To let this make me feel sick to the stomach

(67 Posts)
Worriedmumofan8yearoldgirl Mon 06-May-13 22:39:27

I know I am being incredibly paranoid but this has seriously stopped me sleeping. I've had the horrendous realisation that my children at no point have ever consented to me sharing their images with my friends and family on the Internet or indeed entering their images into competitions or onto forums etc.

I have removed the choice from them to have their childhood photos shared with people. I have removed their right to anonymity and privacy.

This isn't a paedo scare by any stretch its my realisation of what an invasion of their space me sharing these photos with people is, and indeed allowing friends and family to take and share these photos.

I'd hate it, and indeed do, if people share old photos of me, so what gives me the right to take that choice from my children.

I sound like a right paranoid nut job don't I but this has seriously been worrying me for a while now and made me want to remove all trace of them from the Internet where I can, but I've forgotten passwords, used old email addresses etc.

I know iabu here but please help me try and rationalise my thinking!

Numberlock Mon 06-May-13 22:40:53

What do you think could happen?

Worriedmumofan8yearoldgirl Mon 06-May-13 22:41:34

Nothing could happen, it's not a case of who sees them it's about me removing the element of choice from my children and how they will feel about it

Ponyofdoom Mon 06-May-13 22:42:03

First World problem. They won't care? You obviously haven't got enough real problems to worry about smile

QOD Mon 06-May-13 22:42:40

This seems a bit ott

You ok?

Worriedmumofan8yearoldgirl Mon 06-May-13 22:43:12

Thanks Pony but seriously I have more than enough problems to worry about which is why my brain has gone into overdrive over this triviality

Worriedmumofan8yearoldgirl Mon 06-May-13 22:43:40

Not really QOD which is why me thinking like this has got me worried

Ponyofdoom Mon 06-May-13 22:43:58

Sorry I was a bit thoughtless. Really though you shouldn't worry about it though.

HotCrossPun Mon 06-May-13 22:44:24

I don't know anybody who has ever objected to people seeing pictures of them from when they were children.

They won't care.

I did think about this today when I posted some pics to fb. Dd was ok with most of them, but there was one she didn't want sharing. I don't think that YABU as they get older (little kids can't really give permission)

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Mon 06-May-13 22:45:43

I don't think we can help you rationalise it.

I'm trying to muster up a decent level of worry and paranoia and I just can't. So I guess if it bothers you enough to stop you sleeping, the best thing to do is get to work removing everything.

TattyBoomBoom Mon 06-May-13 22:45:50

I think this is an interesting modern dilemma as we're raising the first generation where this is a consideration. My DH and I have discussed this, it's not an odd thing to think about!

How public are the images? If on Facebook only visible to selected family/friends then it should be fine, but bear in mind where your child's full name is posted as it may come up on internet searches in years to come (future employers, friends, etc might find).

TwinkleTits Mon 06-May-13 22:46:57

Ok, big time OTT, but I sort if hear where you're coming from.

I hate it when a mum of and older child posts photos of their child looking like shit when they are ill, sleeping in a funny position or with the mouth open, or something along those lines.

Ive posted lots of baby and toddler pics, I personally wouldn't give a crap if my baby or toddler pics were online, I look totally different now.

But my eldest is 6 now and I, beginning to respect his 'right' to have privacy. Id certainly not put up photos liked I described above.

However, I haven't lost sleep over it. I just decided and moved on.

You should too.

Why on earth would they care? Why do you care so much if it even slightly bothers them anyway? You didn't do it with bad intentions and into each life a little rain must fall, hardly end of the world?


Worriedmumofan8yearoldgirl Mon 06-May-13 22:47:43

Recent ones are Facebook only. But early ones aren't. Also the kids birth father shares his photos without consideration which bothers me too

bootsycollins Mon 06-May-13 22:49:36

You have the right to make choices for your children because your their mother and you have their best interests at heart. Your projecting your feelings about photos onto your kids, parents like sharing photos of their kids it's no big deal, relax.

Worriedmumofan8yearoldgirl Mon 06-May-13 22:51:00

Why would they care?

Well my 8 year old daughter is showing signs of an eating disorder and is really conscious of how she looks and especially hates photos being taken of her eating or near food. She also makes a Huge issue of checking every photo taken of her.

I worry mainly about how she will react.

Maryz Mon 06-May-13 22:51:56

I think you are over-reacting, but your post has a premise in fact.

My children were too old by the time Facebook came in for this to be a problem. But they are all very careful about what goes online. They aske their friends to untag or delete unflattering photos. dd in particular is very careful about what goes online.

