"OMIGOD, it was so embarrassing!"
"Well, there we were at my in-laws when Reagan decided to throw a major tantrum. She not only threw herself down on the ground screaming; she called me some horrible names and then threw my mother-in-law's favourite vase on the floor."
In a previous generation, these parents would have been sitting in the kitchen, having a coffee and chatting.
Back then, moms were all home during the day, raising the kids and offering each other information, support and a willing ear or shoulder when needed.
When moms started getting jobs, it all changed. Increasingly, moms were isolated, each raising kids in their own home, often with no one to talk to.
Kath At work, kids were not discussed. Those moms who were at home on maternity leave, or working shifts at a part-time job, started going to the local parent-child family resource centre for conversation.
Fast-forward to today and we see parents on the Internet.
At first, they simply went online to get answers, tips and advice.
One young mom I spoke with was clear that her chat groups online were giving her day-today examples of child behaviour. She loves it.
She says that when you can see that five other three-month-old children are going through the same or similar developmental changes it is reassuring and helpful.
That's kitchen table conversation online. But what about the blogs?
We see many articles aimed at helping teach our children about protecting their privacy online.
But will that work when they know that their parents are telling stories about them? How public should we make our children's quirks, misbehaviours and successes?
I am a professional speaker and I speak about parenting.
When I began in 1978, my children were elementary-school aged.
I determined I would not tell stories about them; I would avoid making them the centre of my presentations to save them the possible embarrassment of having my job reverberate onto them.
But it still did. When my son Foley was in Grade 6, I was a regular columnist with Global television's noon news show.
On one particular day I spoke out against spanking children. A classmate of my son came to school after having lunch at home to say that his mom said Foley's mom was crazy and you "Do so!" have to spank kids.
Now, here was this young boy hearing his mother being called crazy. What was he to do? He thought fast and said, "Well, I guess I'm the lucky one, because my parents don't hit me."
It all ended there. For the record, when my children were in their mid-20s they said I could now tell childhood stories and they thanked me for avoiding doing so while they were growing up.
When my kids were growing up any potential stories I might tell would likely have a short shelf life. But today, what goes on the Internet in our blogs remains available on the Internet.
Putting every detail of our children's lives on the Internet is not such a good idea. It's a real dilemma.
Blogging connects parents to others and gives them support, information and advice, much like what was happening with previous generations around the kitchen table.
But it never goes away. I think the trick is for parents to look at what they've written and ask themselves if their child would like to see it in 15 or 20 years. How would their child feel if a potential employer came across this information?
So pick up the phone, meet a friend for coffee or even write an old-fashioned letter. Protect your child's dignity and privacy.
Remember that blogs will never completely disappear. The information is there forever.
For the sake of our children, be cautious with their privacy.
. Kathy Lynn is a professional speaker and author of Who's In Charge Anyway? and But Nobody Told Me I'd Ever Have to Leave Home. If you want to read more, sign up for her informational newsletter at parentingtoday.ca.