Staying Private In A Very Public Age

We have chosen to keep my child’s identity private in this very public age. However, I love seeing your children and families in my news feed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Nothing fills my heart like seeing pictures of your newborn. A child’s lost tooth. First {and last} days of school. Family vacations and other milestones. Please, please keep sharing! I love that Social Media has made it possible to stay in touch with family and friends in different states and countries! But please don’t be offended when I don’t share the same pictures of my child, ok?

Here’s why.

From conception, we decided that we were going to limit what information we shared on Social Media of our child{ren}. We did share a picture after she was born, and we would do so each month on her “monthly birthday” for the first year, with other pictures here and there. But her last “monthly birthday” picture would be the last time we would share her on a “public” platform. At least in full view.

I know we unintentionally offend family and friends when asked why we don’t post more of her. And we offended even more, asking them to not post pictures they had of her. At the end of the day, I need to remember it is my child and I owe no one an explanation {and neither do you for your choices}.

But let me explain.

Babies are born with a certain appearance. Cute, yet swollen {depending on the birth}, dark hair, light hair or no hair.  Babies are born, typically, with blue or brown eyes. They grow and change SO much over the course of the first year. They will grow and gain weight. Hair will fall out and regrow a different color and texture {completely normal}. Their eye color will change, several times even, the first three to six months of life and their skin color may even change.

I was okay with sharing “monthly birthdays” and holiday pictures the first year because I knew that her full head of jet black hair would change. To a shade of red. Only to change at least two more times before where we are now. I knew that her itty bitty body would gain weight as she was nourished. I knew that her look at only being ten minutes earth-side would be completely different of her look at almost three-years-old.  Many attributes she has today will carry her into adulthood and I am not willingly ready to share her like that to the world.

It is my job to protect.

We live in a very public age. Everyone seems to be in-the-know. And this scares me. It scares me in the fact that I do not have control over what information is out there about my child, specifically {she is young and very vulnerable}. It scares me because I don’t know who is seeing information about my child. It’s terrifying because Human Trafficking and Sex Trafficking are very real. By choosing to be somewhat private, I can control these things that terrify me. To an extent.

The human and sex trafficking fear has been in the forefront of my mind for several years now. However, it wasn’t until we went for a well-baby visit and talked with her pediatrician, that I really started to take a deeper look at statistics and understanding. After all, I am the mama, and it is my job to protect.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery.  A trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person against the persons will {National Human Trafficking Hotline}. Did you know that, according to “The CNN Freedom Project” accessed March 4, 2015, human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry {behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking}? It generates a profit of $32 BILLION every year. This is astonishing {and sickening} to me! And not to scare you, but rather to educate you, look here for more statistics. The National Human Trafficking Hotline has a lot of great information to make us more aware and knowledgeable.

Who Am I To Judge?

And I hope you won’t judge me for my decision, either. I swore I would never be “that” mom. You know, the helicopter mom.  You’ve heard the term. Controlling, in a sense, day in and day out what the child{ren} do. Because let’s face it. Times have changed and we all feel the need to be “controlling.” I didn’t want to be the helicopter mom, but I knew I couldn’t be the mom that let my child roam free, either. It isn’t the 1980’s {when I grew up} where we can let our child{ren} run the streets until the street lights come on.  

In reading more about helicopter parenting, I really don’t think I fit this “classification” of parenting styles. I do keep my child close. I know her strengths. Her emotions. But, I let her take risks – yes, even at only two-years-old. I let her struggle.  However, she knows how loved she is and how I will do everything in my power to give her the self-confidence to grow.

It’s All About Balance.

At the end of the day, you are your child{ren}’s protector. You know what is best for your child{ren} and you. Just remain vigilant and you’ll be perfect, mama.

“Failure and challenges teach kids new skills, and, most important, teach kids that they can handle failure and challenges.” ~ Dr. Deborah Gilboa, M.D.

 

 

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