Don’t Shame Your Kids on Facebook

Here’s a first person account of me being a bad digital parent.

My wife and kids are in Spain for a couple of weeks. It was a trip mostly planned by my wife’s mother and sister so I elected not to go.

On Friday, kid 2 – a 16-year-old boy who is all kinds of awesome – posted a picture to Facebook. In the pic he was wearing Terminator-style sunglasses and hanging out with another teen he met in a park in Madrid. He was also wearing a light blue shirt, which made it easy to see that he had a wet spot on his upper chest right underneath his chin.

By the time I saw it, a couple of people had commented along the lines of “Who’s your friend?” etc. I Liked the photo, then posted “Hey kid, it looks like you drooled on your shirt a little.”

Good-natured teasing happens frequently in our house, so I didn’t give it much thought beyond that. The next day, I was checking in on Facebook again and I went back to that picture.

My snide comment had been deleted. By my son.

I should have known better. I don’t think he suffers in the self-esteem department, but apparently he didn’t want to be teased by his dad on Facebook, I don’t blame him.

We talk a lot about how long lasting an online post can be (forever), and how it is imperative to think before you post anything. My Facebook comment fell way short of doing any long-term damage, but it was wrong all the same. I should have known better.




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