This is none of my business.
I know that.
Recently I've read a few blogs and a lot of face book postings that make me really, really, uncomfortable. First, let me give some background. Much of my work over the last 15 years or so has been around teaching people with disabilities about boundaries. Here's what I believe:
Boundaries are the most important skill that you will teach someone in your care for abuse prevention and for avoiding being accused of being an abuser.
The fact is that so many people with disabilities have poor boundaries because care providers forget to model good, healthy, appropriate boundaries.
So this is in my head all the time.
Let me go further in my explanation before I say something that's none of my business.
I remember, and I bet you do too, having my mother sit and tell a story, for the general amusement and laughter of her audience of friends perched on chairs around a table, coffee's in hand. A story of something stupid I did or said. The laughter is still ringing behind a door I keep firmly locked in the back wards of my memory. This is not an uncommon experience, I don't know very many people who haven't experienced 'parent's grand story' as 'personal humiliation.'
So, I think we all get it.
Anyways, recently I've been reading blogs where parents tell 'cute' stories that, in my mind are highly private. I imagine their child becoming aware that this information was put out for the world to see. That a 'picture' of the child was forming in the minds of strangers. Facebook is often worse where parents let out frustrations about their kids ... I recently read something where a mom wrote about something that her little boy said which makes him sound like a horrible sexist pig - he's 5 - and it's now out there for good. I'll take my mom's coffee group any time of day.
But the jokes that are made that imply that life was better before parenting or the life would be simpler with a different, better behaved child worry me.
I do write about Ruby and Sadie. But I try to remember, every time, that they will read the words that I write. So I only write memories that I want them to have. I only write about the joy they bring into my life. I only write the funny and wise things they say.
Because they are kids. They need me to have good boundaries for them. I have their trust now, I want to have it in the future. I have been accused of idealising the girls - I don't - I selectively write about things that I think make good stories for you and awesome memories for them.
Boundaries keep people safe.
Did you know that the single most common factor in friendships breaking down or in families falling apart - is the loss of trust? Did you know that the single most common way that trust is lost is through a broken confidence? Did you know that trust takes a long while to build but can be gone in an instant.
So, I add to what I've said before:
Boundaries are the most important skill we practise to demonstrate our character and our respect for those in our care.