Previously I wrote an article about a father who shot his daughter’s laptop as a punishment to her. He filmed himself destroying her computer, and then he posted it on Facebook as a way to humiliate her. In another recent example a parent has once again used technology, in my opinion, profoundly inappropriately.
A three-year-old girl made a poop in the shower, as children this age sometimes do, and the father had to clean it up. That’s what parents are supposed to do! No parent ever waxed poetic about cleaning up his or her kid’s poop but we all do it and frankly, it is no big deal. Apparently this particular Dad did think it was a big deal and wanted to make that point clear to his little girl. This father took a picture of his daughter wearing a sign that read, “I pooped in the shower and Daddy had to clean it up. I hereby sign this as permission to use in my yearbook senior year.” He then posted this photo on a website for all to see.
The comments in response to this post varied from those who thought it was “cute” to others who were completely disturbed by the picture. Some even called it abusive. The incident even made it to television news where experts weighed in on the behavior.
The reality is that we have no way of knowing what kind of parent the father who posted this picture truly is. The only thing we know for certain is that he made a bad parenting choice. What is so disturbing is the frequency with which so many parents use the very public forum of the internet to post either information or photos about their children that could in someway come back to haunt those kids at a later time.
One of the important messages parents should be imparting to their children, as they embark on this new frontier of social networking, is that things that are posted on-line will stay in the ether forever. We hear stories about college students who are denied jobs because of Facebook posts showing them in compromising positions. Kids seen drinking and even using drugs on these public sites are creating very unwanted virtual photo albums.
These are careless mistakes of youth that will haunt this generation in particular. Later generations will likely be savvier about posting things that will follow them through life. Posting sweet pictures of one’s kids is not the problem. The problem lies in the fact that some parents feel as though their child’s embarrassing moments are acceptable material for public viewing. Parents should be wiser and more sensitive when it comes to their on-line behavior and treat their children’s privacy with a greater level of respect.
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