I have recently read quite a few things online that question whether blogging about our kids is ever okay, even as babies. Are we, as parents, ‘using’ our children? Do we use all the funny, gross, or sad moments that inevitably happen with children to gain a grain of popularity in the great wide ether of the internet? Do we invade their privacy just to get a few more hits for our stats? Or should the private moments we are privileged to share with our children stay just that, private?
Do we need to be asking our children’s permission before revealing a potentially embarrassing story, or a particularly cringeworthy photo?
Should we even go as far as getting them to sign consent forms? After all. If we were to use images of other people we would need consent.
Okay, that might be going a bit too far. Let’s take a step back into reality.
The majority of parents blogging about their kids have teeny tiny little people who would agree to you pouring yoghurt over their head just to get a funny photo, heck they do it themselves most lunchtimes anyway! If you wanted them to sign a consent form you’d better get the crayons and finger paints out. Why not add a bit of glitter to the mix, just to jazz it up a bit?
At a young age, I don’t think anything written about them is going to affect their future career prospects, even that time they pooped in the bath. The only thing your story about them biting every child in their preschool is going to do, is let other parents in the same situation know they are not alone. After all, isn’t that what the blogging world is all about? Making connections with people just like you, dealing with the same crap life throws at us?
While they are little, I think your okay to post pretty much anything, as long as you respect the usual rules of modesty and stick some extra bubbles in the bath if your going to take photos and maybe, before you hit publish, think about how they will feel reading that post as an adult.
But what about as they get older? What is okay then? What is deemed as TMI?
A simple conversation will soon let you know how they feel and even if you don’t like the answer, you should really try and abide by their wishes. Or at least write an anonymous guest post for someone if you desperately need to get that story out of your system!
I started this blog back in October 2013. At the time I had two 12 year olds, a 10 year old, a seven year old and a three/four month old. Obvioulsy O couldn’t have cared less what I wrote about him. He still doesn’t.
But the others?
LV though it would be cool, he was a typical seven year old boy about it. If it didn’t affect his time out playing on his bike or watching minecraft videos on Youtube he wasn’t bothered one iota.
The girls were a bit more dubious. I asked them what they wanted to be called, their names, a nickname, or their initials. By now you will have guessed which they chose (if this is the first post you have ever read. they chose initials)!
They wanted to read my first post before I hit the publish button, but from that moment on they have been fine with it. Even my heart wrenching posts following the worlds worse parents evening. They have open access to my blog, I mean it’s right here, on the interwebs, and they are teenagers with smartphones, netbooks and tablets. I can’t really hide it from them can I!? In fact, there are even occasions where they are asking me to take photos of something funny/interesting and ‘blog it’.
But there are things I wouldn’t even consider blogging about, without needing to ask. Little personal details of our lives that I don’t feel the need to share. Like certain issues that are very common amongst teenage girls, but they would never speak to me again if I did write about them.
There are entire chunks of our life that even people who know us well “in real life” might never know about us. And that’s okay, that’s why its called a personal life.
Of course there are also things that I have been dying to write about because they are just so darn funny, but because they are of a personal nature it was completely inappropriate to share with the world. Even if I do sometimes have a giggle about it with some of the mums in playgroup, just so I can actually tell someone. Like about the time….Haha best not!
So what do you think? Is blogging about our kids a bad thing, or do we just need to have some common sense about what is appropriate?