What Parents Shouldn't Post on Social Media

What may seem harmless can cause lots of trouble

what parents should not share on social media
It's fun to post pictures and things about our kids on social media, but is it smart?. Tom Merton

Twenty years ago, if you wanted to share a picture of your kids with friends and family members, you'd have to drop off or mail in your film and wait for the images to be printed out (less time if you splurged for a one-hour service!). Then you had to wait until you actually saw everyone to display your snaps. These days however, you can take and share pictures in literally seconds with literally the touch of a button.

It makes keeping in touch really easy, but are you compromising your child's safety by sharing pictures on social media? 

Possibly, depending on what types of pictures you are sharing. A picture of your child going down the slide at a park? Probably ok (although see number six, below). An adorable shot of your preschooler in the bathtub? Might want to rethink it. What is important to understand is that pictures that are shared to the Internet via social media can be online forever. Sure, you may delete something and think it is gone, but truly, you can never be certain of it. So something that might be adorable right now, might not be so cute when your child is a teen. And that cute picture of your child running through the sprinkler wearing only a diaper? Could make them vulnerable to a child predator. 

Here's what you shouldn't post on social media about your kids and why: 

  1. Potty time pictures: After all that potty training effort, you may feel like who wouldn't want to document the big moment when your little one finally sits down on the potty and goes? But besides it being potentially embarrassing for your preschooler both now and in the future, consider the gross factor: is that something you really want to share with others? Would you want to see that posted by someone else?
  1. Child-shaming pictures: Child shaming is not a good idea under any circumstances. First of all, even though your preschooler might not realize what you are sharing, it is still embarrassing. And although you might be mad at something that your little one has done, and think this is a good way to let off steam, it is truly a breach of the parent-child relationship.
  1. Group pictures: Unless you have permission from the other parents involved, don't post pictures of other people's children, whether it is a class photo, a team photo, or from a birthday party. 
  2. Bath time photos: It's horrible to even think it, but any picture you post of your child in the bath or any time he or she might be partially undressed can be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. Avoid.
  3. Sick pictures: Your child might look so adorable (and adorably pathetic) when he or she is sick, but it's not an image you should share. As a parent, you are your child's biggest advocate. Should you be sharing photos of when your child is most vulnerable?
  4. Photos that contain personal details: That first day of school shot -- does it include your child's backpack? And on that backpack is the bus stop or bus letter listed? What about your child's teacher or even your phone number? Your social media accounts may be locked down as private, but once something is shared on the Internet, it never is. You don't want any of your personal information posted and you certainly don't want it connected to your child. 

    Continue Reading