Tag: parenting

Parenting on the Internet


As you can probably tell, I don’t post about my son with anything but the broadest of strokes, and there are no pictures of him on my social media profiles. This is both a difficult choice and a deliberate commitment. On the one hand, I think he’s beautiful and wondrous to behold, and I want to share everything he does with everyone I can. On the other hand, I think there are some real and compelling downsides to posting his early childhood online, especially before he can consent to having intimate details of his life shared so publicly. I know I can control privacy settings to somewhat regulate who among my friends and followers sees what, but that’s a relatively minor concern to what really bothers me about it.

Ultimately, I have to make decisions about what I think is best for my son, best for me, and, where I can, best for the people who exist outside of us. Documenting life via social media has its costs, it has its effects, and I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze in this case. There are a few reasons why.


Explaining Santa Claus

I’ve probably got another year before I have to start answering questions about Santa Claus, but I don’t want it to catch me off guard. My son is almost two and a half, and while he asks plenty of questions, they’re grounded in the physical present and haven’t yet turned toward the abstract. Plus, he barely knows about the concept of Santa Claus. Over the Christmas holiday, we rode the Holiday Express train here in Portland, and it was a lot to adjust to even without the addition of Santa and his elves. My son had never been on or near a train before, so that was a surprise, and (thanks to the pandemic of the early ’20s,) he hadn’t been around such a large group of people in an enclosed space before.

When Santa came through our car, he wished us a Merry Christmas, offered my son a candy cane, and asked if we’d like a picture. The toddler just stared and Santa moved on—the guy playing Santa is used to little kids, and they don’t experience wonder at meeting Santa under a certain age. And my son hadn’t received any presents from Santa yet, so he didn’t have any personal association with the man.