May 17, 2010

Blogging about your kids : Are You Sure They're OK with that?

My daughter was trying her hands on a new product that I recently got for review and there I was photographing her away like a mad woman while she clumsily try to figure out how the thing works. At that moment, she started to speak. Words so softly spoken yet tore through my heart like a jagged knife.
"Mama, why are you taking pictures of me?"
"Well, because I need them for my review"
"Do you really have to?"
"That sucks" she sadly whispered. "You always take pictures"
"It's part of my review process, honey. Gotta show people the product in action!"

At this instance, I started reviewing the pictures I've just taken and came upon the picture I took of her when she was sleeping the other night - she was sleeping funny and cute at the same time - I thought I'll preserve that moment forever. I showed it to her. And this is when she firmly demanded "Don't you blog about it Mama! Don't you even try! " with a pained look on her face.

I was dumbstruck! Then she started rambling about a post I have of her a while, while  back with a picture of her when she was younger and how it made her angry. I commend her for having a good memory but wow, I didn't realize how much that post (and some) has made such a negative impact on her!

"I don't want people seeing me". "I don't want them talking about me." "It will ruin my life!"

(Yeah I know what you're thinking) That might be an over assumption. BUT it doesn't change the fact that my daughter who is only six years old is obviously affected and is demanding for her rights to privacy! And that posting stories of her and her pictures without her permission was to her a violation of these rights.

You must know, that though it took me much deliberation before I started posting pictures of her in my blog or anywhere else, and took me months of debating and justifying with hubby if doing so was the right thing to do, I neglected to consider the fact how doing it would affect her in return. I even raised the issue of Kids on the Net in one of my articles at Working Mother, where I also blog, and of which created a ruckus in another Mom site. Yes, it's a touchy subject but I thought I had nailed it down to science. I thought that because I'm the blogger here, I know exactly what I'm doing. Besides, everyone else is doing it. I saw no harm. Until now...

To those who blog about their kids, has these possible situations ever crossed your minds? Where one day, your kids will hate you for blogging about them? Or that they will rebel against you because you never considered how they would feel whenever you talk about great (and not so great) things and post pictures of them online? Are you sure your kids are OK with the whole blogging-about-them-thing?

Apparently, mine is not. I'm not saying everyone should stop blogging about their kids and posting pictures of them online just because! Listen - I'm not the boss in any of you - I'm simply raising an awareness here. I believe this is a crucial discovery. Now, if you don't see this as an issue or cause for an alarm, then good for you. But please, there's no need for sarcasm or passing unnecessary judgment to those who are having them (don't be a bitch - cut that out ).

All I'm saying is that, to me, this incident was a rude awakening. It made me realize that my child is growing and maturing rapidly. If I want her to continue respecting me, then I should show her R.E.S.P.E.C.T first. Does this mean I will stop posting stories or pictures of her? That remains to be seen. It will also depend on several factors. AND IF I DO, she will definitely have the final say. After all, she will be the main topic in the story, so that gives her the right to approve or object. 

For at the end of the day, I don't want to find out that my child felt like she was victimized by her own Mother for the sake of blogging. Would you? I think not. Have a talk with your kids and find out how they feel about it. You might just be surprised. Don't wait for me to tell you, "I told you so!"


  1. That's why I'm very careful about what I say about my kids. I don't put very many pictures of them out there, and if I do, I make sure they're not unflattering or compromising. I've seen moms post pictures of their kids on the potty, fighting, and (here's my favorite) one mom even posted a picture of her 2 year old who had just smeared feces all over himself.

    Just how does a mom get to a point where, after her kid goes diaper-diving, she reaches for a camera and shows the whole world instead of bathing him? I'm still stunned at that one. She had many excuses, but I think she's failed to notice that her child is a human being, and he's due some dignity and some privacy.

    Your daughter may be a little sensitive, but you're right to respect that!

  2. I think this is a good point. I actually touched on it briefly today here: I try not to post anything that might be embarrasing for the kids now OR later. This means that a lot of my really good mommy stories go unblogged about.

  3. I've thought about this often. On my blog, my kids have "stage names" and I have 1 photo of each on the blog. It was after months of deliberation that I put those up, so my readers could make a connection. I don't plan to pepper the blog with photos of them. I've actually stopped posting photos of them on FB for privacy - and security - reasons.

