Grandparents can learn a lot about what parents need by following helpful social media accounts aimed at parents.
Don’t you hate it when your social media feed is full of ads that make it seems like they are listening to your conversations, or even your thoughts? They claim they aren’t listening, but it’s hard to believe when you are near someone talking about their ski trip and the next time you open Facebook there is an ad for Park City.
I do know that much of it depends on the accounts you follow. I’m constantly getting targeted on Instagram with ads aimed at parents, even though my days of needing breast pumps are long gone. It’s understandable though, because I follow more than a few accounts that are aimed at parents.
I think you should, too.
It’s incredibly helpful to see what parents are being bombarded with. By following accounts that are aimed at parents, we can keep up with what they are seeing. This means that instead of having to ask why they are doing something different from the way we did it, we can just step in with support if needed.
What are the newest gadgets, both useful and absurd? What’s the latest research on screen time or fluoride or the power of nature? What are the emerging theories on feeding/sleeping/playing? Why are car seat recommendations so different now than they were 5, 10, 20 years ago?
No matter which social media platform you spend time on, there are great parent-focused accounts to follow. I like Instagram, because it’s easier to see what I want to see and avoid what I don't. Here are some of the Instagram accounts I find incredibly useful:
For all things safety related, @safebeginnings is a gold mine of information. @safeintheseat is the best for information about car seat safety.
@pedsdoctalk shares valuable content about pediatric health and more.
The content @growing.intuitive.eaters shares about helping children have a healthy relationship with food is entertaining and educational.
@likeasistersupport keeps me in the loop about the needs of new parents with research-based information on feeding and more, and @resttoyournest has taught me a lot about current sleep theories.
I’ve learned so much about new ways of parenting from @toryhalpin, and you will, too!
If your grandchildren are neurodivergent or just high-spirited, follow one or all of these: @maryvangeffen, @copingskillsforkids and @benjamin.mizrahi.
To learn more about the struggles parents are facing with burnout and more, follow @runtellmom and @feminist.mom.therapist.
Following a wide range of informational accounts will enable you to be more supportive of parents. Just remember, you are trying to understand parents better, not educate them with what you learn. Depending on your relationship, you may be able to share an account or post without causing offense. Here are some ways to approach it if you want to share a post.
When sharing an account, you can first see if parents are already following it. If they aren’t, you can say something like: “I stumbled across this account and it seems to have really great information. Thought I’d share!”
Be wary of misinformation, which is abundant on social media. Before sharing something from a source you haven’t checked out completely, do a little research. When I see something I’m unfamiliar with, like a claim that high fructose corn syrup is banned in other countries, I always try to learn more about it by verifying it with independent sources. (Turns out it’s not, it’s just labeled differently—thanks, @foodsciencebabe.)
Finally, make sure that you aren’t sharing things too often. Save it for when there is something really worthwhile, and use the opportunity to open up a conversation.
Are you more of a Facebook or TikTok user? Let me know in the comments and I’ll suggest accounts on those platforms for you to follow!