I do think that there will be some major rows in households in the future when children realise that pictures of them with droopy nappies or snotty noses are available for their schoolfriends to see.

But feeling sick to the stomach is a bit of an over-reaction. Just go through and delete the crap ones.

ryanboy Mon 06-May-13 22:55:45

Take them down then.Problem solved!

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Mon 06-May-13 22:56:42

Worried - I have no idea what else is going on in your life, but I don't think posting in AIBU is going to help you. This is a total non issue - our children are growing up in an age where this is the 'norm' - they wont be affected by it. The fact that you are so overly worried about this scares me and I hope you can get some help to deal with whatever is causing you to be this anxious x

You need to address the body image issues your daughter has, rather than the photos thing. It's a bit like worrying about having calorific food in the house if your daughter has an eating disorder.

squeakytoy Mon 06-May-13 22:58:38

OP, would you have a problem if your parents had given out photos of you as a child, if relatives or friends of your parents had photos of you in an album or on slides somewhere?

Its an image.. nothing more.

QueenoftheWildThings Mon 06-May-13 23:00:03

I don't think it would stop me sleeping, but I do sort of know where you are coming from. My SIL emails around to the family pictures of her son naked (they are cute, he's a baby) but it does make me uncomfortable because he doesn't have a choice and it seems like its undermining his dignity somehow. He is little, but he does still have a right to privacy and respect and if he can't assert that right himself then his mother should be doing it for him, rather than emailing pictures of his naked butt to all and sundry. I don't feel worried about the usual 'here we are on a day out with the family' type snaps, just the ones that would or could embarrass or humiliate later in life. I think this might be a minority view though, everyone else thinks they are straightforwardly adorable, so I might just be weird.

Misknit Mon 06-May-13 23:03:48

They are growing up in a different time. Things have changed very quickly. The photos from my childhood are horrific because because of film and it being click and hope for the best. They are also limited because processing was seen as expensive. And many are ruined because my dad left them in a damp garage after a move sad I would rather have more. My husband has even fewer and it's something he's often upset about.

I have hundred if photos of pfb. I've uploaded many on FB to share easily with friends and family around the world. The privacy settings mean they are shared with people who I would share a physical album with (if it wouldn't actually bore them to tears). I've been able to edit them and add filters to make them look their best. It keeps them in a chronological order for me.

I am also crap at backup and have had far too many harddrives die on me. If my children are embarrassed when they're older I'll deal with it then but I think they will see it as normal in the future.

Worriedmumofan8yearoldgirl Mon 06-May-13 23:04:01

Squeaky, yes, I really don't like photos of me as a pre-19 year old. I especially don't like ones that could be used to laugh at me.

I feel the same about my children, that they should be allowed the right to say 'oi, that's a horrible photo, delete it now!'

With everything being searchable it's concerning that by the time they enter the world of work, you can sling their names into google and get their entire life in all it's photographic glory.

Just doesn't sit right with me for some reason.

And yes I know we need to address my daughters issues outside of this, and we are doing so.

Maryz Mon 06-May-13 23:10:44

Misknit has a point.

As the youngest of five, dh doesn't have a single baby photo of himself. He has one taken at his First Communion, and then nothing until I met him when he was 23.

It's very sad really - he has no record of his childhood at all.

I, on the other hand, have lots of photos of my childhood, most of which I hate.

So it's swings and roundabouts. Surely there is a middle ground - no ugly or jokey photos, no naked or tantrummy photos, be a little careful of how much you admit to online.

squeakytoy Mon 06-May-13 23:28:37

"With everything being searchable it's concerning that by the time they enter the world of work, you can sling their names into google and get their entire life in all it's photographic glory"

But you cant. Your children are not tagged by their names with a facebook account, and if your accounts are securely set, then nobody can just "access" them.

There are hundreds of photos of me on my and my friends facebook accounts, including tagged photos, but if you put a google search in, not one of those photos shows.

GibberTheMonkey Tue 07-May-13 00:16:21

I only post nice pictures of my children and now they're older (6/8/10) I ask if I can post them. They rarely say no and if they do then I don't post them. I tend to only put positive family things on fb though, if you include cute pictures of toddlers in saucepans grin

Morloth Tue 07-May-13 00:18:12

I have always kind of thought this.

We don't put any up ourselves and whilst I don't have a rule for other people, there aren't any (that I know about) of them up alone - so they are in some party pics and stuff like that, but not under their names.

I don't really feel that it is my decision to make and it is easy enough not to.

