Hold The Phone, Grandma: Safe Etiquette for Grandkid Holiday Snaps and Social Media

by | Dec 22, 2023

A grandmother takes a photo of her daughter and grandchild on vacation, learning the etiquette of social media for grandparents.
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Featured image: Keep your grandkids safe online with these social media for grandparents etiquette tips | Photo by Wavebreakmedia on Envato

Eight questions to ask when posting photos of grandchildren online

by Kathy Buckworth

“Say E!” is a refrain my grandchildren often hear when we are trying to get a photo of them smiling. “E” makes them look better than when they say “cheese”, apparently. I’m all for it. I’m all for making new things the norm. While taking pictures of grandkids on vacation is nothing new, posting them online is, as is social media for grandparents.  

Naturally, we want to share the holiday snaps of our grandkids splashing in the surf, roaming through Rome and being amusing at an amusement park, but the number one thing we want to protect, besides our grandchildren’s safety, is the relationship between ourselves and those grandkids’ parents. That’s right, our kids. They are the boss of these kids, not you, so it’s important to keep some general rules around photos and social media in place, particularly when traveling.

Social Media for Grandparents: The Eight Rules of Photos with Grandkids

1. Always ask permission from the parents to take the photos and explain where you might share them. Facebook? Instagram? Just with a family group chat? To have them printed and never be published online? Hold true to your word. Don’t sneak it on to Facebook because you think only other grandparents are on there. 

2. Once the photos have been taken, show or send them to the parents for their approval, before sharing with anyone. Yes, they get veto even if the one they approve is the one where you look your worst.

3. Don’t take photos of your grandkids having tough moments (which are easy to have after a long day of travel). You wouldn’t like that either.

4. Don’t take photos of your grandkids while they’re sleeping, even when they’re passed out in a beach chair. It’s creepy and clearly they haven’t given their consent.

5. Be careful not to show the hotel or accommodation’s street address where your family is staying, until after you leave, and check to make sure showing public landmarks is also okay, if the parents don’t want the location of the destination known.

Kathy Buckworth with her grandchildren, following her rules on social media for grandparents

Captions should be light-hearted and fun / Photo by Kathy Buckworth

Kathy Buckworth's three grandchildren, following her rules on social media for grandparents

All photos need parent approval before posting / Photo by Kathy Buckworth

Kathy Buckworth with her daughter and grandchildren

Don’t forget the multi-generational shots! / Photo by Kathy Buckworth

6. If you think of a caption about your grandchildren that is super funny, according to you, make sure the parents feel the same way. It’s easy to slip into “making fun of”, instead of “having fun with”.

7. While it’s tempting to take pictures of only the grandkids, make sure to include their parents, your other children, and other relatives in the photos.

8. Grab those multigenerational shots while you can and learn how to use the self-timer on your phone or camera, to make sure that you are in them too.

Read More on Multi-Generational Travel

Kathy Buckworth is an award-winning writer, spokesperson, content creator and media personality. She is the author of six non-fiction books. Kathy is the creator, host, writer and researcher for the Zoomer Radio show and podcast, Go-To Grandma, which launched in 2021. She has interviewed hundreds of guests, and the show is in the top three sponsored shows on Zoomer. She is also the co-host of the Elder Wisdom Podcast, which has just reached 100,000 downloads.

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