How Much Do You Reveal About Your Kids Online?
When I was growing up, the gossip network in my neighbourhood was legendary: about five minutes after I received an award, or, more likely, did something spectacularly stupid, the phone would be ringing, neighbours would be shouting across the yard, it felt like my business was everyone's business.
Multiply that by about a million and you have our kids' experience. The neighbourhood of our youth is now the Internet, and no sooner have our kids won an award; or, more likely, peed in their pants and the news is out there straight from our fingertips (or thumbs) on Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
My 11-year-old often reads over my shoulder as I type. He has been known to go to my website and read up (usually hoping to find news of a gift like when he read about the XBox hiding in the garage). How much can I say when I know he is reading?
John Hoffman has made a career of writing about his family in Today's Parent and he brings up some interesting questions in this article. Though, I don't agree that blogging is competitive and that is why we talk about our kids - it is more about reaching out, creating community and personalizing big issues.
Now it's not just bloggers who grapple with these privacy issues, anyone on Facebook and Twitter has to decide on where to draw the line. Simple questions on how and when to announce pregnancies, to long discussions about your child's sleep and bathroom habits or their trouble at school are all part of the wide-reaching conversations. Even goofy vacation photos are on some level violating your child's privacy, and perhaps their dignity.
We all know our teens are going to make mistakes online and reveal to how much about themselves. So how do we set a good example and let them make that choice for themselves?
How much do you tell about your kids online?
Want more chaos? Last year I wrote about how we feel when our kids lie, and it's not good.