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Toddlers and discretion

On the weekend, some of my Twitter friends and I were discussing the difficulty in blogging about our kids when they are teens.  Of course, the issue is one of privacy.  That make sense.  I have a very private daughter and husband.

The thinking is that we can worry less about blogging about the temper tantrum of our two year old than we can about the temper tantrum of our 15 year old.  Seriously, kids that age do have them; they just look different.  The thinking is that it is understandable that a two year old will do that, but an older kid should know better.  We don't worry about the two year old, because he doesn't know what privacy is.  We won't invade something he knows nothing about.

At the moment, that is.

That reasoning left me thinking and asking questions.

I agree that we must protect the privacy of our teenagers.  But I don't think we need to stop there.  Remember; things on the internet don't go away.  Junior may not care today about the fact that we have just described in lurid detail the contents of his diaper at nap time.  But he might care later.  I am sure many of us have noticed a tendency for some parents to put everything on Facebook, Twitter, or their blogs.  Just because the child doesn't know his privacy is being violated, doesn't mean it isn't.  My kids would not like if when they were small children I put a lot of stuff about them on the internet.  I don't think we should assume that just because the kid doesn't know we're providing details about him that we should.  It feels a bit like a double standard.

Another question I had was this:  sure, our teens don't want us revealing details about their struggles, but do they necessarily want us revealing the neutral things? or the good things?   Is it a violation of privacy to have a proud mother moment and brag about our kids?  Perhaps we should think about that before we post as well.

I'm positive that I'm often not discreet enough.  I plan on remedying that.  We can certainly share about our struggles, but I think the skill is in depicting them in very general terms, in fleshing out principles, and perhaps after a time when enough chronological distance has given us more perspective.

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Reader Comments (3)

Good point, Kim. I try to be vigilant about protecting my daughter's privacy on my blog by not giving her name and making only general comments. I rarely mention her on FB. Still, in light of this post, I need to reevaluate my discretion.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

This was thought-provoking for me, especially as one who lives on the other side of the world than the kids' grandparents. I have approximately one to five photos of myself as a child per year-- sometimes it's just "the school photo." Digital cameras have certainly revolutionized the way we share our kids' moments. We're inundated with newer and faster ways to share our photos and info, but rarely are we called to new reflections on discretion. Thank you!

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGloria Furman

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