Writing About Children

From the New York Times, we have this.

I don’t do this often. But read it.

Read it especially if you have children and you blog about them, or run a Facebook page where you repeatedly post their photos publicly and/or make little videos and demand that they perform like trained monkeys.

Read it.

Here’s the link again.


22 thoughts on “Writing About Children”

  1. A beautiful reminder, thank you!
    Last week, when everything was quite insane on the webs around the Blessed Little Inspection, several people, here and on FJ, wanted to know if there was a purpose to all the looking and pointing at the Naugler mess. Sally made clear her perspective, FJ less so, but it made me question my nosiness.

    I realized that the emotion stirred in me when I read about this story is a kind of mother bird panic. I don’t think mother bear is accurate, because despite my fear and despair about the kids (and the tip of the iceberg of child abuse they represent,) I am toothless and clawless to help.

    I want care and love for vulnerable children to win. I want our society to not dump these injured kids the moment they turn 18. I want them to be scooped up and supported. Just this once. I’m watching and wishing it would turn out right. Just this once.


  2. Thank you for sharing this article. I have never blogged about my son, but I do share the occasional picture or tidbit about our lives on Facebook. The only people who see that stuff are family and close friends. Even so, I am careful about what I share about him. His privacy is important to me. I read NN’s latest blog, and she goes on about how having CPS remove her children has affected HER. I wonder if she ever wonders how having a father who won’t work to support his family affects their children? Being a parent means you often don’t get to do exactly what you want. Your children’s needs come before your allergy to hard work. It means sucking it up buttercup and following some societal rules, so your children get the best start in life you can provide. When you’re a parent, your wants and needs come last, after you’ve provided for your child’s needs. She says she never had any friends for very long. Maybe that’s because friendship requires give and take. She knows how to take, but doesn’t seem able to give.


  3. I am a parent and tonnes of my friends are parents. I do not know a single one (myself included) whose children would be happy having their lives plastered all over the internet.
    I always ALWAYS ask my kids permission before I post anything about them on my own locked down facebook page. And even then I double check that their consent (when granted) is enthusiastic and not just to make me happy. One of my kids is an artist and it is extremely rare that he will even grant permission for me to post a photo of one of his drawings.
    But you know, when you consider your kids *property*, anything goes.


  4. My children are older now and for the past five years or so I’ve been very careful about what I share publicly about them. I always ask for permission and sometimes there is something I want to share and they say no. So I don’t share it. And my FB page is locked down, due to online crazies. In this sometimes crazy world we have to be cautious and considerate when sharing details and pictures of our children. I just can’t comprehend sharing public photos and details of our private lives for all to see and read. Strange, very strange.


  5. Facebook many years ago was such a novel idea for human connection. Immediate text and photo/video contact with people all over the world! And free! For those of us with small children, it was a place where we could easily share milestones with family and friends who live sometimes an ocean and continent away.

    For me this was forever changed by the Naugler saga. It was a rude wakeup call to how invasive social media can be, starting with Naugler supporters hunting down critics to find personal information with which to silence them. It also highlighted how patently insensitive Nicole Naugler is to the violation of her own kids’ privacy. I cringed to see her nude, feces-laced birth photos, and videos of one of the Naugler tykes doing a screaming face plant off a slide, because Maw was too busy videotaping to survey her toddler.
    These awkward moments were not my business, yet Nicole put them out there. And now wants people to “respect their privacy”, as if she had nothing to do with its destruction.

    When CPS returned the kids, it was a time for Nicole to protect her children from further exposure. But in fact, she ramped up their exploitation in “Vlogs” of each child on her BLH and YouTube channel.

    The squalor in which those children were living was terrible. Worse, however, was that I was privy to it AT ALL. Not because paparazzi took photos, but because Nicole had already put it all out there for universal consumption.

    It’s too late for the Naugler kids. Their privacy is gone, and that is depressing. We can only take that lesson and respect our own children’s privacy with the sacredness it is due. At 18 they can decide to share whatever they want. But it will be their decision, not their parents.


  6. Thanks for this. I am sometimes amazed at the intimate family details shared on social media. I am not a prude, just some things are better left in the privacy of family. And can feel sometimes awkward, like looking thru a peephole in the wood fence at what’s going on next door. I don’t need to know, ya know what I mean? Like, what goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

    Plus, the internet webz opens the door to a bigger and wider world. What goes on the internet, never comes down. It’s always out there. You can’t take it back. And it’s there for the grab, among an assortment of crazy wicked people. The onus is on me, as the parent, in keeping my children safe both on and off the internet.

