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What is the best way to get closer with your kids? Spend more time together, discuss various topics, be honest with one another? Maybe, but a new study has a better suggestion – social network websites. According to a recent research conducted by the Brigham Young University and published by online journal Cyberphychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, social networks can strengthen the parent-child bond.
The study bears the curious name A Friend Request from Dear Dad: Association Between Parent-Child Social Networking and Adolescent Outcomes. It was based on responses provided from about 500 families. What it discovered was that social friendships can have a positive effect on both the parents and the kids.
The research claims that children who have added their parents as friends on the social networks they use, are, generally, much closer with them and enjoy a mutual understanding. In addition, these children were found to be more “pro-social.” Simply said, they are often more helpful, kind and generous to people.
According to the study, about 50% of the kids have added their parents to their online social circles. Every fifth of them connects with his or her parents on a daily basis. Namely this group exhibited the strongest relationship with their mums and dads.
Parents also reported that social network websites make them feel closer with their kids. Researchers behind the study believe that this is due to the fact that social networks can give them a deeper insight into their children’s lives. For instance, they become more aware of their present mood, as well as the things they like, the people they connect to and how they communicate with them.
The study has even reached to the conclusion that social networks can even strengthen the bond between parents and children. Scholars from the Brigham Young University explain that this is because social networking increases the interactions between the two sides. For instance, both parents and children can show each other support and interest by commenting, liking or sharing a post.
Most parents will now probably get inspired to create a whole collection of social network accounts. However, researchers state that social networks is will not necessarily make your bond with your kids stronger. The study refers to online social platforms as mere tools for communication, which parents and kids can use to connect with each other.
The research warns parents that this tool should be used in moderation. Commenting or liking every post of your kids is a mistake you should not make. In addition, mums and dads should avoid posting embarrassing pictures of their kids or making embarrassing comments on their publications. Instead, they should try to stick to a more public-appropriate tone of communication, advice the scholars.