Today, it's harder to find someone who doesn't have a social media presence than to find someone who does. For co-parents, the ubiquity of social media can be a double-edged sword—it can help you communicate with your partner and child(ren), but it can also be a burden.
Understanding how to leverage social media in your parenting plan can make your life easier and facilitate a better relationship with your family members, which is precisely what we're looking at in today's blog.
Why Should Social Media Play into My Parenting Plan?
According to surveys, around 90% of children aged 13-17 have used social media, and around 51% do so daily. Adults also use social media consistently—data shows that in 2018, 72% of US adults used at least one social media platform regularly.
That means for most people in the US, social media is a part of everyday life.
Increasingly, co-parents need to be aware of social media and its effects on both the parent-child dynamic and the co-parenting relationship. Taking the right precautions when it comes to social media and your co-parenting dynamic can help you communicate more easily with your co-parent and enable you to have a better relationship with your child.
How Can I Incorporate Social Media into My Parenting Plan?
You should discuss the following aspects of social media with your co-parent and reach an agreement with them that you can implement into your parenting plan:
- Which social media platforms can your child use? Different platforms are appropriate for child(ren) of different ages. Do some research on your own and with your child to understand what social media resources they should have access to.
- How much time can your child spend on social media? You and your co-parent should set the same boundaries for how much time your child can spend on social media so that you don't end up in a "good cop, bad cop" situation where your child has a different experience at each parent's house.
- How will you handle social media regarding your children? For example, can you both make Facebook posts with your children in them? If so, what are the boundaries? Having these sorts of conversations can be uncomfortable, but it's necessary to make sure no boundaries are crossed.
- How will you and your co-parent handle social media regarding each other? For example, can you make posts about each other? Can you communicate with one another using social media? If so, what are the guidelines? Is there a curfew for when you can communicate with one another? Answering these questions can help you have a more amicable co-parenting relationship.
- How will you adjust guidelines over time? As your child changes and your relationship with your co-parent evolves, you'll want to change how you handle social media.
At Arnold Law Group, APC, we'll work with you to weave social media into your co-parenting plan effectively.To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (559) 900-1263.