Follow your own rules. Each family needs to think about how they want to view and use social media. “I made rules for myself that have become habits. No matter how beautiful or funny the photo is, if it shows their face or identifies them in another way, I won’t use it. I also don’t post when it’s their birthday,” says Cusey.

Adjust your view. As parents, we too often think of our kids as, well, our children, but we also need to remember they are individuals. “We should ask ourselves if there is potential for harm to come to them, now or in the future, based upon what we share. Running things through that filter is something every parent should do,” says Luckabaugh.

Protect your kids. Above all, parents should not forget that one of our primary goals as parents is to guard our children online as well as in person. “We should have their backs,” says Cusey. “We should protect them even from things that might not be that big a deal, but are slightly detrimental. We should consider the effect of putting everything out there to be judged.”

Social media and the Internet can be a wonderful tool for parents to share their children with family and friends, but there should be a note of caution when it comes to uploading images and information. “It’s not to say that we shouldn’t do social media, just that we should be skeptical of it and question it,” reminds Cusey. “Just because this revolution has happened and happened so quickly doesn’t mean we have to play by its rules.”

Sarah Hamaker is a certified Leadership Parenting Coach™ through the Rosemond Leadership Parenting Coach Institute. She’s also a freelance writer and editor, and is currently working on a book about sibling rivalry, scheduled for release from Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City in the fall of 2014. Sarah lives in Fairfax, Va., with her husband and four children. Visit her at www.parentcoachnova.com.

Publication date: October 18, 2013