This blogpost is a little different, but I thought about it after reading still another Facebook status a mom had posted about a young child.
But first … a story.
Back when our kids were preschoolers/early elementary, we didn’t have the internet, but my dad DID have a daily radio program called Adventures in Family Living that was heard across the country (and even a few places not in our country). Because the program was about family living, you can only imagine that many of his illustrations were about family and since we were part of his family …
Our first church was in Michigan and every morning at 8:00, his program came on the local Christian radio station. Often our kids would be playing near the radio as their grandfather talked about marriage and children.
One morning our son (about four-years-old) was happily making roads in the carpet for his fleet of toy trucks, when my dad shared a VERY embarrassing story of him that had happened a couple years earlier.
I still remember the hurt look on Jeff’s face as he sighed and said, “Grandfather, did you have to tell the WHOLE world about it?”
And Jeff was right. The whole world shouldn’t have known about it.
I think about that when I read Facebook statuses that parents write about their kids.
Because there’s that verse in Ephesians. (Remember?) Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
I’m fairly sure those words apply to moms, too, because the Lord wouldn’t say dads shouldn’t exasperate their kids, but moms can!
We all know that what we write on the Internet doesn’t go away. And even though your five-year-old doesn’t care that you post that he’s years behind everyone in his kindergarten class or your three-year-old isn’t aware that you gave a detailed description of the tantrum she had at Target, or your two-year-old doesn’t know you’re giving details of her toilet training troubles to all your friends, they just might care in a few years when they see it pop up.
Our kids deserve our respect and privacy. Truly. They do. We don’t want to post something when they’re five that they might see when they’re 13 (or even worse, their friends see when they’re 13.) I mean, I’ve been on Facebook since 2007 – that means kids that were five then are now 17. I have no trouble bringing up what I wrote 12 years ago and if I can do it, a kid can do it.
Most of the time, posting about kids is great. I truly enjoy reading the clever things kids say or listening to them sing or quote poetry. I think most everyone enjoys cute pictures, etc. But sometimes parents simply share TMI and I’m thinking that just might come back to haunt them someday … and there might even be some exasperation involved. (Remember that verse in Ephesians?)
I’ve written a lot about the kids in our family, too, so I have thought through what would be a good rule to remember before posting about our children.
How about this? Would I post this if my child were fourteen?
If the answer is “no,” then I probably shouldn’t be posting it now.
If the answer is “He’d probably roll his eyes, but wouldn’t really mind,” then go ahead and share with the world.
Just some thoughts.