Oversharing About Your Children Online

Bathtubbaby

I have a personal blog where I enjoy documenting my family’s life. I love keeping track of my pregnancies, my girls’ monthly updates as babies, our family vacations, funny conversations, and little details that don’t matter to anyone else but me. I love looking back on my old blog posts and reflecting on good times. Even reading about our life pre-kids is so fun because it seems like decades ago, and I don’t think I would remember it at all if I had not blogged about it. I love that I have a virtual scrapbook/journal to keep and that my girls can read when they are older {if they are interested, ha!}.

And even though the internet can be a powerful tool for good, it can also be risky. I often consider how my posts might affect my girls when they are older. How much should I share? How do I protect their privacy? Will they be embarrassed by things I write? It is so hard to know where to draw the line. I know everyone has different feelings on this. One of our contributors, Heather, wrote a great article recently about why she does not use her daughter’s name online. While I do use their names online, I try to consider these 3 areas of privacy when writing about my kids.

“Naked” Pictures

If it is a baby who is under 1 year, I have no problems posting diaper-only pictures, or even pictures like the one above. Baby bodies are simply adorable. After about 1, I try not to show any parts that a swimsuit wouldn’t cover. I don’t think a picture of an 18 month old baby running around in a diaper is big deal, but a picture of a 4 year old running around in undies might be embarrassing when they are older. Or maybe not. The point is, I don’t know where “the line” is, so I am just going to draw it early.

Negative Behavior Stories

We all know kids can be crazy. And by crazy, I mean bad. And some of those crazy moments are flat out hilarious and memorable. I am not saying I never write funny stories about my kids’ misbehavior, but overall I try to focus on the positive. I don’t want to include too much about disobedience, rebellion, and bad attitude. Again, this might not be a big deal when they are 2, but as they get older I want to respect their feelings and not share potentially negative or critical things about them.

Getting Too Personal

I was a pretty self-conscience and easily embarrassed kid. I frequently wonder what might embarrass my kids when they are older. I sometimes read about kid’s crushes online. I would definitely be embarrassed if my mom documented any of my crushes on the internet for the world to see. No, maybe not at 3, but at 13 it would pretty much be the end of the world. So to err on the side of caution, I think I will just shy away from that subject {that is the plan anyway, but we haven’t gotten to that stage yet}. I also don’t want to give too many details about bodily functions. Sure, I might share some of the methods we use for potty training, but I am not going to go into every detail about my child’s bowel movements. We all know every kid has some funny poop incident growing up, but it might just need to be documented some other way.

Okay, now that you either think I am crazy and overly protective…or not protective enough since I use my children’s names and plenty of pictures…I would love to hear what your “rules” are if you share about your kids on social media!

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6 Responses to Oversharing About Your Children Online

  1. Avatar
    Valerie @ Bubbles and Gold July 15, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Wow, I never thought documenting my daughter’s childhood would somehow effect her future, but you are so right on. I can’t imagine my 13 year old being ok with seeing my 3 year old self on the internet. Good points.

    I try to generalize and focus on the happier side, rather than divulge into too much unnecessary details.

    bubblesandgold.com

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    Cindy Rabe July 15, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    I totally agree with you! I won’t even let my sons (ages 1 & 4) see me change clothes because I don’t know where that line is that they will remember seeing their mom naked. I cringe when moms put their kids bad behavior online. It makes me think negatively about the kid before I have really been around them and I hate that. I pretty much stick to posting pictures (clothed) and no stories. They will embarrass themselves enough once they get older :).

    • Avatar
      Jana July 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      Oh that is a good point Cindy, I never thought about changing in front of them! I guess it is different since I have girls but definitely need to consider them seeing my husband.

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    AHLondon July 16, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    There was a ton written about this topic after the I am Adam Lanza’s Mother article. (After the shooting a mom wrote a not so anon article that her preteen son was like AL and she was scared of him and something like this.) The counter argument usually goes something along the lines that the mom has a right to the stories as they are part of motherhood and she is the mother, that is, it is unfair to constrain her telling her story.
    As for me, I use what I call the Erma Bombeck rule. She often told stories about her kids but they tended to vague and generic, such as family trip bickering or having to be chisled out of bed on school days or springing out on Saturday.

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    Jessiica July 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    I am just like you. I created a website for my daughter that was born 2 months ago and I post pictures on my social media sites as well. I am excited she is here and want to share with my friends and family her journey. I try to make sure I am not posting personal information like where we are as far as hospitals and which doctor I take her to , but I do post pictures of her growth (fully clothed) and will continue to. I did post her name as I did not think it was too much of an issue. It is my job to protect her from the world and I will do that. I do not see a problem posting certain things about my daughter as long as it is appropriate and something that is not offensive. I appreciate your blog and am glad I am not the only one. 🙂

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    Julie June 20, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    I have a 3 month old and have often thought about starting a blog as a way to share my new mommy experiences with others and my family who do not live in our area. My daughter’s privacy has kept me from doing so, however. My social media pages are currently set to private so only “true” family and friends can see our pictures. While I know I could set my blog to be password protected, part of me feels like it would defeat the purpose of a blog- to share experiences. Thank you for this article. I like knowing there are other moms out there that struggle with the fear of over sharing and those who might stumble upon their children’s public photos.

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