Should parents post photos of their kids on social media?

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DENVER -- Julie Nordstrom likes to share pictures of her three children on Facebook. “Our relatives, and friends, and family that are far away can keep up with us and see the kids, and I feel like we are all kind of closer because of that,” Nordstrom said.

Plenty of other parents do the same. In fact, a recent survey found that a parent on average will post about 1,000 pictures of their child before age 5. So many parents do it, but should they?

There are concerns about identity theft and online predators, but now doctors are voicing their concern about the children’s emotional well-being. Some are suggesting that we should give our kids veto power over what we post, starting at an early age.

Denver Child Psychologist, Dr. Sheryl Ziegler, says parents should ask their child’s permission. “Just say, ‘Would you mind if I share that picture? I thought it was really cute,”  and I think if your child says, ‘No, I don't want to, that would be embarrassing to me,’  you show them that you honor that,” Dr. Ziegler said.

Even if the parents are proud of a performance or an award, the children may be embarrassed, and they will want to create their own digital identity when the time comes.

Plus there’s an issue of quantity.

Dr. Ziegler said we don’t want to create children who are always on. “That`s a great way to raise a child who is completely self-absorbed, when they think that they are on video or on photo all the time, and they smile for the camera and they have those poses. It makes me really sad when I hear those kinds of things,” she said.

Here are a few more tips from doctors:

  • Be careful about giving away too much identifying information like the name of the kids’ school or camp.
  • Never post any pictures in the bath tub or any state of undress. Remember digital images are stolen every day.
  • Don’t post photos of other people’s children without permission.
  • Check your privacy settings to know who is seeing what.
  • Consider what would happen if a bully saw the photo.
  • Consider what would happen if a future employer saw the post.
  • Consider asking your child for permission.