The mom to 3-year-old Katherine and 1-year-old Spencer has kept her private life very much to herself. She’s posted a few pictures of her kids on social media, but their faces are never shown. The identity of the father of the children, or fathers, has also remained private. And all of that, besides being her right to share what she wants when with others, is also a very intentional decision on her part — with good reason.
Every generation of parents has to navigate something different that our parents didn’t have to worry about when raising kids. The world is ever-evolving, and that means we have to as well. For us, our kids are growing up with social media.
They’ll be the first generation of people who could have had their whole childhood documented in photos and stories for anyone to access. It wouldn’t be hard to find a kid whose life from gestation to middle school could be found online from their parents choosing to document and share on their social platforms.
For Mindy, that’s where her decision to limit what she shares about her kids’ lives comes in. “I have no judgment for people in the public eye who share photos and videos of their children,” Mindy said in an interview with People.
“My sense is that [my kids] have no real consent right now to do that. … I feel like I might as well wait until they get old enough so they can tell me if they want to be part of my social media or not.”
While that may seem silly to worry about on the surface, she has a very valid point. As teenagers, we’d cringe when our parents told embarrassing stories from when we were younger to the person we had a crush on. Or we’d beg our parents not to show the awkward photographs of our childhood. For the most part, we could control that — but our kids won’t always have that same luxury thanks to our use of social media.
All those awkward photos are now on the internet — and the embarrassing stories, too. A quick Google search could bring them up. That’s a reality for an everyday kid; we imagine it’s true on a much larger scale for the kid of someone famous.
And for Mindy, that’s what her kids will be growing up with. And she wants to make sure her children have some control over that, which is why she limits what she shares. But for her, it’s also a safety issue since she is in the public eye.
“Sometimes it’s just a safety thing. I don’t want to be at the airport and have someone be like, ‘Spencer, Katherine,’ and have them look to the people as though they know them or they’re friends. I think that could be really confusing as a kid,” Mindy explained.
“So that’s the reason I’m doing it, but it’s hard because they’re such a huge part of my life. And I’m like any parent where I’m proud of the things they do. I think they’re so cute, and of course, I want other people to see it!”
There is never a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, but Mindy makes a really good point about why we need to be intentional about how we start our kids’ digital footprints.