I knew it was bound to happen, because I’ve read and heard about it from other moms. “My child doesn’t want me to post anything about him/her on Facebook anymore.”
Typically when I have read this, it’s been from a child who is approaching middle school, hitting that ripe old age of 11 or 12. You know, when the hormones and mood swings really start coming in at full effect.
This happening at the age of seven seems a little early to me.
Last week, I posted a video of us hula hooping in downtown Charleston when we went on a family weekend trip. It was fun, she was being silly, and we were doing this together … IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE, full of strangers, standing on the street and cheering her on. Posting the video on Facebook? Apparently that is a crime and a whole different scenario.
A teacher at school saw the video and told her that she loved seeing her hula hoop. My daughter was blindsided that someone knew about it without her knowledge. This has happened a few times over the past couple of years, a teacher or someone she knows will comment about a video or picture that she knew about, and was shocked that other people knew about it, too.
A few days after that, she had chocolate icing smeared all over her face at her cousin’s house, and she kept saying, “Mommy, take a picture!” So, I took a picture of her and her cousin, all smiles and covered in chocolate. I posted it, because it was ridiculously cute. When she wanted her Daddy to send the picture to Mimi, he told her that Mommy had posted it on Facebook.
On the way to school, she got upset and started fussing at me for posting pictures and videos on Facebook. She brought up both recent posts.
“Who told you that I posted this on Facebook?” I asked.
“I forgot,” she responded.
My eyes about rolled back into my head.
“You don’t even know what Facebook is!” I exclaimed.
“YES I DO!!!!” she cried.
“Okay then, what is it?”
“It’s where a LOT of people can see what you post!”
She pouted in the back seat, while I pouted in the front seat. I thought, Who is she to tell me what I can and can’t post on MY social media? Wait a second… How would YOUR mom handle this situation with her infinite compassion and patience? I took a minute to mull this over.
“I’m sorry that I posted those things on Facebook, I didn’t realize you didn’t want them on there. I won’t post pictures or videos of you again if you don’t want me to.”
“Okay,” she smiled, and relaxed.
She is SO much like her Daddy when it comes to this. Many times after I take a picture or video of him, he’s said, “Don’t post this on Facebook.” I pick on him for his “once a year Facebook status,” which is him thanking everyone for birthday wishes. I don’t even tag him in most pictures on Facebook, because I know he’ll see them. He trolls my page, and sees all of my posts. There is no escaping.
Although I don’t agree with her view on this, I do want to respect her wishes. Just because she is a child doesn’t mean she’s not entitled to feel differently than I do, and I certainly don’t want her to feel like she can’t rely on or trust her mother. No child should ever feel that way, especially about a parent.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to post incredibly embarrassing pictures and videos of her 3-year-old brother until he’s old enough to cut me off too.
How do your children feel about you posting photos or videos of them on social media?
Erin K. Courtney is married to the greatest guy on the planet, and they have two ridiculously cute kids. She is a chef who owns a business in Lexington, making prepared meals and desserts for busy families. She tries desperately to maintain a healthy balance in this crazy whirlwind called life.