We live in a world where snapping photos of your kids and posting them to social media is about as natural to parents as kissing a boo boo. But while sharing shots of little ones at birthday parties, wearing new outfits, or exploring the zoo is cute, some moments should remain private. Otherwise, you may put kids at risk for embarrassment, or even worse, make them a potential target for child predators. So we suggest keeping these eight photos of kids off the Internet:
1. Bath time
Any photo of your child partially or completely naked, like while he is bathing, is not for public consumption. Unfortunately, what you think is a darling moment of your three tots sudsing up can—cringe-worthy though it may be—fall into the wrong hands, such as those of child pornographers.
2. When they're sick or injured
As parents, it's our job to protect our kids, not take advantage of them. Ask yourself this question: Would you want someone posting pictures of you while you're feeling lousy? Probably not. Apply that standard when you consider what to post and what not to.
3. Shaming photos
Child shaming online seems to be all the rage, but this practice can have devastating effects on kids in the short and long term. Not only does shaming violate trust between parents and children, it may cause post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety later in life.
4. On the potty
Photos of your kiddos doing their business are best kept private when you think of potential future consequences. Remember, anything you share online lasts forever; do you really think your teen wants to see a shot of himself doing No. 2 for the first time?
5. Private details
Keep children safe by never sharing their full names, addresses, where they go to school, if they are babysitting alone somewhere, etc. online. You don't know who might use this information for purposes other than what was intended.
6. Group pictures
If you decided to share photos of your kids online, great. But it's not okay to make this decision for other parents, who may not feel comfortable having their children's faces plastered all over social media. Make sure you have clearance to post any group picture of your child posing or playing with others.
7. Bullying fodder
Consider how posting certain pictures online may impact your child at school. For instance, a picture exposing a weakness, fear or maybe a silly nickname could humiliate your child and have repercussions on his social life.
8. Unsafe activities
You let your child palm a beer bottle for a second and snap a picture. Or you hold a wee one in your lap to move the car from the garage to the driveway, pausing to get a shot on your smartphone. Photos of these seemingly harmless moments were taken in good fun, but sharing them online opens you up for criticism and potential problems, since all the surrounding details may not be immediately evident upon first glance.
What kinds of pictures do you think are best kept private and off of social media?