Members in the Media
From: The New York Times

Stop Posting Your Child’s Tantrum on Instagram

What should a parent do when a 2-year-old shrieks inconsolably because her string cheese wrapper tore “the wrong way”? Increasingly, the answer is “snap a photo, add a snarky caption and upload it to Instagram.”

Publicly laughing at your toddler’s distress has somehow become not only acceptable but encouraged. Websites offer “best of”compilations, or canned quips readers can use when posting tantrum photos and videos (“Metallica has a new lead singer”).

As psychologists and parents ourselves, we understand the urge to laugh when a child howls because he’s forbidden to eat the packing peanuts from the Amazon box, and we also understand the impulse to make these moments public. The problem is the mockery.

Naturally, joking serves a purpose — it provides psychological distance from negative feelings like shame or anxiety. A study of 105 wheelchair-bound college students found that humor, especially concerning bladder and bowel problems, was a key method of coping with distress. As one respondent said, “We have to laugh at ourselves to make life easier.”

Read the whole story (subscription may be required): The New York Times

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I went to The New York Times and read the whole article. I don’t know if I agree with the author at the end of the article when sharing jokes about your child with family members is encouraged. I still recall very vividly when I was a child, my mom used to tell my uncles and aunts embarrassing stories about me. At the time I felt very enraged but also helpless at the same time. My uncles and aunts can be close family members to my mom because they grew up together and have known each other for decades, but for a child whose entire time in this world is less than a decade, uncles and aunts can feel quite distant. I’m sure they love me very much, but at the time I didn’t feel comfortable with my mom sharing those stories without my consent. I felt as if I was made into a big joke to spark laughter among my family members at the cost of my dignity. But I guess a child deserves no dignity since a child is lesser of a person than an adult. How sad.

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