7 Things You Shouldn’t Share

I worked as a summer camp counselor in college and bonded with a lot of the children. I spent a lot of time with one special kid who lacked nerve sensation in the lower half of his body. Caring for this little guy made trips to the pool and aquarium fulfilling. We took a photo together on the last day of summer, and I posted it on Facebook. I wrote about how good it felt to have helped the boy with some difficult tasks, like walking and using the bathroom.

Ten years passed, and his mother reached out to me. That child was now in high school and was concerned about the caption I left attached to that old Facebook post. The now-teenager was very embarrassed. I learned that even if you mean no harm, there are some things you just shouldn’t share. The same thing can happen with our own children. Here are 7 things you shouldn’t share as a dad.

Remember that the internet never forgets.

1. Embarrassing Photos of Your Kids

Remember that the internet never forgets. We get caught up in sharing things about our kids because we’re proud of them, care about them, and want what’s best for them. But not every moment should be shared. Not every photo is flattering. Kids may feel shame over an awkward photo down the road. Dads need to show discretion when sharing pictures. Think before you post.

2. Your Children’s Secrets

Your kid wets the bed still? Dads don’t need to share that info. It breaks trust with the child who needs you in his corner during a struggle. Spilling your kids’ secrets is essentially betraying their trust. They will lose confidence in you, and once that’s gone, good luck getting your child to share anything personal with you in the future. The exception here is if that secret is harmful to your kid or others. If that’s the case, tell someone who can help. Otherwise, secrets are things you shouldn’t share.

3. Family Medical Information

There is a difference between asking for advice on a medical issue and sharing your child’s health struggles. Your wife probably doesn’t want everyone to know she’s having menstrual issues. Your son would prefer you didn’t broadcast his digestive issues. Keep those things to yourself to avoid possibly humiliating your family over things they don’t always control.

4. Banking Details

If you’re doing well financially, avoid the temptation to brag about it. Having extra money can make you feel good, but when you chat about it in front of people struggling through a tough season, it can leave them feeling miserable. Money-wise, people tend to fluctuate throughout life. Car problems, medical bills, and more can leave people feeling stressed. Nobody wants to feel down about their current situation while listening to you sing about your fat wallet.

5. Charitable Donations

There is joy in giving, and I think all people are called to make donations in some way, be it financially or through volunteering their time. But talking about how much you are giving away to charities comes off as patting yourself on the back. It reeks of “Look how great I am.” By all means, be a generous person—just don’t blab about it. It would make you look bad.

6. Family Drama

Families can be complicated. Fights happen. But not everyone needs to know your personal family crisis. Someone always looks like the bad guy in these scenarios, and the storyteller rarely puts himself in that role. You could inadvertently label your children or wife as the problem in the family. If you feel like you need to share just to help you process the pain of family drama, confide in a friend you can trust, a therapist, or your pastor.

7. Sex Stories

What happens in the privacy of your bedroom between you and your wife isn’t for public knowledge. Your intimate times of connection are things you shouldn’t share. It would be disrespectful to your spouse, potentially degrading to your relationship, and cheapen something exclusive. Keep what happens between the two of you between the two of you.

Sound off: What are some other things you shouldn’t share?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Have I ever told someone something about you that you wish I hadn’t shared?”