Nowadays nearly everyone has a social media account, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, X, TikTok, or all of the above. They are part of today’s world and how we keep up with news and connecting with friends. Much of our lives are on our social media pages as we share our latest vacation, home project, or family photos. No matter how private you make your settings, your information is out there once you click ‘share’. The original generation that grew up with Myspace and Facebook have children now and need to decide how much they wish to share of their lives. Social media privacy is a personal decision for each family to decide on their own.

Asking Others Not to Share Photos of your Children

You have decided that only you and your partner will post some family photos on your social media accounts, or perhaps none at all. Now, how do you make sure friends, family, or even acquaintances at playgroup don’t post pictures of your child? This can feel uncomfortable at times, however social media privacy is a right you have to make for yourself and your children. When my first child was born we informed everyone, as they met him or if we texted a newborn photo, that we had decided not to post his name or picture on social media. Some family members were bummed as they wanted to share pictures with friends, but all were respectful of our choice. Instead, we said that we would share pictures on a private app called Tinybeans.

Whenever making new friends at storytime, the park, or playgroups, I just let parents know of our stance on the matter the first time they take a picture with my child in it. I simply say, “Oh that is such a cute photo of the two boys! I just want to let you know my husband and I don’t post pictures of him on social media, but we are fine with sharing pictures via text or email.” Never have I had anyone question the matter or unfriend me. Another scenario that sometimes arises is other parents or staff members taking photos of the group of children in action. As soon as a camera or phone is held up to capture the moment, I let them know of my social media privacy wishes so they can avoid having him in the photo or only get the back of his head.

Social Media Privacy & Rules

What do you do when your child is under the care of a nanny, daycare, or public school? Most daycares and schools will have a photo release form for parents to sign. You can make clear requests such as, your child can be in the weekly newsletter, but not posted online. When you hire a nanny, you need to make sure that you communicate your social media rules. Just as most larger corporations have a social media policy, you can too. Include your family’s social media privacy rules in the nanny contract. Have an open discussion about it with examples and an opportunity for your nanny to ask questions. If you already have a nanny but haven’t discussed this yet, you can easily set up a meeting before or after work. It is never too late to set guidelines to keep your family safe.

Review these questions with your partner when setting up your family’s social media privacy guidelines.

  • Are you okay with your child’s photo being shared on social media, but not their name and not ‘tagged’?
  • Are you okay with the back or side of your child’s face being posted online… or do you prefer no pictures at all?
  • Can the nanny make a reel, including your child, showcasing an activity they are doing together?
  • Should your nanny be ‘checking-in’ or sharing their location on social media when with your child? Note that if location preferences are on, when posting photos the social media apps do this automatically.
  • What if the press is at a local library event they are attending, are you okay with your child being in the newspaper?
  • Would you prefer they not share photos on their personal social media page and instead to the family’s shared google album?
  • How comfortable are you being social media ‘friends’ with your nanny or child’s teacher? It’s okay to let them know you prefer to keep a professional relationship and not connect on social media. It is also okay if they don’t wish to connect.

Open Communication

Be transparent about your social media privacy wishes from day one and you won’t have any issues. Just as children thrive from clear set boundaries, so do adults. We want to know what is allowed and what is not so we don’t accidentally upset someone. Having everyone on the same page will make for a positive family – nanny relationship. When you work with our nanny agency we are always here to support you. Reach out to us at [email protected] if you ever need help approaching a difficult conversation.

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