Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Facebook baby picture ban ruffles feathers

Q: At first my son and daughter-in-law permitted me to post baby pictures on Facebook, then they asked me not to. My daughter-in-law feels that posting pictures "violated the baby's privacy." How much privacy is a 2-year-old entitled to? I'm not talking about naked pictures or embarrassing videos.

I could understand it if they felt posting was unsafe. They said something about "waiting until she is old enough to decide." This makes no sense to me. Will a 5-year-old have better judgment? Will a 10-year-old be angry because of what we allowed her to do at 5?

I will abide by their wishes. But I enjoyed posting! It makes me sad not to be able to. Other methods of sharing sound simple but are not simple to my friends and family, so this poses a hardship, even though it sounds trivial.

It would be easier to take if I understood the reasoning behind the ban, so maybe you can help me see.

Sad

A: There are great reasons not to post kid photos online, including the risk they'll be used by bad people and the creation of a permanent digital profile of a person who has no say in your doing that. It's good you see respecting their wishes as reason enough not to post. But I hear the contempt for your daughter-in-law in your "Will a 5-year-old have better judgment?" line of inquiry. Maybe you don't actually feel that way, but if I'm getting that impression, then you can assume she is, too, so if there's a functioning relationship to save then it's all the more urgent that you just trust her judgment and drop this. It's an important attitude tweak, from "I don't get it, so you need to explain it to me" to "I don't get it, but I trust you know what you're doing." To have faith in her as a parent is the gold standard.

I will also add that yes, 10-year-olds do get angry about things relatives posted before they were old enough to stop them.

Finally: I won't sign on to the term "hardship." It's an inconvenience at best.

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