My children received their first cameras this year. They are cameras made just for kids and they are really neat. It has been so much fun to watch them learn how to take pictures. I also love the fact that they are no longer grabbing my iPhone to take photos. Win-win. One day however, my 5 year old daughter came into my bathroom to take pictures of me. I had just showered, so I wasn’t exactly decent. She didn’t think about it, she just wanted to take pictures of mommy. I asked her to not to take pictures and a few minutes later we talked about when it was okay and not okay to take pictures of someone. This got me thinking, what picture taking rules do I need to have for my kids?
Never Take Pictures of Your Private Parts
This is tough, because you don’t want to body shame your child, but at the same time they need to understand that taking pictures of these areas on their bodies is not okay. I talked to my children about it like this. If your bathing suit covers it or you have to close the bathroom door so other people don’t see this area then you should not be taking a picture of it. These areas are no one else’s business.
Never Take a Picture of Other People’s Private Parts
First of all, your child should not be seeing anyone else’s private parts once they get to a certain age. Of course when they are little they will barge into mom and dad in the bathroom from time to time. Such is life as a mom or dad. I tell my children that you never take a picture of someone in the bathroom or take pictures of the body that a normal bathing suit covers.
Never Allow Anyone to Take Pictures of Your Private Parts
This is a good one to talk about even at an early age. My children know which areas of their body to refer to as private parts and we have taught them what privacy means. My children also know the correct names for the private areas of their bodies. Children should know the names of these body parts and be as comfortable saying them as they are saying arm or leg. Our children will only be embarrassed or feel awkward about these body parts if we teach them to be awkward and embarrassed by them. A friend of our family who is a police officer cannot stress enough how important it is for children to be able to properly identify all parts of their body. In many situations, sexual predators first start to “groom” a child for exploitation by asking for inappropriate pictures of them. We tell our children that no one should ever ask you for a picture of your private parts and you should never send a picture of these areas.
Do Not Distribute Pictures Of Private Parts
This rule goes right along with the last three. If for some reason your child ignores the first 3 rules, hopefully they will not ignore this one. Remind them that we never give out pictures of private parts in any form. We do not send them through email, text, social media, websites, snail mail or through any other type of exchange. We do not do this. I will also remind my children when they are old enough that doing this could get you in legal trouble that could land you in jail. Not to mention one wrong digit on the keypad and you don’t know who your picture might end with!
Do Not Post Pictures You Wouldn’t Want Your Mother, Future Boss, or Others to See Electronically
I want my children to think about this rule every time they think about posting something electronically. This rule does not just apply to private areas of their bodies. This rule also applies to behavior they are engaging in. If you are drinking, swearing, or just plain acting stupid. Do not post or send it electronically. Once you do that you cannot get it back. Technology is amazing and I love that I can pretty much photograph or video every single important milestone in my child’s life, but that puts pressure on them we never had. The reality is that if I can video and photograph their whole life, so can others. My children literally cannot escape the digital life which means every mistake they make or bad situation they get in can be photographed or videoed and used against them. Basically, we all have to treat life like we are a Hollywood star being stalked by paparrazi. We have to believe they are everywhere so don’t do anything stupid that will end up in the papers the next day.
Always Try to Ask Permission to Take Someone’s Picture
I think this is common courtesy. Where applicable, you should ask to take someone’s picture. I think it is just polite to let them know you are photographing them and it could also save you later. If they say no, then don’t take their picture. Respect their rights.
Once You Hit Send You No Longer Have Control of Your Photo
In an instant world, this can be hard for children to understand. A good example of this is a teacher who puts a photo on the internet and asks other people to share it so students can see how fast information spreads on the web. I think this needs to be repeated to children early and often. Children need to know that even if you post something and take it down, you never know who saved it before you took it away. People can be vicious and cruel and take a simple photo and twist it around to hurt you.
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Here is my favorite kid’s camera as well as resources to help your child understand the importance of being safe with pictures.
Jessica bradshaw says
Those are great rules. I always tell my kids at school, don’t post anything you wouldn’t show your grandma. 🙂
It seems like such an easy concept, but it is not easy for them to grasp sometimes. Thanks for visiting!
Kanani B. says
Great rules! I appreciate the many resources you provide. The more we role play, give examples, provide visuals and interact with are young ones the better chance the have in understanding and applying the rules.
Thank you! You are so right!
Julie @ Fire Drill Podcast says
Wow I don’t have kids and have never thought about how technology has introduced all of these other dangers for children. They have access to cameras so young now. Thanks for writing this post and educating people on strategies to teach safe camera use with children. PS – It was great meeting you at Activate as well. Best of luck!
Thank you for reading! I never really thought about it either, until my children had their own camera. It was lovely to meet you too! I look forward to reading your adventures.