No matter if they were looking for books or advice from their elders, parents have always been trying to find out more about parenting in a bid to be the very best they can be. In fact, even today, 71% of millennials still value and ask for insights and advice. However, they’re relying on search engines, blogs, websites, social networks and forums rather than their parents and grandparents.
What’s especially interesting about that sort of behaviour is that it happens on a regular basis. More than a third of mums and half of dads are regularly using social media to become better at their “jobs”. Moreover, 90% of them say that online sources seem to be doing wonders for them, their lives and people around them.
So let’s find out how millennials use social media to become better parents.
Support and insights
More often than not, millennial parents rely on social media for insights, as well as support from other parents. Their peers are the ones with valuable pieces of advice, so it’s logical that they are trying to better their parenting skills by regularly asking questions or searching for information.
The topics are plentiful – from how to handle temper tantrums and potty training to teen driving and math problems. In essence, these parents are looking for practical advice, and they’re getting some. Parenting forums are all the rage right now, and they’re a place where parents can share their insights and ask for help. They can do it anonymously, or they can choose to share everything with strangers and family members. Either way, the emotional support they’re getting is helping them cope with parenting struggles. Furthermore, they can also get validation from their peers, which is valuable to any parent out there.
Expert advice online
Back in the day, parenting experts relied on books to reach their audience. Moreover, they usually appeared on talk shows and shared their advice for struggling parents. However, since technology has advanced significantly in the meantime, they have now turned to digital platforms and have a high trust in user generated content.
Most millennial parents are watching videos about 2.5 times more frequently than regular TV. Therefore, it’s safe to say that they’re getting most of their information from platforms like YouTube. Furthermore, they’re reading blogs and searching for advice on other social networks. Luckily, the experts have realised that in time and they’re ready to share what they know with millennials. So, there is still a way for young parents to learn how to travel with their kids, how to address some medical issues, how to boost their creativity, etc.
And, in fact, now it’s way easier for them to get the information they need. They only need to click a few times, and a blog or a video will appear before their eyes. What’s more, these blogs and videos are not made just by their peers. Medical experts, dentists, paediatricians and even schools are omnipresent nowadays, so it’s quite easy to find their advice online as well. Thus, millennial parents don’t have to do what their parents had to. They don’t have to wait for PTA meetings to ask something about their child. They don’t have to book an appointment at the doctor’s office and hope for the best. Now, they can find out everything online.
Help for everyone
What’s great about everything now being online is the fact that parenting help is accessible to everyone. Therefore, every family from every corner of the world can access all this information whenever they want. They don’t have to wait for appointments or ask social services about some pressing parenting issues. Instead, they can search for answers online. What’s more, by using the Internet like this, they can even get the support they need and create social connections.
Experts are also doing everything they can to make this sort of help accessible. In fact, agencies like Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are even encouraging professionals to use social media to reach those millennial parents who are struggling. That way, everyone can solve issues without having to compromise their daily routines and spend a lot of money. In essence, social media is indispensable now, as it serves as a valuable source of information about everything we need to know about parenting.
Connecting with other millennial parents
There are neighbourhood and parenting groups that allow parents to connect and share advice and experiences. There, they can interact and solve issues together, not to mention build relationships.
Furthermore, schools have also jumped on the bandwagon – they’re using social media to connect with mothers and fathers of their pupils. That way, they are making sure no one is left in the dark about pressing issues. Moreover, these sorts of groups also serve as a great place to plan special events, such as birthday parties. In fact, some millennials are even using these groups to plan play dates for their children.
But there can be problems as well
As with everything in life, using social media to boost your parenting skills can have a downside as well. For example, there is a great deal of advice available. However, no one is sure if each piece of advice is valid or not. Thus, some parents have used or even shared information that is inherently bad.
Of course, there are also privacy issues as well. In the past, whenever a parent would struggle with a misbehaving or an ill child, only the family would know something about it. However, nowadays, everything is shared online, and it’s permanently there, no matter if they delete a post or not. What’s more, each post can go viral and embarrass millennial parents, which can translate into other problems.
Therefore, when using social media as a tool for boosting parenting skills, parents need to consider their privacy. Furthermore, they should rely on it for emotional support and advice, as well as social connections. They can also use it to get expert advice on specific issues and common parenting problems.
However, they ought to know that there can be consequences that might follow their children into adulthood. Before sharing private information, parents need to consider whether those stories should end up online. Ultimately, they need to be careful and take each piece of advice and information with a grain of salt.
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