It’s understood by our family and friends that there will be seasons where they will not see pictures of one or both of our children on social media. That’s because we have always asked our children if we can post their pictures. I show them the pictures that I have taken and they have the opportunity to select their preferred pictures, if they approve any at all. They also approve any conversations we post that they participated in (they both reviewed and consented to the contents of this post).
A conversation between our kids a few years ago (using their ages at the time):
11yo: Why don’t you want mom to post pictures of you to Facebook?
9yo: Because I said no.
11yo: I’m trying to understand *why* you said no. It doesn’t matter, you can say no for any reason and people have to listen to that – I was just wondering why.
This made my heart so happy. Not only that our children knew that their “no” will be respected, also that they don’t have to justify their “no” and that they aren’t entitled to demand others explain themselves. Seeking their permission in posting to social media is just a small part of how we protect their autonomy – physically & emotionally.
Respect your children, their feelings, and their boundaries so they will know how wrong it is when someone else doesn’t. We have done this to the best of our ability since they were born. In ways that seem to be “no big deal” like choosing their own clothes, a favorite toy, and what activities they want to participate in. As well as backing their right to refuse affection and declining to stay with someone or somewhere they aren’t comfortable with. This may seem inconvenient at times but pays off in both the solid parent/child connection as well has how your children treats and expects to be treated by others.
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