Every generation has a different kind of parenting style, with some leaps in history being more extreme than others. The children of Baby Boomers weren’t even supposed to answer the house phone, but today children are taking their own phones to the dinner table. Even further, it’s difficult to imagine the Victorian era when it was taboo to express any kind of feelings and children were considered to be buckets full of evil that needed to be emptied and retrained.
Compare that to the children of today, who give parents insight into their feelings with snapshots of their lives on Facebook; it isn’t just the parenting methods that have changed, but also the tools parents use the most. According to a Facebook IQ study, parents are spending 1.3 times as much time on Facebook through mobile devices than users without children. The fact is that today, mobile devices and social networks are as much a part of parenting as book bags and minivans.
Parents rely heavily on Facebook and mobile not just as a means by which to be a part of the social world, either. Parents today say they have more access to information than their parents ever did, and they are using that information to make decisions about parenting and the home life in general. According to the study, millennial parents rely on their mobile devices to help them make decisions 30 percent more than Baby Boomers.
The study also found that Facebook parenting isn’t just about keeping a keen eye on your teenager’s Facebook page. In fact, it may have more to do with how parents see themselves than how they see their kids, with 38 percent of parents noting that, at some level, the overall happiness of the family relies on their happiness as individuals.
This might suggest that sharing the milestones of children and family vacation photos is just as significant as researching and sharing information on individual hobbies, career goals, and educational goals. In some ways, it may even mean that “winning” one of the parenting war battles can help a parent maintain the happiness of his or her family in general, even if it is nothing more that flipping the caps lock on and declaring your stance on vaccinations.