It struck me recently how many of my friends on Facebook and Twitter use pictures of their children as profile and header pictures.
It made me realise that I don’t use my own children’s images publicly and always make sure that my husband doesn’t either on his profile.
I think it is indicative of the society we live in as well as my approach to parenting.
Firstly, I just don’t trust people very much. Call it sad and pathetic, but it is true. Life hasn’t been a bed of roses and I’m pretty tough now in response. I do not trust easily and I certainly do not trust complete strangers either. Why should I? I don’t trust people I don’t know not to abuse my child’s image. They can abuse mine as much as their sick little minds desire, but not my kids.
I’m definitely a ‘what if’ mum. It is the collection of those awful scenario’s whirling around my head that keep me from sleep at night. Being protective is just how I am and I can’t apologise for that.
How do my kids learn independence then? Well, I’m not there 24/7. They do go off and do other things with other people, without me. However, there are just sensible ways of keeping them safe that I insist on. Including having control of who can see their image in the public domain.
I can’t and won’t wrap my children up in cotton wool, despite my natural instinct to do so, but I will make reasonable steps to keep them safe.
My other reason is simple: freedom. I have not got their informed consent to share their image amongst anyone who is not a friend. My children have not told me its okay after maturely realising what it may involve and making an informed decision.
I know as a parent I have to make the best decisions I can for my children until they have to make them themselves; I am very much of the school of thought that involves letting them making some themselves and learn that decisions have consequences.
Likewise, I won’t publicly display my children on the internet for any old perv to look at. Yes, they can see them in public when I’m out – like I say, I can’t 100% keep them out of sight from possible loonies or paedo’s, but I honestly think that not putting them online for public viewing is basically a reasonable measure.
I do not judge – or frankly care – what others choose to do. Completely up to them and best of luck and all that. Each to their own.
This is just me. I don’t agree for my kids to be for public consumption and that is that. Who knows, it may change one day, but for now, until they can themselves, this is how it is.