving details of their child’s every diaper, the one broadcasting every adorable-but-inappropriate thing their kiddo says. But on Facebook, these moms and dads are a dime a dozen – and worst of all, their kids don’t have a say, or recourse. Before you post that picture proving how far little Addison puked, or detail the embarrassing mistake your four-year-old made with his underwear, think of those children ten years from now. Think also that life is generally easier if they don’t hate you.
Forgetting Privacy Settings:
The numbers are shocking: a huge amount of people refuse to take advantage of the privacy settings that can keep their coworkers, strangers – or let’s face it, their strange coworkers – from ogling all aspects of their Facebook lives. But when your kids are involved, there’s no excuse to forego privacy. It’s not just you anymore. And what’s a more important part of parenthood than trying your best to keep your children safe?
All Baby, All The Time:
You might feel connected to other parents in a way that you’ve never felt before, and you might even feel a new purpose in parenthood that seems to suit you better than anything in the world. And perhaps you even like looking at pictures of your child more than pictures of yourself (you still haven’t figured out that bangs situation.) But holding on to your non-parent friends is important, too, for your own sanity. If you don’t ever post anything that makes people remember you’re a person aside from your child, you’re not doing much to keep that connection going. And isn’t keeping connections, the whole purpose of Facebook?
Donna de Levante Raphael is a former writer and publisher of the parenting magazine I-Parent, and women’s magazine Cayman Woman. She’s currently working on editing a new parenting media site and releasing a parenting book. To contact Donna de Levante Raphael: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more parenting information visit Village Parent Facebook page. “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/VillageParent.