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Tips for social media use and child custody

Parents make decisions on a daily basis that can impact their children. One series of daily yet momentous decisions involves what they share on social media. While websites like Facebook and Instagram can be great ways to keep up with friends and loved ones, you have to think carefully about what you are sharing.

There are several ways that social media can impact a co-parenting relationship. Considering these before you log into these websites is crucial.

Time with your children

You might realize that you are spending a lot of time on social media when you are with your children. If you think that your time on those websites is overshadowing the time you spend with your children, it might be wise to scale it back. The time your kids are with you should be focused on building memories. Of course, you might jump on social media to preserve those memories and share them with others.

Focus on safety

Remember that even if something should be private on social media doesn't mean that it really is. Sharing the location where you currently are with your children may be a safety concern, so think about this before you share things while they are happening. It might be a better idea to hang on to pictures and posts until you get back home to share them.

Think about perception

Before you write out a status or share a picture, think about the way they might be perceived. You should make sure that you aren't putting your children, your co-parent or yourself in a negative light. Your goal should never be to tear down others when you make posts.

Don't fall into the trap

One issue that social media has raised is that you might feel inadequate when you scroll through what other people post. Remember that there isn't such a thing as a perfect parent. As long as you are doing your best, you shouldn't focus on what others are doing.

Set clear rules

One thing that might help in these situations is to set clear rules in the parenting plan for what is allowed on social media. As your children get older, you may need to include a guideline that says they can pick and choose what you are going to share. Even when they are younger, think about whether you'd want certain things posted online about you. For example, sharing that a child is potty trained is usually fine; however, sharing their accidents might be off limits.

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