    I’m like you Dinah, my children are teens. I ask permission before posting any photos on my social media. My page is pretty secured, only sharing with friends. And I don’t accept friend requests from anyone I do not know personally or that a friend doesn’t vouch for.


  7. Nicole stole her children’s childhood from them to feed her insatiable pity party and never-ending need for cash. The children are in for a world of hurt when they become adults. When they see for themselves how she exploited them.


  8. There are details about my youngest on the internet that I really wish weren’t out there. However, when her twin brother died, my husband and I felt compelled to speak about the experience in order to help others avoid the heartbreak that we had gone through. We were interviewed by a journalist who ended up including couple of details about her health in the article were shared that I wish had not been. (There was a genuine misunderstanding between the reporter and me about what I considered “off the record”.). That experience really made me think about how easy it is to violate our children’s privacy and how colossally unfair that really is. It’s one of the big reasons I stopped using Facebook. It was just too easy to share details about my children and their lives that honestly were not mine to share. I’ve had friends argue with me that social media is so ubiquitous that the next generation will grow up used to their entire lives being laid out on Internet. Whether or not that is true, I loved this article. I am not the heroine in the story that is my children’s lives, they are. They have the right to decide what if anything they will share about themselves with others.


  9. Mommy Dearest could never go without those children. I pray one day that they will be rescued from this narcissistic windbag for good. They deserve real smiles and happiness. To be kids and not the personal slaves to two worthless wannabe parents. #unschoolDoesntMeanSlaveLabor


  10. I think the worst violation is probably the photo in which all the children — one of whom is stark naked — are lying sick with food poisoning on the dirt with filthy blankets while one child cares for them all. It’s unconscionable that they were even in that state let alone having their own mother photograph it and plaster it all over her public blog and then again on facebook.


  11. I find it incredibly hypocritical that as a self described “intactivist”, she is against male babies being circumcised because as babies, they cannot possibly give consent to the procedure, but then proceeds to plaster her children’s faces and names all over the internet, without asking for consent from them. Her youngest child, for example, cannot possibly give consent, as he to is a baby. The older kids, if they were asked which is doubtful, aren’t capable of understanding the far reaching consequences of having their lives laid bare for Facebook likes and donations.

    So hypocritical.


  12. She has put it all online from their birth photos, vlogs, videos, to the dates each was born, their address, their interests, her diagnosis of them, her perceptions, their everything. I know more about those kids than I do about my nieces and nephews. Never mind the notoriety attached to their name. They might as well write their own “Glass Castle” books and regain control over their own narrative, because their mothers version sucks.

    Just imagine for a minute that you are one of the kids, and finally get away from the homestead out into a world you are unfamiliar with, but where many strangers know all about your mothers version of who you are. The questions, the prejudgment, the expectations. ” I thought you mom said you’re a genius, autistic, a tomboy, an artist, a chef, good at math or barely mentioned you at all. Which kid are you? Are you the one she pooped on? What was it like living in a shack? Sleeping in the van when it got cold? Hauling buckets of poop uphill? ” Pop stars of your mothers public fantasy, only without any of the benefits of pop stardom. How freaky would that be?


  13. #sendsnacks–I’ve wondered about how the kids will be perceived if or when they leave and how those in the big civilized world will receive them. If I were one of the kids I’d run away and change my name. But that’s me and I haven’t been required to wait on my parents’ whim, been treated like my parents’ property (whether children or tools the treatment is pretty similar), haul buckets of sewage around, I’ve been to school, and the list could go on. I can’t predict what the kids will do or how well they’ll do. I think each individual kid will respond individually.


  14. I blog about my daughter and our pending adoption of her
    But I try to do it with class and I do it with her blessing
    At 16 – she says maybe her story will convince others to adopt teenagers who have been caught in the system for years
    Everything has a purpose if done with perspective


  15. Rachel Kever wrote,
    “I realized that the emotion stirred in me when I read about this story is a kind of mother bird panic. I don’t think mother bear is accurate, because despite my fear and despair about the kids (and the tip of the iceberg of child abuse they represent,) I am toothless and clawless to help.”

    Consider becoming a volunteer with C.A.S.A. ( Court Appointed Special Advocate ) in your county.
    They are not toothless nor clawless, they work very closely with the courts to insure that children’s voices are heard and their needs are met while they are in Foster Care, checked on when they are returned home or adopted out.
    With Kentucky’s new House Bill 420, the state is going to need many more volunteers for it to be successful. And I would encourage anyone to make that comment to just helping one child, one case at a time.
    We are talking about 4 visits a month, one trip a month to court and writing a simple report to a Judge. It’s not that hard, and so many child need that one extra special person in their life looking out just for them.

