All mothers talk about their kids. We brag, we whine, we ask for prayer, but they are our favorite topic. And if we occasionally share Too Much Information we know that the handful of friends who heard us will forgive and pretend to forget.
Unfortunately social media doesn’t work that way. You might have only vented to one friend in real life, but online it could be read by hundreds of people. Your unguarded confession could come back to haunt you…and your children.
And so, in the interest of protecting our children, our reputations and the general public I propose a pledge for smart Mommas everywhere.
1. I will not fight with the father of my children on Facebook. Yes, my husband and I joke, we tease, we tell stories on each other, but if there’s an issue between us, it will not be made public for the world…and my children’s friends to see. This should hold true regardless of your current marital status.
2. I will not comment on my child’s relationships on Facebook. If there’s a spat between her and her friend I will not leave my blistering two cents about “some people” and “knowing who your real friends are” and (ironically) “maturity”. My kids’ friends, BFFs and boyfriends will not be identified by me on Facebook. Relationships will remain unacknowledged unless there was a diamond ring and a talk with Dad. Break-ups and tiffs are not worthy of public comment unless the wedding invitations are already in the mail.
3. I will not post pictures of my underage daughters in skimpy swimsuits. Every few years Hollywood has a scandal when the latest Disney Channel star turns eighteen. Well, the media must not be seeing some of the pictures that come across my feed. Moms, maybe you and your daughter have this joke about her being a pin-up girl. Maybe you play around like she’s in a photo shoot. I get that. But please understand that your pictures don’t include laughter and sarcasm. The pictures are of a nearly-naked fourteen-year-old with an arched back and…well, nearly-naked. Let’s pledge together that we won’t make adult men extremely uncomfortable by exposing our precious daughters before them.
4. I will not post anything that I wouldn’t say in front of my children. This is a little tricky because sometimes there are those inside jokes that adults can talk about in front of kids and they don’t get it. Well, they will someday. And if they don’t their friends might. Or their friends’ parents. Or their future in-laws. I will only post topics that I am willing to explain to my children. If I don’t want them to get the joke, then I won’t post it.
5. If I embarrass my kids on Facebook (and I intend to) it will be because they think I’m a nerd. My children will cringe at some of the things I admit to online. They might claim that someone hacked my account to make that post, but if they are embarrassed it will be because they don’t want their friends to know what a fuddy, stick-in-the-mud parent I am. It will not be because I’m pretending to be a hip, edgy, sexy woman in an attempt to get one last “thatta girl” before she coasts over the hill.
6. I will not question those in authority over my children on Facebook. Responsible choices must be made when we are in disagreement with our child’s teachers, coaches or pastors. What we share with our kids should be carefully considered. Sharing with the world shouldn’t be considered at all. When my child is in trouble with his school/team/club (and it will happen…again) I won’t post about it as if his offense were in some way humorous. I won’t minimize the trouble he’s caused or question the official response – not online. If there’s any discussion it will be between the adults involved and will probably result in a written and/or personal apology from my child to the teacher. Anyone that I trust enough to work with my children deserves my respect…and sympathy.
So, what do you think? Do you disagree with any of these points? What other restrictions would you like to see mothers self-impose?