Those cute pics you post of your child with a bare butt running around the garden; that angsty admission on Facebook that you’re battling with your son’s ADD, or that blog post about your child’s learning problems and them having to stay back a year.
It’s all fun and games to post about your child’s tantrums, but what will your kids’ future peers, schools, universities and employers make of this one day (assuming that one uses social media in a significant way one day to screen and recruit people). Will universities or job recruiters one day be digging into my blog and social media to see any “warning signs” about my kids? Will the fact that our kids had behavioural or social issues at home or at school count against them?
“Until we get their permission to share these things, I feel we should be doing less of it.”
Even worse, what if our kids don’t like what we’ve written about them, without their permission even, realising that we didn’t put the best versions of them out there?
If I had to one day read that my mom wrote about how I cried before swimming galas, how I stole sweets from a shop, and how I didn’t give up my dummy until the age of four, I’d probably be upset. That’s my story to tell and I want to edit my tale to the strangers out there. I will easily admit those things to my closest people, but why does everyone need to know? For likes? For comments? For views?
You’ll find honesty on my personal blog, but it will be a highly edited version because I’m afraid of consequences and the future, and I’d like to put my son and daughter in the best possible light, which is what they deserve.
Just as we add filters to your selfies, I feel we should be putting editing touches to what we publish about our kids. It’s not a lie, it’s a cut, and I believe they deserve that. Until we get their permission to share these things, I feel we should be doing less of it. Maybe it won’t be so great for our sense of sharing, for our readers and “friends”, but who should come first here?
Tanya Kovarsky is a mom of two (Max, 8 and Rebecca, 1.5 years) and works by day in PR and communications, and by night as a blogger on Rattle and Mum. She loves Paris, Jelly Tots, pink things, makeup and sneakers, and running (she can tell her kids that she’s run 11 Comrades and 14 Two Oceans). She also has a personal blog, Dear Max + Rebecca.