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Are You Sharing Too Much About Your Kids Online?

mother working from home
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sharenting: What is it and are you guilty of doing it? According to a recent survey from the University of Michigan, the answer is most likely yes. Many parents are turning to online sources to discuss their children in great detail with information ranging from medical history to personal photos online, aka "sharenting."

It's mainly young parents that are using online forums, Facebook pages and blogs to converse about their children, gathering others' opinions and advice. Moms are the biggest culprits at 84 percent, with dads close behind at 70 percent. Popular topics include nutrition tips, discipline and behavioral problems, with 72 percent of parents reporting that using online resources and social media makes them feel less alone. Around 62 percent also say that it helps them to worry less about their children.

While many parents feel that sharenting can be positive and helpful, there are those who are concerned about the lasting implications of creating an online identity for their child at an early age without their consent or knowledge. Reportedly, 68 percent are concerned about their child's privacy, including their photos being taken and shared without permission. In today's digital age, nothing is truly private online: 74 percent of parents who use social media know of another parent who overshared about their child online.

The problem then becomes, how much is too much? While one parent may think that discussing their child's bowel movements is perfectly acceptable, another could think that is way too much information. It's a fine line between what's appropriate and what's embarrassing—52 percent of parents are worried that their child will be embarrassed by what was shared about them when they are older.

People are supposed to be responsible for their own online presence—but how can they be, if parents take that control out of their hands at an early age?

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