P&G Survey Reveals Parenting ‘Tougher’ Due to Social Media

Are you following your children on Twitter? Have your kids accepted your friend request on Facebook? What are the kids recording on Vine or how are they posing in photos on Instagram? Parents today–73 percent–believe they have a “tougher job parenting than their mothers/fathers due to advances in technology and social media,” according to a P&G survey of 1,000 moms and 1,000 dads.

“When you’re 40 or older, you’re the visitors,” panel member and mother of four Angela Bergeson says of the social media world during the P&G “Thank You, Mom” parenting panel discussion. “The younger generation, they are the natives.”

From left: Moderator Dana Points, editor-in-chief of "Parents" and "American Baby" (left) with the P&G "Thank You, Mom" panelists: Angela Bergeson, head of school at IDEAL School of Manhattan; Lucia Ballas-Traynor, fo-counder and executive vice president of MamasLatinas; Mary Lou Retton, Olympic gold medalist; Andrew Shue, co-founder of CafeMom and actor; and Kerry Hincka, mom of four, including Special Olympics athletes Molly and Charlotte Hincka

From left: Moderator Dana Points, editor-in-chief of “Parents” and “American Baby” with the P&G “Thank You, Mom” panelists: Angela Bergeson, head of school at IDEAL School of Manhattan; Lucia Ballas-Traynor, fo-counder and executive vice president of MamasLatinas; Mary Lou Retton, Olympic gold medalist; Andrew Shue, co-founder of CafeMom and actor; and Kerry Hincka, mom of four, including Special Olympics athletes Molly and Charlotte Hincka

As the head of school at IDEAL School of Manhattan, an inclusion school for students in grades K-8, Bergeson implements the school’s responsible user policy with her own school-aged and teenager children to teach them about respect when it comes to the digital world. The responsible user policy, which aims to teach children how to be a global digital citizen, includes examples of what respecting yourself and others looks like on the Internet and it also shows instances of how to protect yourself and others online.

What worries panel member Andrew Shue, father of three and a stepfather of two, is how social media will affect his children’s behavior and curiosity.

“Kids are snarky kids because of the media around them,” says Shue, co-founder of CafeMom and actor, adding that the level of respect for adults is not always there “because of the way [kids] feel powerful because of social media.”

Though the P&G survey found that only 25 percent of parents have installed software to monitor their child online, 9 out of 10 parents agree that a child’s online habits must be monitored.

Panelists Mary Lou Retton, Olympic gold medalist and mom of four, and Lucia Ballas-Traynor, co-founder and executive vice president of MamasLatinas.com and mom of two, keep an eye on their own children by following them on various social media channels, from Twitter to Facebook.

“My challenge is not monitoring because I’m comfortable with social media,” says Ballas-Traynor, who uses social media in her day job and is up-to-date with all the new apps, adding that she recently downloaded Vine, an app that allows users to share 6-second videos. “It’s how I speak to my kids about their ‘personal brand’ on social media and what’s acceptable.”

Mother of a 17-year-old, Ballas-Traynor explained to her daughter the importance of being cognizant of what shes posts on her Facebook page by using marketing and branding as prime examples, topics that interest her daughter.

“She’s a teenager, she’s going out to parties, she’s in bikinis, a typical teenager,” Ballas-Traynor says. “What I struggled with….[was that] she was only giving a very one-dimensional image impression are you giving girls who might be your roommates in college?’ So I talked to her about her ‘personal brand.’ You’re not talking about your AP classes, the book you just read. It’s how you’re using social media to tell the world about yourself.”

To celebrate moms this May, P&G is honoring Maria Shriver and her mother, Eunice Shriver, with a video tribute, and will donate $1 to the Special Olympics, up to $50,000 total, for every SHARE the video receives on the P&G Thank you, Mom Facebook page.

 

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