Is it okay to share photos of your grandchildren on Facebook? 85



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As a proud new grandmother and an avid photographer, I took great joy chronicling my grandson’s first year of life. Naturally, I wanted to share that feeling with my friends and family.

This put me in a dilemma: how much should I share on Facebook? Is it appropriate to share at all?

While there are no easy answers, and every family is different, the following two golden rules helped me navigate the dangerous waters of online etiquette.


Rule #1: Always ask for permission first

It’s hard not to take some “ownership” of the new family baby, especially if they’re the first of a new generation. As such, it can be easy to forget the primary rule: this should always be the parents’ decision.

Even if they photograph and share their child’s every waking moment, this is no substitute for asking; they may prefer to limit photos to a very specific audience.

If possible, be sure to involve both parents in the decision, as they may not be on the same page. My daughter was delighted to see every single photo of her son on Facebook. Her husband, on the other hand, was understandably concerned. In the year since, their positions have slowly evened out.

Stay conscious of their concerns and respect their wishes, however changing or inconsistent they might be. Today’s parents are among the first to deal with social media, and the rules are still being hashed out; it can be hard to find a balance protectiveness and pride. Remember: as with all other parents throughout history, they’re figuring this out as they go along!



Rule #2: Consider the long-term impact

You won’t just need to consider things from the parents’ point of view; you may also need to imagine your grandchild’s future.

No longer are baby photos hidden in a dusty album, ready to strategically embarrass grandkids as our grandparents embarrassed us.

Speaking to MainStreet, clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg reminds us that these photos may be freely online well into their adulthood. “What is (the child) going to think of what you posted when they are 13 or 14? If you post a picture of them looking chubby or picking their nose, it could set them up for bullying”.

She also warns of the dangers of “branding” children at an early age. “”You may be raising someone who as an adult says, ‘Oh, I’m shy because I’ve always been shy,’ because you put that label on them from birth”.

When choosing which photos to share, this advice was incredibly helpful in sorting the “yes” pile from the “no”.


Finding a happy medium

In my case, without a definitive “yes” or “no”, I found the safest solution: sending the shortlisted collection of photos directly to the parents. Not only was the politeness noted; it was also appreciated as a wonderful gift – far more so than if they had been shared via Facebook.

The parents have since selectively chosen their favourites to share online.

It’s not always easy – part of me still yearns to hold up my beautiful grandson for the world to see – but I can rest far easier knowing the final word is with those most entitled to it.


Are you comfortable sharing photos of your grandchildren on Facebook? What is and isn’t appropriate to share?




Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I would imagine that it would be best to ask the parent’s permission first, as they might have objections.

  2. I face this dilemma every day and my daughter and her parrtner have the same opinions as yours did. My dilemma was also that we have family overseas who love to see my grandchildren’s progress. I suppose that I could send photos by email to them privately but they are all on facebook….however yes we should listen to the parents and I should start listening to my own advice!!!

    7 REPLY
    • Yes guys I do the above however still have doubts as to who “owns ” the images that we post. My son tells me that if you use a facbook app to upload the images then they own the images.He has advised me to use a link and then share the link…possibly Dropbox.

    • My daughter shares their photos on her FB page but only to friends and family. I very rarely post them. Rather email them

    • Unfortunately any thing shared, private or otherwise, can be stolen and used anyway so desired

    • Never post my grandkids. That is for their parents to do and I have a paranoa about pedeophiles getting their grubby hands on photos.

  3. I am strictly not allowed to photograph or share on FB anything on my newest little grandson. So for distant friends and family he is called “phantom baby”. They have very involved reasons which I don’t understand but obviously will respect. It is sad that none of us,as family, exist in the photos they take of him,and I have to wait till my birthday to receive a little album of photos. It is what it is.

    1 REPLY
    • I think it’s called emotional blackmail because if you don’t play by the rules you loose your rights as a grandparent ..just sad

  4. Some parents put their.children.on facebook anyway and its the only way l get to see my great nieces and nephews

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    • I have two great, great nieces living in London. I’m so grateful that my great niece puts photos of her toddler & baby on Facebook otherwise I would never see them.

  5. I am not allowed to put photos of my grandchildren on Facebook but I have sent photos in the personal message section. Or if I need to send some I do it by email. It is really hard as I want to show the world but I respect my daughter’s decision and I understand why.

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  6. Just make sure your security is set high and you chose the limits as to who can 1) view your photos, and more importantly, 2) who can share your photos, ie no-one. I know someone who works with police internet child crimes and she shares photos safely and confidently with these securities in place.

  7. I have privacy settings on my page so that only my friends see what I share. I am also in a couple of privste groups so anything I don’t want others to see only gets shared there.

    3 REPLY
  8. Excellent advice. How technology has changed our way of thinking as whatever is posted is there for the world to see whether we like it or not!

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