I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus and count them but rubbish.

I love them so much I don’t show them off

I hope my title will help you begin to almost immediately see where we are going in my comments.  

There are so many parents out there who take such pride in their children that they put their pics everywhere. They place them on their blogs, in emails or love it when their child appears in the paper complete with name, school attended, class they are in and what time they are at school.  I was prompted to write this when I noticed a person posting young ones on their blog for all to see. It reminded me of a situation that occurred a few months ago even though my wife and I have made it known to our local paper and school this will not happen to our children, freedom of speech or not. 

My wife and I have long been concerned about how children are pictured in the paper. It is not so much that they are there but the information provided to the community as a whole was frightening.  It might go something like this: 

  • Bobby Hudson, Ms. Moore’s AM Kindergarten class at Westmorland Elementary School, plays tee ball during his physical education class Monday morning.

Now if you read this carefully you will notice why my wife and I shudder at such a caption. And please don’t get me wrong I think we have a great paper and the school my children go to is top notch. But this scares us b/c it opens these children up to predator attacks be it a quick interaction or a full blown kidnapping. If you don’t understand let me give to you what this kind of publicity does. It gives the potential predator: 

  • Name of child
  • Specifics as to Location
  • Time at Location

By doing so you in some ways just as well call up the predator on the predator list and meet and hand your child over. It really would save everyone a lot of trouble. It is interesting that we have so many areas that we can check and make sure predators are not allowed to be near our children, but for some reason under the guise of freedom of speech publications continue to post this kind of information. It is sad. They know it sells papers for little Bobby to appear. But its not worth it. This is my experience and so that is why I present it this way. This same argument would apply to those over zealous about posting kids on the blogs, chat rooms and forums. Don’t do it! 

Sadly on my end to date I have not seen a change in how our local paper publishes these pictures. It still appears with the above detailed information. Even though we have presented our point of view concerning our own children and that point of view, we have been told, will be respected to the best of the papers ability, we fear for all children. 

I recall at the end of the conversation with the principal remarking that I fully understand the pride a parent must feel to see their beautiful child appear in any kind of publication like that, but its my fear that this beautiful face will be snatched away from us that we strive to protect our children from being publicized in this way. 

I hope my words help as someone who cares for children and hates to see that 3,000 or more are kidnapped everyday.



3 Responses to “I love them so much I don’t show them off”

  1. Yep, Jason, my wife and I have the same rules about pictures and published names for our children.

  2. For some I am sure what I said is the obvious. But you would not believe the people who came up to us and told us how cute our son was in the paper. The daycare he attends even gave us a copy of it. Sure it is innocent enough in some respects but risky.

    I know our local paper does letters to Santa every year. There in the paper will be listed along with picture and school attended the letter. Its like a predators lunch menu.

    One other thing we have done that might be of interest is we place our daughter’s first name on any public information. Say a soccer uniform will that requires a first name, we put on the name she does not use. We tell her is someone starts talking to you and uses the name you do not go by you know they do not know you.

  3. Jason, That’s a good idea, the first name/last name thing, but I don’t think it will work for us, since we are planning to name our first born son Warren.

    It’s good that you are reminding folks of these concerns, a lot of people put way too much information out on the net, it’s even worse when the info is about their kids.

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