Children no longer have independence because their parents are able to monitor their activities through social media, a headteacher has claimed.
In a passionate plea to parents to stop their ‘vicarious oversight of their children’s lives’, Wimbledon High School headteacher Jane Lunnon said platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook are making it increasingly difficult for children to flourish as individuals.
Ms Lunnon told the Daily Telegraph she has come across examples of students whose parents are constantly in touch through social media, even when they go away on school trips.
She says this has led to children finding it much harder to break free, which is undermining their development.
“Because of FaceTime, Snapchat, Skype, parents can be if they want to permanently overseeing the lives of their children and it’s problematic,” Ms Lunnon said.
“Suddenly your parents can be virtually alongside you. Where will that end? I can imagine parents sitting virtually on lectures at universities. I imagine entire courses that parents had access to because their kids had on FaceTime.”
Encouraging parents to only check on their children once a week when they are away from home, she explained: “If you block the light of independence from your child, they will not flourish – they will either rebel or become too compliant.”
She added: “Let them go. It doesn’t mean you love them less. We will all flourish better.”