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I Love You, But This is Embarrassing

Dr. Laura:

My mother-in-law was being honored for her lifetime achievement as a missionary.  While snapping photos at the end of the ceremony, my mother-in-law and my mom posed with my nine-year-old son.  They both leaned in and kissed my son on each side of his face.  My son rolled his eyes a bit, but a big smile swept over his face, and I snapped one of my favorite photos ever. 

In my sentimentality, I uploaded a few of the photos from the event to social media, including the "double-grandma kiss" photo.  My son came home from visiting one of his grandmas, and said "Nana said you posted the kissing picture!  Did you have to do that?  I love Grandma and Nana, but kissing is just embarrassing!"  With some disappointment, I removed the photo, but that's when I realized that kids should have the right to feel that their home is not a public arena.  They should be able to fall down, sing silly songs , make mistakes and not give a front row seat to the whole world.  My job as a parent is to make my kids feel safe so they can be themselves without their every move a potential upload.  When parents post videos or photos of discipline, shaming, punishments or practical jokes that make a child look foolish, it violates a sacred trust.  They deserve to have an opinion and we should listen.  

My "double grandma" kiss photo will go in the family album.  Maybe someday my son will treasure the photo as much as I do, and maybe he'll even post it himself.  But for now, he's nine and "kissing is just embarrassing!"

Tags: Behavior, Internet-Media, Parenting, Raising Boys to Men, Relatives, Teens
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