10 Basic Rules For Posting Pictures Of My Kid On Social Media

Ad failed to load

A defining aspect of the millennial generation is its relationship with social media. For many, the internet played a pretty significant part of their coming-of-age (who here can truly say that didn't read way too much into their crush's AIM away message?) and, therefore, identities. But, now that millennials are having children, many are interacting with their assorted networks in a new way and questioning their personal rules for posting pictures of kids on social media. The subject is not an easy one. Social media is still relatively new, the consequences and benefits of posting photos online can be conflicting, and it seems that everyone else has a passionately held opinion on what's the "right thing to do," which creates a lot of loud, confusing noise that can be difficult to weed through, dissect, and digest to a point that you can weight your options.

Of course, the real answer is, there is no single "right thing" to do, Just like feeding your baby or effectively disciplining your child, this is an issue that everyone needs to study up on and then, after researching and discussions options, making a decision that works best for their family. Honestly, each parent should decide what they share online but, of course, there's one wrinkle with that seemingly pain-free plan: other people.

Other people are what I, humbly, consider to be the biggest parenting dilemma facing any parent. You can do everything you've set out to do for your child and do it well, but your child is surrounded by a billion other people (and so are you, for that matter) and those people can take the rug out from under you and upset all your beautiful, well-thought-out plans with their own ideas and choices. Now, I can't control the fact that my children will come into contact with, in one way or another, toxic masculinity, racism, ableism, and all the other scary things in the world that make me want to wrap myself in a blanket and never leave my couch. But I can control some of the little things, like working really hard to ensure they never see an episode of Caillou.

Ad failed to load

Controlling how my kid's images are used on Facebook is another one of those little things, but it's an attempt that definitely requires assistance from the very people I worry will dismantle my carefully calculated plans. Which is why, in the name of transparency, I'm sharing my personal "Ten Commandments" for sharing pictures of my kids on social media. I understand these rules might not be for everyone, but they're what keep my kids a little bit safer, and the way I feel most comfortable combining social media and parenthood.

Ad failed to load

Thou Shalt Ask First


Always. Every parent has their own rules about what pictures they want posted of their child on social media (if any at all), and they should always get the final say. This is an issue of common courtesy.

Thou Shalt Not Steal My Pictures

A common complaint among a lot of moms I know is grandparents and in-laws, in particular, copying pictures a parent will post of their child and then sharing it themselves. This is a problem for a few reasons

1) Remember Rule #1

2) Even though anything put online is officially out in the world, there are still some security measures in place with privacy settings. Thanks to said measures and settings, I know who's in my network and who I've allowed to see a particular photo or photos. I don't know what weirdos are in your network. Do you even have privacy settings in place?

3) Stealing is rude

4) It might not even be the actual sharing but the principle of the thing. The grandparents in my kids' lives ask and I'm pretty much always fine with it! Why steal what someone is willing to give?

Thou Shalt Not Reveal My Child's Tushie (Etc.) To The World


Gather a group of 10 parents and you will find no fewer than 11 opinions on the appropriateness of child nudity of social media or what even constitutes nudity. So, the best thing to do is to avoid posting it at all if you are not their parent. This includes any and all bathing suit areas, aka any part of the body that would be covered while wearing a bathing suit.

Ad failed to load

Thou Shalt Not Post A Picture With Too Much Identifying Information

This is another security measure, particularly related to locations. Where a child goes to school gymnastics, daycare where they live, or their favorite playground, even if they seem (or are) obvious, should nevertheless be viewed as sensitive information. Not to mention that there are certainly unfortunate circumstances where a child's whereabouts need to remain as "off-the-grid" as possible because of an abusive parent/ex-partner.

Thou Shalt Not Go Out Of Thine Way To Embarrass Mine Child


Like, okay, kids do a really good job of being completely ridiculous in ways that might embarrass them during their teenage years, and I love those pictures just as much as the next person, but there's a limit. And honestly? Your limit might not look like my limit and vice versa. So, if you take a hilarious picture of a kid that may nevertheless be a little embarrassing, ask before posting or just don't post it and save it for your personal amusement rather than share it with the world.

Thou Shalt Not Post Group Pictures Of Children Without Asking All Parents' Permission

Because even if your focus is my child, the other kids need to be taken into consideration. Just ask! Or if you don't know the people for whatever reason, as the parent of the child you do know (and are focusing on in the picture) if they can ask.

Ad failed to load

Thou Shalt Not Get Competitive


I'm not saying who this is aimed (mostly) towards (cough cough, grandparents, cough cough) but please do not use pictures of my child as a way to have weird, passive aggressive competitions with your friends about whose grandchild is better. Because it often gets ugly and always gets weird. Just, like, be cool, ya know?

Thou Shalt Monitor For Unauthorized Use Of Picture By Others

If you're posting a picture of my child, you are now the steward of that picture, and, as their parents, we ask that you try to extend the rules we have established as far as you can. If you see someone stealing your picture of our child, please ask them not to do that.

Thou Shalt Not Get Mean


I feel like this goes without saying, but don't post a picture of my kid and get snarky about it. Like, jovial, good spirited sarcasm is always fun and appreciated (though use caution). But something like, "Look at this kid's stupid face! What a stupid kid, LOL," is never acceptable.

Ad failed to load

Thou Shalt Absolutely Friggin' Not Post A Picture Of My Child And Me If I Look Like Crap


Because yes, blah blah blah, protect children online, but what about me? My good people, I carefully select the images of me that go online. So, even if it's a picture of my child and I just happen to be holding them, make sure I don't look like a doofus. Here's a handy rhyme to help you remember:

Looking happy and self-possessed?
For posting, that's a yes!
If I look like a hellacious she-beast with bad hair, a frumpy outfit, and poor posture, don't you dare post my picture because I will end you.

See? Easy as pie!

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills