I don't think this question has been asked before. I want to know, for those of you who had a secret identity on stack exchange and protected your phone with a password, as well as for those of you who posted keeping everything open to your families in terms of not only discussing your activities on this site but also letting them see your posts, what was your kids' response to them discovering you discussing them on this parenting site. More precisely, what is kids' response likely to be and how are they light to react, upon seeing your posts, and do you have any concerns about this?

I would imagine that on one hand they could take it personally and grow concerned that you might see some of their behaviors as a problem, while, on the other hand, they might be engaged in an interactive manner and interested in what you have to write (and perhaps even pleased about the attention they discover they might be getting in the process). They might also like to respond, follow you, or enjoy letting you know about what they have read, and share, what they read, with others, regarding it either as nonsense or concern, who knows?

I would appreciate answers from all of you here.

4 Answers 4


I'm fairly open with my kids that I'm a member (and now moderator) of an online parenting site where I ask and answer questions. I'm also open about talking to my friends, or their friends' parents, about my children. But I also don't say much online (or to other parents) that I would avoid saying to my kids. If I find a behavior frustrating and confusing, I've probably already told that child "I'm frustrated and confused by this, and I don't know how to resolve it."

This is in keeping with my general parenting strategy, though. I try to thoroughly explain my parenting actions ("you're losing [privilege] as a consequence for [misbehavior]" for example), and I don't really see this as much different.

And I also know that I've got clever kids who may eventually find my account, read my Q&A, and realize I've "exposed" their secrets -- I'd rather be up-front about this activity rather than have them feel that I've been hiding the activity, or tattling on them, or something like that.

But so far, they are deeply uninterested :)

  • 1
    This is about right with me, too. For us, there is private stuff. That stuff stays private. Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 21:09

I don't have a secret identity on here, and my kids seem fairly proud that I use my experiences with raising them to try and bring some insight or help to others.

Like Erica - I am pretty open about everything. My online persona is much like my real world one, and I am all about sharing information.


Anyone who knows me, including my children, would not have any negative response to anything I've done on here, and here's why.

My username is my real name, and my avatar is my face, on every website I use. I do this intentionally to remind myself that everything I say and do online is public, and if anyone really wanted to find out who I really was, they easily could, even if I tried to hide that info.

As such, I'm willing for anyone to see what I've posted anywhere, including my children (who are both teeny tiny right now, but won't always be). Therefore I doubt they, or any family or friends, will take any issue with what I write.

I suggest others use their real identity so that they will remember to be civil online, as they ought to be in person.

  • Well, in order to make your post helpful to others, one often has to summarize or even construct theoretical situations to see what the responses are and to get an idea about what to do. That way your posts are also helpful to others. So, if I used my real identity, they might think the theoretical situations arising in three questions may be real ones. I reality they may be simplified versions, or answers may not be suitable. I am afraid a child finding this stuff out might take everything as real, then again, they not not. Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 6:54
  • But associating a real identity for me could prevent me from achieving the model of exchange I seek, and these things may be true for other users as well. Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 6:54
  • Saying one has a fake online identity to do bad stuff is having a bad outlook on things, and is provocative. Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 6:56
  • I don't mean to indicate a fake identity is used to do something bad. Rather, it's easier to do something I may later regret. This includes, for some people, simply espousing political views, or laughing at a slightly offensive joke, or posting a photo of themselves holding a beer. None of these are bad, but one may later regret doing them.
    – Jason
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 14:00
  • No, screw it Jason. Trust me. Many of us fear little things. If you have a supportive family all your worries will become nonsense. Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 16:26
  • Please excuse me if I'm way off. It sounds like your family will retaliate if/when they find your posts online, whether or not there's anything bad in the posts. They may interpret hypothetical questions as real and use that as an excuse to retaliate. If that's the case, the family is very unhealthy. It isn't usually easy, but healthy, loving boundaries are always necessary, moreso with unhealthy people. I recommend the book Boundaries by Dr Cloud and Townsend.
    – Jason
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 16:47
  • Retaliation sucks, but usually the problem with the person retaliating is that they lack a basic understanding that the post is not against them but just a way to summon opinion on a particular matter. Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 16:49

I am careful to use a pseudonym online, always, to protect my children's privacy. My children know this.

My children are currently 22 and 14 and they aren't very interested in what I write on SE or other sites.

Recently, I mentioned that my 14yo has an early bedtime, to an acquaintance from his school, and this became food for gossip. My son was understandably unhappy. I learned that where we live, any comment outside the family can become gossip; I have become more circumspect since that experience.

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