Sharenting (when parents share – or overshare – their kids on social media) has been in the spotlight again this week.

Gwyneth Paltrow posted a selfie with her 14-year-old daughter Apple on Instagram.

Her daughter was in a ski mask so all you could really see was her mouth - but even that wasn't on as far as Apple was concerned.


She wrote in the comments section under the picture (which is weird for a start - why didn't she just text or call her mum?)

But anyway she wrote under the picture, "Mom we have discussed this, you may not post anything without my consent."

Gwyneth, again instead of calling her own daughter, wrote back on social media under the Insta snap: "You can't even see your face!"

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) on

Cue the outrage. From both sides.

Those who felt a mother should ask permission and get consent before posting, those who felt she could do whatever she liked, and that Apple was a spoilt brat for whining about it.

The over-sharing debate has raged for a long time, but particularly when it comes to kids.
One report said on average that "a baby has their image uploaded to social media within an hour of being born. By age two, 60 per cent of children have a digital footprint."

Many argue what's shared by families on social media comes down to the relationship you have with your kids. But don't under-estimate how that changes as they get older.

Will your child be traumatised by images of themselves at age four in the bath with their cousin, when they're say, 15?
You bet they will. The older they get, the more brutal they get with you too.

Many go a lot further than just reprimanding their mum on Instagram. Overseas, teenagers have been known to sue their parents for invasion of privacy.


But what about the parents? Many argue not sharing photos of their kids is to pretend they don't exist. To erase them.

So where's the line?

A personal choice surely, but one to weigh up in a big picture long-term context. A digital footprint is impossible to erase - and though most of us parents like to think our relationships with our kids will never change, wait until they're teenagers.

Teenagers have very clear boundaries on what is and isn't acceptable to post online - not for them, for you.

So how did Gwyneth not get that message? And does that make her a bad parent - or her daughter Apple a spoilt brat, as some allege?

It's a delicate balance, but one we should maybe pause to consider before we hit 'upload'.