Since I became a mom, I’ve had a firm “no embarrassing stories about my daughter on the internet” rule.
I’ve never written embarrassing moments in potty learning, tantrums, or other tidbits my daughter may one day find embarrassing to read on the internet.
And here’s why.
Could you imagine if, years from now, you were suffering incontinence and had an accident – and your child’s first response was to send out a tweet or write a Facebook status bemoaning the incident?
Or, if every time your partner and you had a disagreement, or he thought you were being unreasonable, he quoted your “ridiculous tantrum” word for word on social media?
While our children may not be aware of our transgressions on their trust now, there will come a day when they and their friends have their own social media accounts.
Not only is it possible that your child will feel hurt and mortified at having their vulnerable moments documented for the world to see, there is also the possibility that cyber bullying could occur.
I want my daughter to confide and trust in me. I am building that trust now.
I listen when she tells me long drawn-out retellings of her doll’s day.
I ask her questions about how she feels and thinks about things she experiences.
I always acknowledge when she tells the truth, and give appropriate consequences when she confesses to having done something she shouldn’t have — making sure she knows that I am proud of her for telling the truth and facing her consequence.
Using her learning moments to gain a few laughs, or even to evoke sympathy and commissery from fellow parents isn’t worth sacrificing that line of communication and trust.
I have a couple of friends who I can send a quick text message to if we’re encountering an especially trying moment and I really need some support, and maybe even laugh about the absurdity of some of the more trying moments. But these are friends who truly love my daughter and will be respectful with these stories. Maybe even that is slightly inappropriate, and I should be writing these stories down in a journal, or in future letters to give to my daughter.
Because not everything should be shared.
When my daughter starts sharing “the big stuff” with me, I don’t want my first inclination to be to share that information with someone else. I want her to trust me to be the guardian of her secrets, and for her to feel confident opening up her heart to me and knowing that I will protect it.
What do you think? Be sure to share this post if you think others may find it useful!