Before my blogging series began, someone in an online bloggers group I am part of asked how safe it is to be real and transparent on your blog. At what point are you exposing your family or friends to some real crazies and by what measure do you become impersonal if you never reveal anything about yourself, your husband or your kids?

These are the things I thought of in response to her question, mostly based on what I would do. Others may treat these matters differently, but this is what I do to promote a personal interaction with my readers while still maintaining a sense of privacy and safety for my family.

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I don’t use my children’s names on my blog or on my blog’s Facebook page. The people who do know my kids’ names and may use them are people I know in real life who read my blog. I realize that while most people are perfectly normal and safe, there are some really creepy individuals out there that do dumb stuff. Enough said.

I don’t share where we live. This may be a no-brainer for some, but I don’t think it’s wise to tell people where you live or even what state you’re from {unless it’s in a private message with someone you trust}.

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I don’t post photos of my kids with no clothes {i.e. babies in diapers or potty training} or pictures of my children’s undergarments. For instance, when I take photos of paring down my daughter’s clothes and what her closet looks like, the skivvies don’t make the cut.

You would be surprised and appalled at some of the searches people have done that have landed them at my blog and I know they’re not with good intentions. So even if people do come across my daughter’s photo when they Google “blond-haired, blue eyed 4 year old girl” {ugh}, she will at least be fully and modestly clothed.

I don’t talk specifically about our discipline methods on my blog. The person who asked this original question about transparency in our blogging group referenced a situation where a friend of hers posted about how they discipline their children and a social worker showed up to check on her foster children a couple of days later because someone in real life had seen her post and was very upset.

So although I may discuss in general terms that we do discipline and have consequences for behavior, I’ll never talk about exactly what those are {don’t worry, it’s nothing to be afraid of, and it’s just easier not to talk about specifics, period, since different things work for different people anyway}.

freedigitalphotos.net/Michal Marcol

I try not to reveal overly personal information about my extended family members or embarrass them by venting or complaining about my childhood or current status of our relationship. Even though we may not have had the perfect upbringing or an ideal in-law situation {mine is great, actually, but not everyone’s is}, I don’t believe it’s to our advantage or anyone’s benefit to bring up such sensitive issues on a blog that could possibly be exposed to many, many people.

Your blog is there for a lot of reasons, but heaping burning coals on top of an already strained relationship or situation is not one of them, no matter how good it feels to “vent”. Instead, we should take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.

Those are the things I am cautious of while blogging as far as being open and transparent. You must determine for yourself what your limits will be, but I think it is important to hold each decision “up to the light” and determine whether it is prudent and safe for yourself and your loved ones to share what you are sharing.

I strive very hard to relate personal experiences and ask questions to promote discussion so that we can encourage each other in our mothering journeys, without compromising the safety of my family.
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Our What to Expect in Blogging: The Early Years series will be continuing through next Thursday and I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far! Catch up on all the posts and don’t forget to enter the Thirty One giveaway and the giveaways for Blog at Home Mom eBook, Plan It, Don’t Panic and a Custom Header and Button Design Package for your blog!

Also, check out the Bundle of the Week, where you can get 5 blogging ebooks for $7.40 (through 9/29)!

How open and transparent are you on your blog? Do you have any concerns about whether or not that will affect your family?

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