We have plenty of photos of the boys, and they have been emailed etc, but they are not intentionally shared by us.

This is a happy medium for us.

loopydoo Tue 07-May-13 00:24:31

We don't put any up to date pics of the kids online....there are a couple of them as babies/toddlers n FB but only because they are pretty much unrecognisable to what they look like now.

However, this is due to my husband's job in the armed forces. We are told categorically not to put any pics of our children online for family security and safety. Most forces families ignore this and do it anyway but we have been very strict about not doing it.

I guess it's what about what your children want. If they old enough to be asked, then ask them. And remove ones they don't like that you already posted prior to asking.

loopydoo Tue 07-May-13 00:25:43

Forgot to mention,that I would never post it's of other people's children without their permission and in the past have asked friends to remove pics of ours children that they may have posted on FB.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 07-May-13 00:25:45

I can see where you are coming from. It's something I've thought about observing Facebook friends uploading all sorts of photos of their children (naked ones for example). It's a modern issue though and it's true that the children might not care. But then again they might do.

I don't think it would upload photos of my own children,when I have them.

maddening Tue 07-May-13 05:25:50

But people used to share photos printed on paper - passed out copies and passed round photo albums? Unless you have people who are strangers on fb and really low security settings then I don't see the difference.

MammaTJ Tue 07-May-13 05:32:25

My DD will say when I am taking a photo of her 'Is this going on facebook?'.

I ask if she wants it to and she loook at it and decides. I respect her wishes.

She is 7.

DS doesn't care. He is 6 and very laid back anyway. I have no photos of him as a newborn as he was born with a black eye and it was closed. I was told it would get better and was waiting for that to happen before taking pics. It didn't, he has ptosis, so his eye does not open properly.

catgirl1976 Tue 07-May-13 07:29:19

We live in a digital age now

I really don't think they will think anything of it as they grow

Sharing our lives on-line is the norm now. It will certainly be the norm to our children

Hiddenbiscuits Tue 07-May-13 07:38:16

OP i actually had the same thoughts a while ago, realised i didn't actually know half the people on my FB yet was sharing pics of DD with them. People from school 15 years ago, friends of friends i had met once etc... It bothered me so i left. If i do rejoin i will just have closest friends and family rather than in effect strangers

Tee2072 Tue 07-May-13 07:41:55

You make decisions for your children every day. That's what being a parent is about.

If you want pictures up, then have them up. If you don't, then don't.

But don't make it about upsetting your children while they are still children. Surely you do a lot of things that upset them as that's being a good parent?

If your daughter has body issues, she's going to have them whether there are pictures on the internet or not. Deal with that. I think you're clouding a much bigger issue, her body image issues, with a minor issue of pictures on the internet.

Would it make you feel better if you knew for certain that she wouldn't care less? If not, it does sound like a deeper issue.

fluffyraggies Tue 07-May-13 08:24:41

OP i think you raise a valid point and as other posters have proved you're not the only parent to have these concerns.

I think maybe the anxiety you are feeling about your DD right now has heightened your worry about the issue, but i don't think your basic concerns are hysterical or OTT at all.

I think you have done the right thing by acting as best you can to limit the pictures released, and know that it is something you will bare in mind in the future. This should allay your anxiety, and make you feel more in control.

FWIW neither DH or i are on face book, and have never posted any photos of ourselves or the kids on the internet. Family and friends may well have, but they will be few and far between. My eldest DD (20) was pretty miffed a few months ago to hear that a rotten photo of her had been posted on FB by a friend of a friend. DD2 of my 3 is the only one who is on FB, and she is there only to chat with her BF. They don't do pics.

We're normal people, and we lead normal lives. We're just not available to view online smile

Stinkyminkymoo Tue 07-May-13 08:37:04

Whilst I think you are overreacting with your distress, I think YANBU to be aware of your DCs privacy. We don't have any photos of our DD on FB as she might not be happy when she's older to have pics of her all over the Internet.

I've seen some photos on FB that make me a bit shock including one of a friends baby that was still covered in vagina grease FFS! I'd be mortified if that was me!

Still, if other people wish to post photos of their DCs that's their choice but I do ask people not to post pics of my DD though this gets ignored and I have to ask them to remove the photos and explain why

Stinkyminkymoo Tue 07-May-13 08:47:46

Just caught up on the thread to see your dd had body issues so now understand your distress.

It's also worth noting that just because you delete a photo off fb doesn't mean that it has been deleted and that bothers me too.

MiaowTheCat Tue 07-May-13 08:53:51

"I don't know anybody who has ever objected to people seeing pictures of them from when they were children."

