But because kids are naturally curious, they will start to wonder about aspects of your life that they aren’t familiar with. And since kids are computer-savvy, they’re likely to turn to the Internet to find the answers rather than ask you.
When they type your name into a search engine, what will they come across? Will they discover:
- Inflammatory comments from you? Did you insult
someone on a Facebook thread? Send out a foul-mouthed tweet? Or perhaps
you even kept a personal blog at one point that espoused ideas you’ve
since “grown out of”? They’re still out in cyberspace somewhere.
- Embarrassing photos or videos with you in them?
Maybe these images depict you drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, or
consuming illicit drugs. Or perhaps you were wearing provocative or
inappropriate clothing. Or it’s possible you were engaging in some
activity that would require a difficult and uncomfortable explanation.
- Photos or videos containing you and other members of the opposite sex?
Even innocent photos of you and an ex-significant other can set off a
confused train of thought in the minds of (particularly young) children.
Especially if you were kissing or hugging someone who isn’t their
mother/father. (And God forbid that ill-advised sex tape ever made its
way onto the Web!)
- Negative comments made by others about you? Kids
are protective of their parents, so it may hurt them if they see other
people saying bad things about Mom and Dad on Facebook or other social
media sites, even if they were meant in jest. Especially if they were
written by people that the child knows (like family friends or
- Your membership in groups that may be difficult to explain?
In addition to traditional organizations, this includes online forums,
virtual worlds, and even gaming sites. If you are found contributing to a
site or group that discusses drugs, weapons, illegal activity, or
pornography – even one time – that will probably initiate an awkward
- Complaints or accusations against you professionally?
If you are a business owner, lawyer, or doctor, there are sites out
there that collect reviews and comments about people in your industry.
Practicing good merchant, attorney, or physician reputation management will reduce the odds of your kid seeing someone insult or gripe about their mom or dad.
- Your criminal record? Sure, those criminal record database sites cost a little money – but that doesn’t mean that your child still won’t get access to them. Even if it was a drug charge, public intoxication arrest, or a misdemeanor assault or theft, any blemish on your past could undermine any moral authority you have with your kids in the future.
Guest post by Chris Martin.
For more valuable tips and information order Google Bomb book!
Follow me on Twitter and join me on Facebook.