Sharing children’s achievements, milestones and funny antics on social media, or ‘sharenting’, is an increasingly common way for parents to document their growth. It is also a way to connect with other parents, share knowledge and seek support. Yet this practice is not without its risks.

Parents often do not seek children’s consent before posting their photos and videos online, as they are too young or simply not asked. What a parent deems as “cute” could potentially be embarrassing or hurtful for the child in future. For example, a chubby baby photo may be used by a peer to bully. Sharing personal details like birthdates also puts them at risk of identity theft. Furthermore, children’s images may be doctored and circulated in immoral networks.

To respect children’s privacy and minimise harm tot heir well-being, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Don’t share pictures of your child in any state of undress.

  • Don’t set up social media accounts for your child using their name, age and location.

  • Read the privacy policies of online sharing sites.

  • Set up alert notifications for when your child’s name appears in a Google search result.

  • Consider sharing anonymously. Consider setting up closed group sharing for family and friends instead of making posts or photos public.

With precautions in place, sharenting can be a great way to keep precious family memories for posterity.

Dr Quah specialises in child welfare and also sits on the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s Advisory Panel on Parenting.

This article was first published on Beanstalk Magazine. Visit for more early childhood resources.