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Why social media clauses are needed for parenting plans

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Child Custody |

Parenting plans not only establish each parent’s rights and obligations to their children, they’re also handy tools when it comes to protecting the children they concern.

For example, a parenting plan can address things like what medical care a child can receive, what religious instruction they will have, what extracurriculars they can participate in and much more – all of which contribute to a healthy, happy upbringing.

Today, however, you’d be remiss if you didn’t address the way your child’s life and image can be used on social media and establish some legally binding ground rules.

Social media babies are growing up, and they’re talking about how toxic it can be

Some young adults weren’t even alive when Facebook was first created – let alone any of the other major social media platforms currently in popular use. In a very real way, they grew up “on social media” through their parents’ posts about them – and many of them are deeply unhappy about it.

The problem is not that their parents posted occasional birthday party photos or Kindergarten graduation announcements but that their parents shared – and overshared – intimate details of their lives with the entire world. For example, one young woman mentioned that she (and everybody else) can easily look up the date that she got her first menstrual period because her mother wrote about it online. 

Other parents do even worse things, especially if they try to monetize their young children as “influencers,” by sharing constant updates, videos and photos of their children where they will gain followers and “likes” that can be parlayed into contracts with paying sponsors.

Many of these young adults feel that the situation was toxic, and report being bullied by their peers as a result. Others became introverted and stopped sharing anything with the adults in their lives to protect themselves.

While it can be difficult to hammer out a fair agreement regarding social media and your children, it’s important to try. Legal guidance can help you come to a consensus with your co-parent about what should and shouldn’t be shared online when it comes to the kids.