The bastard schoolfriend who scanned in the photos of me with a hideous 80s perm that was veeering more toward afro territory needs stabbing with a blunt pencil (lightheartedly). These days even old fashioned print photos come back to haunt you as there's always someone bored with a scanner and time on their hands to make sure your teenage fashion mistakes get documented online for all posterity.

It's just the way the world's gone - but I think there's a large space now for mentally censoring what photos you keep and upload since it's not only so accessible - but tagging photos mean it's directly linked to you (I never tag photos). I don't think future employers would quibble over the cute photo of you in your knickers in the paddling pool in the garden... but I think that it means parents owe it to their kids to NOT put on things like first poo photos, placenta and all sorts of other oversharing and I think it needs mentioning fairly heavily to kids as they're hitting the age of getting mobile phones with cameras etc (my mum drummed into me even before this - never ever ever let a guy take photos of you naked as they'll ALWAYS hang over you... stuff like this is more vital than ever now) - but normal childhood photos I don't worry about too much - I just like to have control over what's posted of my girls, I know what the privacy's like on my account - I don't know what the privacy's set like on the accounts of their grandparents, uncles, aunts and whatever.

MoominsYonisAreScary Tue 07-May-13 09:01:38

miaow yep same thing happened to me, lovely perm for all to see.

Ds1 is 18 and doesn't care what photos i add, although i do make sure they are nice ones!

elmerelephant Tue 07-May-13 09:08:00

I do think it is a possible issue, especially if you have an unusual name, I now have a bog standard name, so if anyone googles me, there are thousands of hits, but my naiden name is a different matter, only my family have it. If I still had that name I would be very careful of what I posted online.

Patchouli Tue 07-May-13 09:11:13

I don't put pictures up of my DD's for the very reason that they have no say in it. There are a couple out there - but only ones that are public anyway: local paper / school sports etc.

I know that 80s perm grin and wouldn't want every Tom Dick & Harry looking through my childhood family album.

MiaowTheCat Tue 07-May-13 09:18:32

So basically we're all agreed that the 80s just needs obliterating from history in general.

rambososcar Tue 07-May-13 09:28:11

Patchouli? confused You don't put up photos because your children have no say in it? Young children have no say on whether they go to Sainsbury's with their parents, whether they wear a red or a blue coat which may not be flattering. That's what parents do, make decisions in which children have no say.

I'm trying to say what Tee has here btw, that this is a minor thing clouding a bigger issue for the OP.

I'm taking it that few of the parents with concerns have teenagers? When they get to that age they are the ones plastering far more photos over the net than any parent!

MoominsYonisAreScary Tue 07-May-13 09:34:19

ram not to mention their friends, there's always some dodgy looking picture of ds1 being posted by his friends after a weekend out

GreenLeafTea Tue 07-May-13 09:38:21

On a Facebook page for a village I used to live in, someone uploaded a photo with me in it that was taken about 25 years ago. Another person named everyone in the picture and yes, my 14 year old self looked bloody awful.

It really doesn't bother me though. It's just a photo and I say this as someone who was a very camera-shy teen.

Patchouli Tue 07-May-13 09:51:23

Well to be fair I'm not particularly into social media anyway.
Mumsnet is about the only thing I go on.
Twitbook etc don't really appeal to me.

BlackAffronted Tue 07-May-13 09:53:13

I was in the local paper quite a bit as a child, for various school & sport events. It has in no way affected my life.

Maggie111 Tue 07-May-13 11:18:56

Are you going through other problems and anxieties in your life right now? I can understand why some people have those attitudes but these sound like they are recently developed and I wonder if actually they're symptomatic of some issues you're having at the minute?

Something to think about.

pigletmania Tue 07-May-13 11:27:47

Yabvu in the nicest of ways. Calm down have a wine

Helltotheno Tue 07-May-13 11:31:07

Yanbu at all OP. To look at this from another perspective, I don't tend to overly share personal details with people I don't know well or with new people i meet etc about my past, my age etc etc, so if I right now thought there were a load of photos 'out there' of me when I was young, a baby, going to school, doing things that would 'place' me in a particular scenario, I'd be very pissed off. In that sense, I would consider it an invasion of privacy over which I had no control at the time, even though not meant harmfully.

