What Do You Say About Your Kids on Social Media?
I received an interesting response on my blog the other day asking about where I recommend parents draw the boundary in talking about their kids online. What information is OK for them to be spewing about their kids. The writer gave the example of a highly respected guy at his church who is constantly on Facebook talking about how his kid doesn’t want to listen to him and how his kid needs to be “more Godly.” Some parents use social media to indirectly lecture to their kids when they think they won’t listen to them in person. Guess what?
They don’t listen to your Facebook posts either. It only embarrasses and humiliates them in front of family and friends. You’re essentially driving the wedge even deeper.
I remember when Kathleen and I started on Facebook. We were very sensitive that our daughters, Kelsey and Bailey were already online and were really careful about “friending” them and what we said. Even now, I’m careful to have fun, but not “make fun” when it comes to posting comments about family.
Never forget that Facebook and other social media sites are a public platform, and that by posting updates about your kids or other family members, you’re broadcasting it to the world.
My advice? If you want to keep the connection with your kids, then shut up online.
Thank you for sharing this. I know a number of people who need to be called out for whining about their kids online. Sometimes I want to ask them “if you’re kid read what you post on Facebook, how do you think that would make them feel?”
Our son is on Facebook and has a very active church life, he is the main drummer in our youth and is one of the 3 drummers for our main services. Since we are friends with him and most of his friends on Facebook we are very careful about not denigrating or even making fun of him in public. He is very well respected and yet is a very goofy 15 yr old in real life and on Facebook but we do not take advantage of that. Unintentional things can be misconstrued or taken out of context so easily in an online environment!
On the other hand, our 11 yr old daughter is a very private person, and we don’t even mention her name on Facebook because of privacy issues and she is too young to be there (according to her and to the Facebook User Agreement).
If there is a problem with either of our children, we confront them privately and deal with it. Passive-aggressive behavior is so prevalent in our society that it has subtly entered the Church and needs to stop.
Boundaries are important. You need to set the example for your children regarding responsible social media use. A great rule I heard once about using the Internet was not so post anything that you wouldn’t say to your grandmother.
If you have any clue about the emotional safety of people in general, not to mention your own kids, then this is a no brainer. Unfortunatelly, MANY people don’t have a clue – IT’S SO IMPORTANT. Jesus was the master of it.
This is GREAT advice. A sad day when a parent would stoop to such low public behavior. Parents are supposed to protect their kids, not expose them.
Good post. I think the converse is also true, when parents “gush” over their kids online. Just as kids are embarrased when parents dote on them in public the same holds true online.
Great point Tom. The flip side is just as important. Don’t gush – good advice…
I signed up for FB at first to see what my kids were posting. My 15 year old “in a relationship?”. Really. My 20 year old son counting down the days before telling his parents something… But it never crossed my mind to rag on them on FB. I do the rare atta boys, but mainly look and move on.