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What Will Your Kids Think – Divorce and Social Media | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

What Will Your Kids Think – Divorce and Social Media

“I feel so sorry for “X,” my son commented a couple of years ago. “Every time she got sick this year, her mom complained about it on Facebook and complained about what a pain it is. “X” must think her mom hates her when she’s sick.”

I immediately had a jaw-dropping moment. For years, I had taught teens to think “What would adults think” of what they post on Facebook.

Turnaround is true too. When teens start Facebook at age 13, if they friend adults, they see what we think. So we must also be mindful of “What would kids think.”

We lead by example. Facebook is no more the place to hang our family’s dirty linens than a clothesline is. Before we hang clothes on the line, we wash them. ┬áNot every stained cloth, and not every family secret needs to be hung on the social media line to air dry before the masses.

This is doubly true when families are broken or torn apart. Growing up in a single parent home and working through a marriage breakup is hard enough on kids when it’s done in private. I’m thankful I got to work through MY parents’ breakup during the 1970’s before the Internet was invented.

Whenever kids I know have to work their way through a breakup, it saddens me. But it doubly breaks my heart when their parents take the breakup to social media and air their grievances in public.

Heartbreak is real. Talk to close friends. Talk to counselors. But please, please, please don’t post it on Facebook for your kids or their friends to see.

Teen years are tough in good circumstances. They are hard enough in bad circumstances. The baggage of a divorce, even one like my parents’ that was desperately needed, hangs with a kid – I know because I live it.

Adults – act like adults and lead by example by choosing not to vent your frustrations in a Facebook status. Your ability to vent online does not give you the right to embarrass your children or hurt them more.

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