I honestly think it's very positive that you've thought of your child as an actual person (rather than just your child) who may well have distinct opinions in the future that may involve not being overly happy with something you've done, even innocently. Good for you for having that insight.

stargirl1701 Tue 07-May-13 11:33:30

I understand. I have not posted any photos of DD online except the one in the newspaper as it was published anyway. I don't feel I have the right to post her photos on my social network.

honeytea Tue 07-May-13 11:47:59

I think that maybe you need to address your own issues around your image op, I don't think that it is healthy to be upset (as an adult) if someone was to share a photo of your teenage self or a grumpy toddler pic. Maybe your dd is picking up on your negative feelings about self image.

I do share photos of my ds on facebook and if the only thing he has to worry about as an adult is that his loving caring mother shared childhood photos of him then I will feel like he is a very lucky boy and I have done a good job as a mum.

Helltotheno Tue 07-May-13 11:57:35

I don't think that it is healthy to be upset (as an adult)

I wouldn't be upset honeytea but it would be my distinct preference that there not be lots of pictures out there of me. I'm entitled to have that view, as is anyone else, and I don't think it would be right to brush someone's opinion off just because you have a different one!

Fakebook Tue 07-May-13 12:14:35

I understand what you mean, even though you come across a bit OTT.

I've been thinking about this a lot recently. My Mum never let anyone take photos of us without getting the prints off them. Even close friends. Only family and relatives had permission to take photos. She was really quite strict about it for some reason. I suppose she was a bit protective about pictures getting into the wrong hands.

I've put up pics of dd on FB since she was a baby. There must be hundreds and hundreds of her, but all only visible to close friends and family and I sometimes wonder if my mum would have approved of this. I have thought about stopping posting pics of dd once she's older, but this is something I will decide and she can decide in the future. It's funny how the world has changed regarding things like this.

Crinkle77 Tue 07-May-13 13:48:41

If your children are small then I don't think they will even be able to comprehend what your dilemma is about. If they are older teenage children then maybe you could ask if they minded. They might not want all your friends seeing them in a terrible pose

rambososcar Tue 07-May-13 13:53:50

"I suppose she was a bit protective about pictures getting into the wrong hands."

Eh? What in goodness name do you think might have happened to you if the photos ended up "in the wrong hands"? confused Apart, that is, if for example they were of you in a distinctive school uniform and your mother was in hiding from a violent ex?

PatPig Tue 07-May-13 14:24:56


MerkinMaker Tue 07-May-13 17:08:33

loopydo - dh is in the armed forces and he has never been told that. They are told about internet security etc especially concerning military pics but not famillies. Also the security briefs I have been on (due to where we prevously lived) they never mentioned children from a persec senario. That's probably why other forces familiy have pictures on their facebook. However there are still people who put flight details even when specifically told not to.

Dh is strict with his social media and doesn't have any military information or pics so people wouldn't know he is in the military from that.

I have pictures of ds on my fb but I don't have loads and only nice ones and as others have said surely they can't be searched for as they are not tagged with a profile. I will be teaching him when he is older to be careful with what he posts as nothing truly disappears from the internet.

loopydoo Tue 07-May-13 18:34:10

Merkinmaker....DH has been specifically briefed about pictures of the children was whilst they were on posted at the defence academy about two yrs ago.

Fakebook Wed 08-May-13 09:36:00

Rambo, I don't know, I'd ask her now except she died a long time ago. On a plus note though, I know for sure none of our old friends have any embarrassing pics of us as children. My mother was over protective and a bit control freaky. That's the only explanation I have.

PenelopeLane Wed 08-May-13 09:53:45

TBH this has occurred to me as well although it hasn't stopped me uploading pics and not something I lose sleep over.

I think my concern is what someone said up thread about helping your kids maintain dignity. I think I'm especially aware of this as I have a friend who loves to tell rude stories about her DCs - things like talking about her son's foreskin, or stories of her DCs masturbation. It was all well and good when they were young, but now they're older I feel embarrassed for them - especially the boy - that i know these stories. I know that's not quite the same as worrying about pics, but I think that as parents it is worth being aware of actions that could undermine your children's dignity later. 99% of pics wouldn't do this anyway, but it's still worth keeping in the back of your mind.

Greythorne Wed 08-May-13 09:59:40

OP - If you google your child's name now, what comes up?

I have posted a few pics of my DC on to FB, but they are not tagged and the photos are private to friends only so these images do NOT appear in a google search.

I think you are overthinking this.

ICanTotallyDance Wed 08-May-13 10:07:44

Not a problem with under 5s, I'd say. From 5-8 or so I'd post only to 'private' sites (Facebook with privacy settings so only friends can see, etc) and make sure not to post any photos they're unhappy with (no matter how cute!) From nine or ten it really becomes their choice, and definitely by the time they're 13 or so.

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