The more time I spend on Facebook, the more I hope that parents are putting a serious amount of money into the "future therapy fund" for their kids. Just imagine how many sessions with a good shrink it would take to get over finding out that all 544 of your mom's "friends" know you still wet the bed when you were 12. At least a few, right?
Parents generally mean well; we just love our kids so much we can't stop talking about them. But the sooner we realize that kids deserve a little privacy too, the less time we'll have to spend wondering whether our kids will end up hating us. So let's just strike the following topics off the "share" list, shall we?
1. Poopy Proclamations -- I'm not just talking about the "my kid just pooped in the potty" status updates -- although the image, y'all, the image! From a quick survey of a few friends, I noted reports of kids' diarrhea (announcing your kid pees from the butt?), constipation, and the rather awkward description of what exactly their child's fart smells like. If this doesn't seem wrong to you, allow me to posit this: how would you feel if people were discussing the scent of your gas behind your back and poking fun?
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2. Penis Problems -- Folks, your son's non-descending testicle may concern you, but here's an idea ... talk to your pediatrician about it! While we're on the topic, you may want to keep the following under wraps: the length of said son's penis and whether or not you chose to snip his foreskin. He will thank you when he decides to go on a date in 10 years that his new girlfriend's mom is not aware of these details.
3. Menses Matters -- It's fabulous that your daughter is now a woman. Mazel tov! Now can we keep the flow on the down-low?
4. Masturbation -- Don't think parents do this? I got this from a friend: "A woman told me about how she and her 12-year-old daughter discussed self-pleasure. While I applaud her closeness with her child, I don't think her daughter would have wanted ME to know." Couldn't have said it better myself.
5. Relationship Woes -- The backlash against the mom who blogged about her 14-year-old daughter's breakup should be warning enough here, but in case it isn't, let's clear this one up. Your child is in enough pain; they don't need every Tom, Dick, and that guy that lived next door to Mom from fourth through seventh grades knowing every detail of what she currently feels is the WORST THING THAT WILL EVER HAPPEN TO MEEEEEEEEEE. This is her story, Mom, not yours. Let her tell it if she wants to.
6. Custody Issues -- There's a reason judges are coming down hard on parents who air their family court laundry on Facebook ... because it's really, really unfair to their poor kids. Let me just remind you of something: you have no way of controlling how the people reading your wall will use that information. Do you really want your best friend's boyfriend's cousin reading your baby mama drama out loud with their kid in the room ... who will now use it to bully your kid at school? Keep a lid on it!
7. Grades -- This applies mostly to kids who are struggling in school; they're having a hard enough time without the whole neighborhood knowing they're failing algebra. Have a little compassion! But for those of you with a smarty pants in the house, a little goes a long way. Your genius probably doesn't appreciate you bashing everyone's head in with each A-plus either; it doesn't exactly build good will for her back at school.
Frankly, I could go on and on, but this is a good start, don't you think? Now, the next time you want to share a little tidbit about your kids, just think, "If this was about me, would I share it?"
What is the worst parenting overshare you've seen?
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside