Are you building a shame file on your kids?

Experts have called for parents to STOP posting pics of their kids. Not for safety, but to save their adult blushes

How much of your social media activity is about your children? Most parents think nothing of posting photos and info about their kids on Facebook. But now we’re being warned to think carefully before doing this, and not for the reasons you think…

There isn’t much I don’t share about my kids online. I have been hard wired to post and publish all cute moments, developments and special occasions on Facebook. It’s like a default mechanism. I never think twice.

Until now.

National Children's Commissioner Megan Mitchell says it's time for parents to rethink this habit. We're so busy lecturing teenagers about what they should and shouldn't post online but are forgetting to be cautious about what we are sharing because it could embarrass them later in life. Like, when they are a high court judge and there are pictures of them naked in a tub in the backyard for all to see...

"As adults we often tell children to be careful and to avoid images or information being made available to people who don't know you," she told the Courier Mail. "These are the things we should be thinking about ourselves."

She makes a good point that once a child turns 18, photos can't be posted without their consent. So the 18 years worth of photos mums and dads have made public are still out there, without their consent.

This begs the question - do parents really have the right to post information and photos about children without their consent? Sure, kids are often too young to understand and comprehend what it means for their parents to share information and post photos. So should we go back to telling stories to friends, family and work colleagues only? Should we go back to showing photos of our kids only to a select few?


Ms Mitchell says, "Parents need to be careful about what images they put up, think about who is going to access them and think about the longevity of the image.''

Then she makes another good point, damn it. She says many of the moments parents choose to share might humiliate our kids when they are older. "A lot of parents are proud of their children and want to show their youngster is progressing in life and the good things they do, but some of the things we might find amusing the child may find humiliating,'' she said.

So while the habit to post and update is ingrained in most modern parents, is it time we blocked access to our children's images and sharable moments, just like celebrity mums? Or block their faces in photos we post, like Beyonce does? Is it time we properly managed our children's online profiles and perhaps recognised the fact it's not really our right to manage their online presence on their behalf?

There are a handful of people in my life who don't let me post photos of their children. It was my brother-in-law who was the first in my inner circle to comment that he didn't want photos of his children on Facebook so I respected his wishes, until he started doing it himself and forgot his earlier hesitation. But perhaps he was right?

Not according to Prue MacSween, media commentator and owner of Verve Communications, who says it's a parents' right to embarrass their children.

She wrote in the The Daily Telegraph:

At my 21st birthday party, my family took great delight in producing a photo of me posing nude on a lamb's wool rug. I hasten to add I was six months old at the time, with dimpled bottom for all to see.

Only this weekend I was joking with my children about some funny images I had taken of them. They were going straight to the pool room and would be produced at the appropriate special birthday.

Embarrassing our children at milestone moments is a rite of passage for parents. We've earned it. These images often capture crazy, magic moments in time that will be treasured forever. No one has the right to take them away from us.

Do you agree? Should we be worried about our child's future feelings, or is it our right to embarrass them as much as we like?