Putting your kids on social media

This post has been bubbling around in my brain for a while… I haven’t really shared much of my kids online in a long time. Things have changed around here, they are getting older, they are getting savvy and I have learnt some new stuff along the way. I am sure some people think I just sit in my house on my own and ban my children from entering, or some people even forget I have kids, because they don’t feature on my blog or Instagram much any more haha. 😉 But in fact, they take up 95% of my time and I only share the pretty and fancy 5% of my day!

Today I wanted to share with you a few things I have learnt… I follow a few great Mummy Blogs and Instagrammers who spam us with their kids. I like watching, and the kids are soooo cute, but it does stress me out a little.

My boys are now 15, 12 and almost 11. The eldest is on all social media and the other two have dipped their toes in recently with Instagram and Snapchat. My reasoning behind letting them use social media is a post for another day. But anyway, they are using it. They are all over it. It’s here to stay.

I work online a lot. I am on it pretty much every day sharing snippets here and there. But my kids do not want to feature on ANY of it. If they so much as get a whiff of a photo or a comment circulating about them they will fly in to a rage. So I know better. Anything that is put online now comes with permission. They must view it, see what I write and agree to it. I have hundreds of fun and cute photos sitting on my phone, but I know none of it will ever end up online. I am respecting their wishes, and I should not be in charge of what everyone sees and knows about them. Plus I think they like having a heads up. They don’t want to get a screenshot or winky smiley face of them when they had no idea.

What I am noticing is that they also get quite upset if a baby photo or anything from YouTube (which we may have recorded years ago) gets mentioned. I have even gone back on some old stuff and deleted it. They don’t think it’s cute or funny. They just feel embarrassed.

Here’s the other thing… if they don’t directly see what’s online about them then I can GUARANTEE someone they know will see it and bring it to their attention. It’s happened… Boys who don’t like them will say something, girls who stalk them will see it. Parents read it and mention it in their homes. I promise it happens!

And it’s upsetting me to see some parents are carving out a very heavy digital footprint for their children already.

I have some pretty awful days and I could go to town on the stuff that happens around here, but it must all stay offline for the sake of my boys. I could also write a great parenting book on dealing with 3 boys, their hormones, changes, friendships, aggression and teaching them about the highs and lows of life! But these years are crucial and I feel that not everyone needs to know about their dramas/triumphs.

Most kids won’t catch on to all the social media stuff until they are about 10 years old. And when they do they will google themselves or start stalking you. Now what happens if they are a very shy and private child?? Maybe they aren’t as outgoing and carefree as you are? When the teenage years hit, they won’t think it’s cute like we do. My almost 11 year old found stuff online about him when he was 2 years old. He was in the nude (you could only see his bum) and he was crying because he fell in some mud, but he didn’t like it being online. I thought it was funny and cute – he didn’t. Lesson learnt.

Our generation doesn’t know how that feels – to be displayed online by our parents – because there was no internet. I love looking at my baby photos and the teenage years when I had a perm, but I get to choose whether anyone sees them or not.

I started out as a “Mummy Blogger” but it had to end at some point and I can see now why it had to. Teenage boys (well mine anyway!) don’t want to be on show. And I don’t want to force them to be. I don’t want people judging my kids based on all the online stuff I put out there.

So I’ll stick to photos of the dog, my house, the sky and the occasional family photo (when each person has approved it!).

I’m not saying people who have little kids need to stop, but I am suggesting just to consider that their personality may be a little different to yours… they may be more reserved and private, but by the time they can speak up, there will be so many photos and so much said about them that they become embarrassed and angry.

Just some food for thought. Have you had any similar online experiences with your kids?

♥ KC.


  • Jackie Scouller

    Great post but can I ask the question?

    Is the hate for baby pics and memorable moment caused by lack of self confidence or self love in our children? Or is it coming from the fear of bullies around them. I want my kids to be happy and proud of there whole life not just the glamour parts and having 2 girls one boy I find it’s important in today’s society

    Ps: question not directed at your boys just a general one

    • Katrina Chambers

      They are happy to look at the photos. That doesn’t worry them. They aren’t embarrassed by their “image”. It’s probably more of a fear of others/bullies/judgements. It’s because they are still trying to figure themselves out, and where they fit in the world. They don’t have the maturity to brush off comments just yet. They’ll work it out, but in their own time Jack. That’s what I think anyway

  • Dani Golding

    My son who is almost 12 told me not to post any pics of him without permission (that was probably when he was about 8!) My daughter followed suit and I have respected it.

  • Anna Streat

    Great post. I can think of a few bloggers who would do well to read your post.

  • Maya @ House Nerd

    I love that you wrote this post Katrina – thank you! This is something that I have been thinking a LOT about lately. (I actually just wrote a little bit about it in my latest post too!) I am a mum to a nearly two-year-old boy and have a small online presence. Much smaller than yours but I still think about it a lot. I want to respect my boy’s privacy, but I also worry if I will impact on him down the track. I swing from wanting to share photos because of course I think he’s amazing and he’s a huge part of my life (same with you and your boys!) to thinking, “No, I shouldn’t…. would that embarrass him in the future?”