    I wonder how long I will be able to keep telling these stories about them - when they are old enough to have peers who find the blog and say something? I don't know. We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it. I do think we have to be choosy in what stories we do tell. That stuff will be out there forever.

    Maybe your daughter can be a "consultant" on your posts? If she's involved, she may not be so hesitant. Just a thought.

    As with everything in this mommy game - one day at a time. Good luck!

  4. I've often thought about this, not only for safety concerns, but just because I've thought how I would feel if my mom had blogged about certain moments of my life, without my permission. Great post!! Thanks for stopping by my place. I have never cooked any vegeterian meals, but love this website that specializes in veggie recipes!

  5. Thanks so much for this thought-provoking post. These are important issues to consider as social media continues to grow.

  6. I hadn't even thought of this! My son is only nine months old at this point, though I do blog about him occasionally.

    Whether or not he will ever be concerned about my doing so, it now makes me wonder how he will view the privacy rights of others if I were to continue writing about him in the future without first asking him how he feels about it.

  7. I definitely have thought about this. My little guy is just 6 months, but I have wondered how my blog will change as he grows-- I know I wouldn't have wanted my Mom to write about my personal details of life when I was younger so I want to be sure to respect him just as I respect my husband and the rest of my family's privacy already.

  8. Thanks for posting about this. I try not to blog about embarrassing things that she has done, etc. My DD is only 3. I hope that she is proud and excited to read about our lives, but will take this into consideration.

  9. I guess because I starting blogging when my kids were ages 6 and 13, I have always been respectful of that. My now 8 year old thinks it's fun to be on my blog and will even encourage me to "blog about this, Mommy!", but I have always been conscience of my 13 year and not embarrassing him. Once I wanted to blog about his holey gym shoes and he allowed it because I came up with an angle that was flattering to him and not embarrassing. My latest blog post today has photos of my son making funny faces, but I asked his permission first.

    Because my husband also blogs and owns a social media company, blogging, Twitter and Facebook are such a part of my kids' life and they are used to it. However, I do have to say that my son is getting annoyed that we (my husband and I) take photos of food often to blog about it and won't let anyone eat until we do. I guess that is a concern for us...not necessarily the blogging and posting, but always "documenting" through photos and video whatever we are doing.

  10. Maricris, these are concerns that an established bachelor-blogger will never have. But, even so, I often wonder aboutanybody I should choose to mention online... I enjoyed your article

  11. Very good post, I don't have children, but I do have nieces and nephews, they don't want to be photographed or pictured and I have respected that, but if there is a children's screening, they are referenced as my niece and nephew, but they are also forewarned that sometimes at events they WILL be photographed by the sponsor(s))and that is beyond my control, so they must be aware of the possibility before they agree to attend. I always remind them, they can't have the perks without the work! :-)

  12. Kind of agree - life is a balance as always - the odd pic/kid story here and there within reason is ok. For people who've made it their business to blog about family and kids it's hard to avoid and it's what their readers want to see! However, in an online connected world where we increasingly share more and more, there are lots of memories I'd like to keep just for my kids.

  13. I'm glad you posted this. I had the same debate before launching my Dad blog ( We have two young children at home and I am consistently astounded by the amount of personal information parent-bloggers put about their families in the name of advertising and hits. Not only do our children have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding their identity and photos online, but as parents we should vigorously protect that expectation of privacy - not be the main exploiters of it!

    There seems to be a collective ignorance in the blogosphere regarding the number and pervasiveness of predators on the internet. Somehow, with the explosion of parent-blogs, we've all forgotten how easily a child can be located and lured with the littlest bit of personal information.

    That's why at no personally identifying information about our family will ever be posted. No identifying photos of my children will ever make their way onto posts, no real names will ever be used. It may require me to be more creative in my product photographs or in my writing, but that only challenges me more to provide an entertaining, endearing, and informative site without having to resort to exploitation.

    If that means I don't get as many hits/day or that advertisers are less interested in my site - so be it. My family's privacy and safety is more important than any advertising or publicity I could hope to get.


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