Should I take down my photos?

Should I take down my photos?

I love photos of my family. I admit that over the last few years I had taken more than my fair share photos. They are my memories, small snippets of my children’s childhood which is whizzing past so quickly, I am desperate capture as many as possible.  Consequently, throughout the house, I have lots of photos displayed some individual frames and some in collages.  Photos of the children growing up.  Photos of our family over the years, school photos, holiday photos.  I thought this was normal.  I certainly didn’t think I was the only parent to have photos on show. My mum had photos of me on display and they were the cringe-worthy dodgy 80s style hair photos taken each year in school.  I didn’t like them particularly, but I understand now and I would never ever have asked her to take them down. To be honest, taking down family photos wasn’t something I thought I would have to do. 

My teenage son is very conscious photos of himself growing up.  I blogged last year about an issue I had when some of his friends went on my blog and social media accounts and took screenshots of photos of him as a child and sent them to other kids.  He was upset at the time and I took many of the photos of him from my blog and made my Instagram account private.

At the end of the day, as much as I love sharing photos of him, he is now a teenager and I care more about how he feels than about my blog or social media accounts and I respect his need for privacy. I do still share the occasional photo of him, but I will always show him first and if he is happy, I will share it.  If he isn’t, I won’t. He has requested that I keep my Instagram account private and I will, I don’t want to do anything that will cause him further upset.

He very rarely invites friends to the house and we were chatting about this the other day and one of the main reasons, it turns out, is because of the amount of photos we have around the house.  One ‘friend’ of his came to the house last summer and took photos on his phone of photos of R that are around the house and then shared them on Instagram and Snapchat for everyone to laugh about.  I was horrified about this, how dare he?  I made it clear that he wasn’t welcome in our house if that was the way he behaved.

A couple of weekends back, the same young man came to the door with another friend and I was chatting to them at the door while my son put his shoes on.  I must have turned my back for 30 seconds to speak to R and this boy apparently took a quick photo of a collage canvas that I have just inside the front door, he zoomed in on a photo of R and shared it on Snapchat.  I was livid.  What is wrong with this boy??

Having chatted to my son about his concerns, I said that there were two things to consider here.  Firstly, I am not the only parent to have photos around the house, I do have quite a few, I know but generally, they are collages of family photos along with a selection of school photos.  I love looking at them and I certainly don’t put them there to embarrass him.  Secondly, if his so-called friends who behave like that, he really should consider whether these are the sort of kids that he wants to be friends with as he does have lovely friends who I am fairly sure might make a comment about one or two of the photos but certainly wouldn’t deliberately set out to embarrass him.

But it has made me think.  I have moved the photo collage from inside the front door and I keep looking around at my photos with a tinge of sadness.  I don’t want him to feel embarrassed about bringing people around.  I don’t want his friends taking photos of him as a child and embarrassing him. Should I take some or all of them down? Having said that, I’m not the only parent to have photos on display, should I tell him to man up and get over it?

As it stands, the photos remain and I am very reluctant to take any of them down. But it is a dilemma.  Would you take your photos down?

With my teen son being embarrassed about photos of his younger self, should I consider taking down my photos to save his embarrassment

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9 Comments

  1. February 26, 2018 / 10:08 am

    Absolutely no way! It is your home your personal space! Putting photos on social media yourself is one thing but having to change your home decor in case someone dares takes photos in your own home is outrageous. Its going too far. Its awful you are even having this predicament.

  2. Hilary Farrow
    February 26, 2018 / 11:55 am

    I think I would be having words with this young nan’s Parents and asking them how they would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. I would also say I don’t want this boy in the front gate, let alone close enough to take photos. What a rude child, I am angry on your behalf.
    I don’t have many photos of the children on display downstairs because I have other photos and also embroidered art on the walls instead. I think a whole family discussion is needed.

  3. February 26, 2018 / 3:18 pm

    I have this with my 14yo too! I couldn’t believe it when he told me. He hates his friends to see photos of him when he was younger and he particularly doesn’t like them to see him wearing glasses. He has one friend who came round and systematically snapped away at every photo on display. Apparently they just use them on IG on birthdays as a bit of ‘banter’ and it’s all good natured – and it happens to everyone. My eldest shares photos of himself as a small child readily with his friends on Snapchat. I’m not sure whether the difference is in their age or their individual personalities. Like you, I think it’s an odd thing and I don’t want my son upset by it, but I won’t be taking my photos down!

  4. February 26, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    Wow goodness me he sounds horrible putting them up for people to laugh at. I know teens are a bit different now as they think everything is fair game photography wise. I only realise recently that my niece and nephew in law were putting up pics of our boys with their full names on snapchat. After spending years keeping personal details private I was really annoyed ?

  5. February 26, 2018 / 10:33 pm

    Gosh I am totally shocked Nikki, I have loads of photos around the house too and I wouldn’t dream of taking them down. I would however chat to this kid!

  6. February 26, 2018 / 11:40 pm

    No I wouldn’t. I’d be tempted to have words with the boys parents though. Photos inside your home are private. He is violating your family’s privacy by doing what he is. And actually, it’s illegal to share photos which include other people’s children without parental consent. Aside from humiliating your son, that boy is breaking the law. I discovered this when a complete stranger stole and shared a photo of one of my children online and tried claiming it was their child.

    And with friends like that, your son won’t need enemies.

  7. Clare
    February 27, 2018 / 10:02 am

    I understand your dilemma I really do but what I would say is that this is not ‘normal’ behaviour and it certainly wouldn’t make me want to take all my photos down. Gentle teasing about baby photos from friends has happened since the dawn of time but this friend seems to be going out of his way to bully your son – that’s not normal. I think I’d be tempted to speak to your son to make him see that the problem here is his friend, not the photos and tell him to grow a bit of a thicker skin to shrug it off. I’d also ask him to think about if he wants to be friends with this kid full stop? It stinks of bullying to me! Things were so much easier when they were younger and we had proper contact with parents in the playground wasn’t it? It gets so much harder at this age!

  8. March 6, 2018 / 7:45 pm

    This blog post really has got me thinking – I had never even thought about this before or would have thought that this would ever been an issue. I agree with what the others have said and that you should speak to the boy’s parents!

  9. March 12, 2018 / 5:00 pm

    Absolutely no way. It is your home your space. I think you should be allowed to put what you want up as long as the people who live there are ok with that xx

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