Posting pictures of your children online
13 February 2017
Anyone who has a social media account will have undoubtedly witnessed someone posting a picture of their child at some stage, whether it be their new baby that they just can’t get enough of, their ten-year-old winning a football trophy or a throwback image of their teenager as a baby.
But what are the implications behind this?
You will be aware of the potential risks behind posting pictures of young children on sites such as Facebook; you don’t know who is going to end up seeing it and where the image may end up. The issue we want to focus on in this article however, is about posting pictures of older children, those at the end of primary school and in secondary school.
“Nearly one in ten parents said their children had been involved in a cyberbullying incident”
With cases of cyber-bullying increasing we asked parents if they thought posting images online of their children without their consent could inadvertently give fuel to the bullies and end up making it worse for the child; or if this mind-set is caused by a growing society of ‘over-cautiousness’, with people’s tendency to over-analyse every decision and it’s possible outcome making for a much more restricted life.
Parent X – ‘I don’t want the world to be able to see my child’
“I understand the concept of wanting to ‘show off’ your child’s achievements to the world, for when my 12 year old son’s football team got through to the final round of their football tournament, I was so proud and posted a picture of his little face beaming holding up his medal, but when he unfortunately did not win the final match he asked me to take the picture down. This is when I realised I hadn’t actually even considered asking him if he was okay with me posting it in the first place. I had started getting likes and congratulations comments from people that I had not spoken to in years and that had never even met my son. As harmless as these were, mainly from other parents who understood the proud-mum-moment I was having, I did realise that I had no control over who saw this image; yes I have my privacy settings on but how much restriction does this really give me?
“Another point this raised was when I went to post a picture of the whole team; I stopped myself posting that one over the worry that I had not received the permission of the other parents or children to post a picture of them, so what right did I have to do so?
“Based on this experience and others I make sure I always ask my children before posting pictures of them now, I am aware of the amount of online bullying that takes place and I do not want something I have done to make my children more vulnerable to this.”
Parent Y – ‘We need to stop worrying so much’
“Of course I don’t want pictures of my daughter to end up in the hands of someone inappropriate, but I am not going to let that stop me sharing pictures of her milestones and achievements with my family and friends on social media. I am mindful of not posting any images that may be construed as inappropriate but even that makes me think it is a sad society we live in; what is a completely innocent picture taken in a safe environment could be shunned by others with people thinking they have a right to comment on other people’s parenting just because they have seen a picture of their child.
“My daughter is too young for the bullying aspect but I do understand the worries around cyber-bullying so this is obviously something I will take into consideration and talk to her about as she gets older but for the minute she is my little girl and it is down to us as parents to decide if and what pictures of her go anywhere.”
We would love to know your thoughts on the subject – let us know by commenting below or tweeting @PhewUK.
For all the latest news, information and resources for child safeguarding visit procedures.org.uk.