    It was very interesting for me to read your post as you’re a mum of three boys but also because you’ve been blogging/online a long time and before a lot of people were writing blogs, having IG, etc and now your boys are at the age where a social media presence can have an effect. Previously I couldn’t find any examples of other people whose kids had been affected in some way by their online presence and I’d always wondered, “How will it affect the kids when they’re older?”

    The thing is, like you I also love following particular mummy bloggers/mummy Instagrammers and yes probably some of them overshare…. putting stuff about poo explosions and vomits and all that stuff online – sure it can be funny, and it may make other mums feel better and more able to cope with daily parenting life in the interim, but will it embarrass the kids later? I guess you can always delete it when the kid is older! Sorry for the novel 🙂

  • Amy Goodman

    I’m curious, (aka nosey! ) is this just with open to the public social media? Insta, blogs etc? Or do you not upload your family pics to your personal Facebook either? My personal Facebook is my digital photo album. I hope my girls don’t want me to stop posting our family snaps one day or want me to delete all the albums. I should of been cataloging the albums years ago but I haven’t. They are all just loaded to the back up hard drive in no order or defined albums. It’s a mess. Fb is where I go to find a photo quickly because those albums are perfectly organised. Eeek! I better start being more organised with the back up files from this point. My eldest is 9.

    • Sarah Matulewicz

      You could leave them up there but make albums private – only you can see them. Or start using an online system like google drive. 🙂

    • Katrina Chambers

      I probably put a little more on my private facebook page 🙂

  • michelle ball

    I actually agree with what you are saying, i do love baby shots and melt when i see them on instagram from people. but most of them i drool over are from people i have worked with on tv and got to know on a more than sitting in my loungeroom type of relationship. my kids are now grown and i am so proud of them, but they too are very personal as we are, we too have a lot of stuff going down and decide not to write or picture it because you know life has it s ups and down, but not everyone needs to hear it. i really love seeing rooms and design stuff on insta apart from that i am not really interested if you picking flowers as the sun rises over the mountains and the dew kisses the petals as you look into the flower and think shit theres a bee lol

  • Amy Douglas

    I’d be telling mine to toughen up a little. I think we pander to our kids every need too quickly and we should be encouraging resilience. And, I definitely wouldn’t allow a younger one on instagram (full or porn) or snap chat (well known for sexting).

    • Katrina Chambers

      I tell them to toughen up in so many other ways. They don’t need me randomly posting stuff online though. There are enough pressures in this digital age. Instagram/snapchat and private accounts and monitoring is ok with me.

  • Justine Drain

    I have 13 year old twins, and once they pegged that we put photos of them on our Facebook pages they firmly asked us not to. This is the first generation that this has happened to, and the fact they are asking for control and privacy should speak volumes to us as parents x

  • Toni Bailey

    If you knew what paedophiles are capable of in terms of getting through privacy settings etc, you’d probably think twice about posting any pics of your kids at all… but that’s just my opinion.

  • Megan Key

    Let’s face it – kids have always been cruel…but today’s kids have so many more tools at hand to easily access others. They can snap the snapchat and share pics etc…
    We never had to deal with social media (thank god!) – being a kid is unfortunately so different these days.
    I also think as adults we have to be aware of who we are friends with – Katrina for example has heaps of her kids friends following her on Instagram – so anything she posts is seen by her kids friends…
    Kids are “connected” these days whether we like it or not! I always say to miss 12 – look with your eyes not ur phone (taking pictures) – you’ll see so much more!!!

    • Megan Key

      Katrina Chambers hahaha! You are such a cool mum! They all love you!

  • Jenni Eyles

    I have to get permission for every single pic and I never use their names. I do write about the occasional parenting moment but am not a mummy blogger.

  • Acce Donnie

    Great post!! I couldn’t agree more!!

  • Ange McThiso

    I don’t post my child publicly I hide her face but post lots on my personal to share with friends and family. I have asked grandparents and aunts to take down public photos too. It’s a creep factor / identification thing for me.

  • Tania Young

    14yo and 17yo…..me posting about them is soooooo embarassing!!!

  • Andrea Arnold

    Am definitely more aware of what gets posted. The older kids (14,12) don’t want to have their pics or achievements shared. I respect that now. Now also more aware of sharing pics of the 5 year old too. Just the dog, myself, or the sky for me too!

  • The Positive Running Mumma

    I LOVE this! Totally agree and have always been very cautious about what I have ever posted on my girls! Like the photo for this article I try to post ambiguous pics of my girls when I do these days xx

  • Megan Jackson

    Thanks for sharing a different perspective on this. I’ve never looked at it this way and it’s quite true – our kids will see it all some day and may not be too thrilled about what they find. Appreciate the blog

  • Jorja Thompson

    I just went to a social media seminar last night, scared the absolute crap out me!! The fact that once you post a photo on fb it is property of Facebook.. Instagram & hash tags of our kids, our businesses and even where we have coffee makes us and our kids open to so much “online grooming” it was scary crazy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *