Grandparents and limiting the facebook-ing of kids.

In my personal life (outside of the forums, I guess) I am a very “You don’t need to know the details of my personal life unless I explicitly tell you” kind of person, and GM and I don’t want our pregnancies and kiddos to be posted on Facebook and such until the kids are old enough to understand and use Facebook etc and give consent.

I’m trying to pre-plan to navigate this with my parents. When we told them we got married and shared the photo we took of us eloping, my mom immediately posted the photo and the news to Facebook without asking. I was annoyed, but like, I hadn’t told her not to? So I kind of let it go.

I want to be a lot more explicit about boundaries with kiddos. So I’m planning on mailing with my announcement gift a bunch (10? 20?) of pregnancy announcements and envelopes that they can send to whoever they want, but they have to personally mail an announcement or call/text. No Facebook posts to everyone.

But I also don’t want to over-censor their lives. I don’t think it’s a bridge to far to ask not to post their pictures or any PII such as name, birthday, which of her children’s kid it is, etc… I figure if the people reading the Facebook posts haven’t been directly told these things, I am certainly not close enough to want those individuals to know, and my paranoid ass doesn’t want Facebook to know.

But I think I should be chill if my mom or MIL wants to mention at some point on a feed how excited she is to be a grandmother, that she got to see grandchild(ren) or ultrasound or in person or something. It is important for her to be able to tell people about the exciting aspects of her life, and if she can omit personal details there’s no big issue with that.

Has anyone else navigated family members that are habitual Facebook sharers? What has been effective in drawing boundaries? Did you get pushback you hadn’t expected?

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What’s been most effective for us:
-I did advance convos. If you share ANY Latte photos, your whole profile must be friends only. No posting to groups. No pics in your profile pic.
-I white list Facebook content. I will send a picture (often one from the back, otherwise a family group photo type thing) and I will explicitly tell mom/MIL “this is FB okay”
-for their involvement and enjoyment, I have a google photos album with all parents siblings and closest friends on it that we post to almost every day. These stay in the album, but we also gave each set of grandparents digital frames that automatically show these. Both sets of parents have told us they often won’t watch TV, just sit and watch the frame scroll latte photos :joy: this has been a good compromise for letting a lot of Latte “shine through” especially during the pandemic, without it being just OUT on the internet.

ETA I also make photo books for most gift giving holidays for the grandparents.

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My sis and BIL have done this with their kid. They were explicit that their daughter’s name and image are not to be used on social media. As far as I know, everyone involved has complied. When we do big group family photos we do a photo of everyone and a separate photo of just those who consent to being on social media.

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My boundaries were different and the people I was working with have different habits. But yes, communicating the boundaries clearly and early are the best. I think in person and in a document is good. And sharing it with family members who don’t need it also helps the grandparents not be singled out.

I’d be aware that things will happen that you wouldn’t think about - like with the wedding pic. Handle it with grace.

And communicate with them your reasons and concerns. For the first few months we were avoiding syncing to google images, but eventually changed our stance. My reasons were ones that the people around me understood and that they knew how to follow.

Are you going to be okay with faces blurred out?

Texting pics to a friend using text or signal
Or WhatsApp? Showing friends a pic on their phone? Sharing details about their day on a non Facebook social media like a forum?

The more it can feel natural for them the better.

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I’ve had a hard time with this. When B was born we were planning to do no Facebook images and intended to use a phone app instead that was only shared with family members. Since we live across the country for all of our families, digital communication is the only way they can see the girls. Well, no one downloaded the app and my grandparents don’t even have smart phones. I decided that it wasn’t being nice to them to not let them see and know my girls and Facebook was really the only solution we could come up with. My grandparents literally keep a windows open at all times on the computer with Facebook, because if it closes they can’t find it again. That’s the level of tech knowledge we are dealing with.

We do have strict rules about other people sharing their pictures, mostly my mom. She has thousands of “friends” most of whom she has never met. We’ve been very strict with her and even made her remove things that she shared without our permission. On our end we have our Facebook locked down and never as people we don’t personally know and I even went through and removed all of the random high school/college people that I’m not actually close with. It’s basically just family and a few friends who are actually friends.

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In our case, we knew who the offenders would be and we made a solid plan between us going in, and laid the expectations down early and often. When there was a violation (only one or two at the beginning), we addressed them kindly and directly: “That’s a great picture I know, but we’re not comfortable with Junior’s face being online, please delete it.”

Our personal guidelines are that (outside of birth announcements), we do not share photos of our kids’ faces on FB. In groups where our kids are in the background, or there are a bunch of kids altogether, we do allow them to be posted, but we don’t allow any tags (FB allows us to set this so no one can tag us). If I share a post with the back of my kids heads, I do allow them to share that with their friends.

Because of our strictness with this policy, I work hard to text and mail plenty of photos of the kids to the people who care.

ETA: And it probably goes without saying, but RLG addresses his family when they need to be corrected, and I address mine. We did get pushback at the beginning, but we held firm and they got over it.

Similarly we refused to give out the kids’ socials so that the grands could set up savings accounts for them. Each kid has a college account that we opened and they are welcome to contribute to it (they won’t, they wanted control, but that’s a hard no from me, sorry).

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I’ve seen this done a few ways that look like they work for my friends with kids.

One is to set up a private group on Facebook where any photos/updates of kid will be posted. Parents set up the group, can control who gets invited and have mod control over what gets published. The group is also set up to not although sharing of posts to outside the group. This works great because group activity shows up on a FB feed like normal stuff and different family members have a set place they post photos they themselves took. I’m in a few of these for friends’s kids. To share outside the group would require screenshots or downloading and reposting the images. Honestly that tends to be too much work and tech savvy for the folks most likely to transgress. The group also allowed for a clear, written explanation (in loving terms) about the whys and rules for kid photo limiting. Great if your people (and you!) are already on Facebook.

Another way is to use one of the various apps out there for sharing content. My SiL uses Tiny Beans, but I know there are many others. It pushes out an email everyday there is new content added and has the ability for people to emoji react or comment on photos. You can also set it up for others to have uploading access. I find this one feels more like looking at a photo album than the more community feel of the Facebook groups. Could be an issue of who is in each or could be due to the specific site design. My husband basically never clicks on the emails. Neither does my FiL. MiL comments on everything. SiL didn’t want her kid on the internet and made that clear to us ahead of time.

My sister set up a WhatsApp group chat when Nephew was born and that was where photos and updates lived for a while. This was more to do with having one place to post stuff instead of sending the same photo to 10 different group chats/facebook/…etc.

The big thing would be, as others have said above, figure out what exactly you feel ok or not ok with. I wouldn’t post a photo of my niece online, but I have shown some on my phone/computer to friends/coworkers. Modern day equivalent to flashing a wallet photo, no one has ability to download the photo and I know it won’t go farther than a quick peek.

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