    And this is why you should do it Rachel,
    “I want care and love for vulnerable children to win. I want our society to not dump these injured kids the moment they turn 18. I want them to be scooped up and supported. Just this once. I’m watching and wishing it would turn out right. Just this once.”

    C.A.S.A needs people like you !!!


  16. Miss Bliss – That’s really lovely and I hope it goes through soon. I’d throw a party, it’s something to celebrate.

    I hope it goes through soon!


  17. This is a very timely article, as something has been “placed on my heart” (I’m completely not religious lol) and I’ve been struggling/meditating/arguing with the Great Spaghetti Monster… My sister committed suicide in 2007. My daughter is 12 and has been dealing with emotional issues for around 18 mos now, including minor cutting. She was inpatient for a week, we’ve been trying to find a good counselor and psychiatrist that she’s comfortable with and don’t try to make excuses (school pressure, social media, blah blah).

    A child in my 15 yr old son’s class committed suicide in February, 2 weeks before my daughter threatened it and was admitted for a week. His was the 3rd in our school district in a short period so the school did a Depression Awareness program. But there is no support for families dealing with mentally ill children, the fears, the stress, finding help when things fall through. The school told me that soooo many families are going through the same thing. There were so many other military families bringing their children in while we were there for visitations (my husband is military). But neither the military nor anyone else has a support group that allows us to express any of this or to realize how common it is and that we are not alone.

    I’m sorry this is so long. But really the one thing holding me back is that I would have to spearhead it. And I’m struggling with how to do that while also protecting my child’s privacy. My children are 15, 13, 12, and 7. The middle 2 are in the same school. It’s a pretty small town so it would be very easy to figure out which one is having the issues, which has both good and bad points. She accepts that she has issues, knows she needs helps, is vocal about it on social media….but the intimacy of school is something else. She’s a very good child, never misbehaves, the intrusive thoughts just overwhelm her and she won’t let us in. And through all of this, the question is and will always be, how does this affect the others….


  18. I have never thought it was a good idea to put children in the spotlight. N is horrible for using her children…and the pictures that she posts, honestly, portray her children in such a negative light. They are often dirty and their clothes are torn and dirty or stained. These are not images that those children will look back on fondly. Because I was the next to the youngest of ten children and my mother was widowed, there were times when pictures that included my younger sister and me were pictures of us in really worn clothing and sometimes we looked like our hair hadn’t been brushed in a few days. One picture is of my cousin (dressed in a little frilly dress with patent leather shoes), my neighbor (also dressed nicely), and me (dressed in a shirt with missing buttons and shorts that had a huge tear down the front on one of the legs. I remember that picture and I remember looking at my dousing and my neighbor and wishing I could have been dressed as nicely as they and I wished my hair had been brushed with cute ponytails….Fortunately, for me, there were also pictures of us where we were dressed in clean clothes…. I rarely see pictures of N’s children when they do not look like little street urchins. Shame on her.


  19. Calyxta – you may want to try and find a local NAMI support group. I’ve been told just last month that they now offer peer support groups for kids who are not diagnosed as mentally ill but who have a family member who is struggling. Plus if you have a child who is diagnosed they definitely offer support to the parent(s).

    This is for the better. Once upon a not-so-very long time ago, they didn’t give a flying fart in a hurricane for the children of a mentally ill parent UNLESS that child was also mentally ill; nor did they give a shit about the siblings of a mentally ill child.

    For two years I called twice a month seeking those services despite knowing they didn’t offer them. Apparently, I wasn’t alone.

    I wish you and your family the best.


  20. So Nicole, who never reads Sally’s blog, made a journal entry about how her children “have a say” in what she post about them. In my opinion that doesn’t cut it. A parent is supposed to know what and what is not in their child’s best interest. You can’t always leave it to the kids to make those decisions especially when their safety may be involved.

    Nicole goes on to say that she never intended to give the illusion that they were homesteaders. I believe Sally did, in fact, point out that Joe and Nicole were a sham calling themselves homesteaders.

    For never reading this blog Nicole sure seems to put a lot of effort into refuting Sally’s well made points. Or maybe it’s Nicole’s “intuitive personality” that allows her know what Sally is blogging about without having to read it for herself. Are your ears burning Nicole? I, at least, hope you are taking some of the words here to heart for the betterment of yourself and your family. I know I’ve learned a lot.


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