Kids (4-12)

5 Ways Moms Over-Share Information

I knew I was busted when my wise-cracking 8-year-old said something funny, and when I laughed, she immediately turned serious and said, “Mom, please don’t put that on Facebook.” She went on to tell me that when my grown-up friends read her quips in my status and mentioned them to her, she felt embarrassed. I was guilty of over sharing information about my private life.

We know you like to talk, and we know that sometimes you need to vent or share a laugh with your girlfriends. But your family also has a right to expect some privacy, so there are lines you just shouldn’t cross. Check out these five types of over-sharing and see if you’re guilty of airing out your family’s dirty laundry too much.

1. The “Posts Everything to Facebook” Mom

Facebook is great for staying connected to friends and family. But just because you can share everything about your day at the speed of light online doesn’t mean you should. Before you share that funny thing your child said, ask permission. Sure, it may sound like overkill, but better safe than sorry. Ditto for photos.

2. The “Too Much Information” Mom

You talk about everything that goes on with your kids—play-by-play of that nasty stomach bug, their stages of puberty, their fears and failings—to just about anyone who will listen. Not only does it violate your child’s need for a safe confidante, it probably wears out your listeners as well. Just because you’re living the stage of life where dirty diapers are the rule doesn’t mean that all of your acquaintances want to live it—in excruciating detail—with you. A little discretion can protect your family and relieve your acquaintances, too.

3. The “Boasting” Mom

If your kid scores a goal in the soccer game or gets an A on a chemistry test, you find ways to make sure everyone knows. Social media has been a great enabler of this type of mom (see #1). And while you’ve probably convinced yourself that this is just what positive, supportive parents do, you may be embarrassing your child and making other parents want to run when they see you coming. Tell your child when you’re proud of his achievements—not the world. Leave it to others like the teacher or the coach to celebrate your child publicly. That way, he still gets a moment in the sun, and you’re saved from looking completely obnoxious.

4. The “Girls’ Night Out” Mom

You see time with your girlfriends as a license to dump out all the goings-on in your home so that you can compare notes and commiserate. And while some sharing among girlfriends can be helpful and not hurtful, be careful. There are some things that you shouldn’t share at all, and some things that aren’t appropriate to share with a group. If you need advice about a sticky parenting or marriage issue, choose one trusted, wise friend to talk with in confidence.

5. The “Too-Much, Too-Soon” Mom

Sometimes, your over-sharing is within the home. You know that it’s your responsibility to teach your children about the birds and the bees, and you’re prepared to hurry so that the world doesn’t beat you to the punch. But slow down. Your kid likely wants to enjoy the ignorant bliss of childhood for a time, and may not be ready for all the (potentially horrifying) information about what mom and dad do when they’re alone. Instead, concentrate on filtering the messages about sex that your child is exposed to through the media and other sources so that they don’t need information so soon. When your child does want to know “how things work,” take it slow, and give them just enough info to meet their need, and not so much that you freak them out.

Related Resource: Technology: 5 Ways to be a Good Onlin Example

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