#BBCtrending: 'I refuse to be my daughter's diary'

By BBC Trending
What's popular and why

Image caption,
Noelia Lopez-Cheda says she doesn't want to be an over-protective parent

One mother's decision to leave a parents' chat app group becomes a big hit online. Why?

At first, Noelia Lopez-Cheda thought it would be a great idea to join a group of local parents on Whatsapp.

"I thought it was a good idea to be in contact with other parents from my daughter's class and to be updated about activities, news and important events," she told BBC Trending from her home in Spain. "It was a way to save time for some very busy parents who don't go to the school centre."

It soon became a "a sort of monster", though, generating a "a whirlwind of messages" about schoolbooks and homework - even individual test results - which interrupted her evenings and clogged up the memory of her mobile phone.

And then one day, Noelia "saw the light". Her blog about this epiphany has had more than a million views.

Noelia had just got home one evening when her daughter Emma, aged nine at the time, announced she'd forgotten her maths homework and asked her mother to message the Whatsapp group for the exercises.

Noelia immediately dropped her keys, her shopping bags and started rummaging for her phone. And then, she stopped.

"I stared at my mobile and it was then that I thought 'What am I doing? This is over,'" she writes.

Her daughter would, despite her protests, simply have to go to school the next day, empty-handed, and face the consequences of forgetting her homework.

We have become full-time personal assistants for our children, she writes, and that's wrong.

Image caption,
Don't use parent groups to send jokes, Noelia says

"I refuse to be my daughter's school diary through a Whatsapp group, I refuse to be the one doing the homework, I refuse to go back to school and I refuse to be over-protective to the point of taking over her responsibilities," she wrote on Facebook first of all, attracting lots of comments from friends, one of whom encouraged to write a blog about it.

"I wrote [the blog] because I was deeply worried about my daughters not being proactive. It is an issue I see every day with talks I give to companies, where people would rather wait for instructions than use their initiative,"Noelia told BBC Trending.

She called the post "I refuse to be my daughter's diary" and is amazed at how popular her blog post has become.

"In two hours I got between 10,000 and 11,000 views; the second day over 100,000 people had read it and by the end of the weekend it had half a million views," she said.

The post has now been shared more than 35,000 times on Facebook and has gone viral on Whatsapp, as other parents far and wide passed her story to one another.

"I hope this article will make a lot of those parents who do 'everything' for their kids think," one user, 'Tatinati', comments on the blog. "We seem to care much more about academic records," a user named 'MBilbao' says, commenting that they have also deleted their parents group from Whatsapp and that children should learn from their mistakes. And although some people have criticised Noelia for her views, even calling her a "bad mother", she says the reception has been mostly positive:

"It must be a common picture in every house where there are children of school age, and a lot of mothers have identified with me, with what I say. They know over-protection can be an issue I think it has solved some doubts and that's where the success is coming from."

There is a great interest among parents in using social media to benefit a child's education, according to Francesc Núñez, a professor at the Open University of Catalonia in Spain. "Every parent has a Whatsapp group regarding parenting, education or school," he says. "And every parent has a perception of how their kids must be brought up." But he notes that parents should use social media how and as they want to.

Meanwhile, another school in Spain has reportedly banned teachers from communicating directly with parents via the mobile messaging app.

Reporting by Gabriela Torres and Ruth Alexander

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