Sharenting: Respecting your Child on Social Media

Kids are always paying attention, absorbing the behaviors they see modeled in the world. Monkey see? Monkey do. They are internalizing our habits, practices and beliefs through our behaviors — including what we do and don’t post on social media. How do we honor them through our online presence? By setting, sharing and respecting boundaries.

SETTING

You might take a moment to reflect on your social media through your child’s eyes.
+ How do my posts reflect & affect my kid?
+ Have I shared more info than they would want other people to know about their childhood?
+ Have I shared things that honor who they are?
Use what you each value as a guide to setting the boundaries you will follow. You may even consider asking your child what they are and aren’t comfortable with.

SHARING

Once you’ve found where you are both comfortable — which takes some trial and error — start communicating this boundary. You might narrate your intention behind a post.
+ I want to post this photo because it reflects your creativity.
+ I want this post because it shows how much I value _______.
+ I value ______, so I want to post _______.
It’s also helpful to communicate your boundaries with caregivers. You might say, “My child isn’t comfortable being on social media. Please avoid posting any photos with them in view.”

RESPECTING

Finding the right boundary for you and your child takes time. You’ll likely hit some bumps along the road, but to minimize the bruises consider keeping the conversation open. This could look like…
+ Checking in every once in a while about how your child feels about your posts.
+ Showing them your feed and reflecting together.
+ Asking their permission before posting.

As parents, we hope our kids will grow into happy, healthy beings. Modeling how to set, share and respect boundaries from a young age will equip them with the skills they need to do so independently as adults.

NOVEMBER 3, 2022