App Time for Nap Time: The Parennials Are Here

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Eighty-two percent of children born each year are born to millennial mothers. That’s five out of every six babies. And their parents — let’s call them “parennials” — are challenging all sorts of commonly held beliefs about the American family.

Let’s examine their innovations one at a time.

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Where Are All the Nannies on Instagram?

 

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But there is one thing Ms. Dekel, 36, filters out of her Instagram feed: photos of the part-time nanny who cares for her children.

“Posting your nanny is like posting your address or your kids’ school,” she said. “It’s too much information.”

Nannies are often lauded as indispensable to keeping modern families afloat, but even as the rise of Instagram Stories — the 15-second blips that self-destruct after 24 hours — encourages peak parental overshare (793,000 followers of Eva Chen, Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships, know she packed a whale-shaped sandwich for her daughter, Ren, this week), nannies are hardly ever included in the picture. Some appear only as floating hands, popping a blueberry into a toddler’s mouth.

“They’re the forgotten faces,” said Tammy Gold, a family therapist and author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer: A Practical Guide for Finding and Achieving the Gold Standard of Care for Your Child” (Perigee, 2015). “Nobody puts it out there.”

Does your kid have a ‘finsta’ account? Why it’s a big deal

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“On my finsta, it’s the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s a more multifaceted version of me,” said 17-year-old Esther Choi in an interview with Mic.

According to Brooke Erin Duffy, an assistant professor of communication at Cornell University, the main reason some of her students have a “finsta” account is fear of monitoring from employers.

“Such acts of digital self-surveillance make sense against the backdrop of widespread media coverage of social media gaffes,” wrote Duffy in a piece on Quartz. “We often hear about employees losing their jobs after publishing a distasteful image or a tactless tweet.”

A user’s real Instagram might have several thousand followers, but a “finsta” features a much smaller following, consisting mostly of friends and family.

Should parents worry? It’s social media, so any rules surrounding appropriate information to share is always good to remember.

But social media coach Laura Tierney tells Today parents shoudn’t fear the “finsta,” so long as they’re aware of what they post, even if it’s private.

Co-Parenting With Alexa

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By the next morning, Alexa was the first “person” Grace said hello to as she bounded into the kitchen wearing her pink fluffy dressing gown. My preschooler who can’t yet ride a bike or read a book had also quickly mastered that she could buy things with the bot’s help, or at least try to.

…Today, we’re no longer trusting machines just to do something, but to decide what to do and when to do it. The next generation will grow up in an age where it’s normal to be surrounded by autonomous agents, with or without cute names. The Alexas of the world will make a raft of decisions for my kids and others like them as they proceed through life — everything from whether to have mac and cheese or a green bowl for dinner to the perfect gift for a friend’s birthday to what to do to improve their mood or energy and even advice on whom they should date. In time, the question for them won’t be, “Should we trust robots?” but “Do we trust them too much?”

The Love Lives of Digital Natives

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The topic of teenage romance and sex has always been charged, but today’s pervasive digital technology has succeeded in turning up the wattage. Some parents have an easy and open channel with their adolescent around all things amorous while others find the subject painfully awkward and try to avoid it altogether. Regardless of where you and your teenager sit on this spectrum, the digital world puts a new spin on some of the timeless challenges of coming of age. When you’re ready to talk, here are some points to consider.

Curiosity, for better or worse, will be satisfied online…

Dating violence can be digital…

Relationships can become round-the-clock affairs…

Parents’ social media habits are teaching children the wrong lessons

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Many of today’s young teens were born in an era before social media. By the time they entered preschool, most of their parents had Facebook accounts. And many parents — new to social media — excitedly shared their children’s personal and embarrassing stories. I have written in the past about how parents must consider the effect this sharing has on a child’s psychological development. Children model the behavior of their parents, and when parents constantly share personal details about their children’s lives, and then monitor their posts for likes and followers, children take note. While most parents have their children’s best interests at heart when they share personal stories on social media, there is little guidance to help them navigate parenting in the digital age.