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The pressure to be a Super Parent seems to be more prevalent than ever, especially due to the presence of social media in modern parenting. 83% of parents use social media, with more than half checking it several times per day, according to a Pew Research Center study. When you’ve been dealing with your child’s behavioral issues, seeing your timeline filled with photos of others enjoying fun activities for families can make you doubt your parenting. Social media can make you second-guess your parenting for a variety of reasons, but there are ways to use it without triggering anxiety:
Focus on Positive Content
Social media can unfortunately be prone to negativity, and comments can leave you dealing with feeling judged as a parent. Make it a point to avoid interacting with people or reading posts that contribute to your anxiety and make you moody and on edge with your children. Instead, when you do partake in social media, focus your time on positive content and enjoyable socializing.
Remind yourself that what you see on social media is heavily curated. So when you’re feeling anxious about your child reaching milestones, for example, don’t compare them to a social media friend’s posts about their similarly aged child. Remember: all children are different and social media posts don’t provide true context. If you have concerns about your child’s development, discuss them with your pediatrician.
Do Your Own Research
Another reason social media can make parenting anxiety worse is because there is so much conflicting information posted that it can make you question yourself and even find new things to worry about. Rather than relying on social media for helpful information for parents \, conduct your own online research with trusted resources or consult a physician before you jump to conclusions.
Find Alternative Options for Stress Relief
Even if your child is normal and healthy according to their pediatrician, your anxiety itself may be what negatively impacts your child. You’re more prone to becoming frustrated or not spend quality time with them because you’re stressed. Self-care is crucial, so limit social media if it’s a contributing factor to your anxiety, and look into effective ways for parents to handle stress to incorporate into your daily routine.
Parenting methods are a deeply personal issue, and obviously no one wants to feel like they’re failing their children, so the stakes are high. However, putting unnecessary pressure on yourself can cause stress and make you act against your own goals. Utilizing social media mindfully can help you reap the positive benefits and keep your parenting anxiety controlled.