My Three Little Bears

A post by Kellie over at Three Lil Princesses has got me thinking lately about my blogging philosophy (if you can call it that). She wrote a post detailing the 6 steps that had allowed her blog to grow so phenomenally this year.

All the points are valid and I agree with most of them (particularly about joining up in link-ups, hosting giveaways and getting your SEO right). But when talking about being personable, I do have an issue with the identification and photography of my kids.

I wanted to take this opportunity to explain where I sit on this issue and perhaps find a way for you as my readers to be engaged with my kids even though you don’t know their real names nor what they look like.

I do actually have 3 children. I should clear that bit up right away. And of course I can’t provide any proof of this, but just trust me, I do. All my unflattering avatars floating around the place clearly show the strain of raising 3 of them…so trust me!

When we both began our blogs, my husband and I decided that we would not identify our kids in our posts. The main reason being that we didn’t want people in the future being able to search for our kids on the internet and find loads of stuff that we had written years earlier.

Obviously, if there is information already in the public domain (like the recent Newcastle Herald article about my father-in-law’s Kokoda Track walk for autism) then I’m happy to include that. Otherwise, I’m afraid, photos and identifying information is going to be thin on the ground around here.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m not proud of my kids. I must admit that I am tempted everyday to shout their names from the rooftops, to show off photos of them and to proudly share every bit of their lives. Especially when I see so many others blogs proudly showcasing their progeny. I so wish I could. But it would not feel right to me.

However, I do want to you to be engaged with their triumphs and their tragedies. So my husband has come up with a plan so we can continue on our merry way without me having to keep impersonally referring to my kids by their age or by their gender. If I can’t give you the real thing, I can give you the next best thing – their teddy bears!

So, without further ado,  I would like to introduce you to…My Three Little Bears!

Gilbert (Master 7), Delilah (Miss 1) & Matilda (Miss 5)

The first cab off the rank is Gilbert Bear or GB – whose proud owner is Master 7. He is an easy-going character who likes whiling away his days in his blue checked pyjamas and being there when my son needs a cuddle or some comfort. Gilbert joined the family at Christmas 2004 and he has been a much-loved member of the family ever since.

Gilbert Bear AKA GB

Matilda Bear or MB joined the Russell family a year later at Christmas 2005 when her owner, Miss 5, was barely 6 weeks old. She has been a loyal and much loved friend to Miss 5 (which the stains on her nightie prove!) and enjoys hanging out in the girls’ room and playing hide and seek with the other stuffed toys.

Matilda Bear AKA MB

Delilah Bear or DB is the most recent addition to our household. Her arrival at Christmas 2010 was greeted with joy from Miss 1, who at that time, was barely bigger than the bear herself! Despite my fears that DB would become prematurely grey, she is still surprisingly pristine and has recently been enjoying her first real cuddles from her young mistress.

Delilah Bear AKA DB

So, from now on my beautiful kiddies are going to be named after their cute teddies. Hopefully it will make it a little more interesting for you as a reader and then I won’t get in a flap whenever the kids have a birthday and have to have a name change, etc…

Now you’ve been properly re-introduced, you’ll be hearing a lot more about Gilbert, Matilda and Delilah in coming posts. I just hope you enjoy reading their adventures as much as I enjoy recounting them!

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26 Responses

  1. Grace says:

    Nawwww…Kirsty, that is truly adorable ! This post is personable and creative, all tied in nicely. Your family of teddy bears seems just gorgeous and I look forward to hearing more about them 🙂

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Grace – I’m glad my husband came up with such a cute solution for my problem!!! Hoping to get some photos of the bears in unusual places as we go along too, hoping to have a bit of fun with it!

  2. Carly Webber says:

    Kirsty, I’m torn on this too. I went through a stage where I named, then I didn’t, now I am, but thinking I shouldn’t….
    I do include photos, and clearly my full name is slandered everywhere, so this makes me more aware of potential issues. You made a valid point where it’s not today that poses the problem, but perhaps years down the track… especially where I discuss such personal things and details relating to ASD. And who knows where my blog will lead or what direction and issues it will tackle in the future. I thought a LOT recently about going through all my posts and doing an ‘edit’… in actual fact I think I’ve just now talked myself into doing exactly that!
    Thanks Kirsty for your perspective… now I just need ‘nicknames’ for my munchkins!

    • Kirsty says:

      Carly, it is a hard issue, one that I have wrestled with for some time too. I just wanted to explain why my blog about my family, is so bare on the basic details of that very family! I would love to put them out there but I am wary about the way the info could be used in the future. But then again, I am a fairly overprotective and overcautious parent!!!

  3. Cath says:

    I love your solution to this tricky problem… My son (I only have one) is nicknamed the munchkin on my blog and I have, on occasion, shown photos of him. He has a particularly unusual name, that would be very easy to trace. I agree that protecting the identity of our kids is very important, especially as our blogs (and in my case, a business as well) grow in profile. Great idea. Will spread the word.

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Cath – one of my kids’ names is on the unusual side too, so it would not be hard to join the dots if someone really tried hard enough. I have been pondering this for some time and this is at least a solution that I’m comfortable with – now I just have to remember to use their new pseudonyms!

  4. What a fabulous idea. I LOVE this! Really creative and I’ll be keen to hear about their adventures.
    I probably said it in my speech and not in my notes/post (can’t remember now!), but it really is down to the individual on how much you want to share. In the end, you have to be comfortable with it. There are some things that are off limits for us – where we live, childcare, schools etc. Some bloggers don’t include their kids at all and others have pen names for their kidlets with “arty” photos.
    Although, I think your idea is a real winner! xx

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Kellie. I love reading about your girls and I really want my readers to identify with my kids but it is hard when you just restrict things to general references to gender and age. Thank goodness my husband came up with this idea – and thank goodness the kids “allowed” me to photograph their bears (although Miss 1 did keep coming back and taking Delilah away…I had to wait until she had her afternoon sleep to snatch Delilah from her and get her photo!!!)

  5. Hi Kirsty. I’m not at a stage where I’m disclosing much about my son. I will probably keep it that way, but would like some creative ideas. Thank you for sharing yours!

    • Kirsty says:

      Lina, I will freely admit it was my husband’s idea but since we’re married and we share everything, I’m sure he won’t mind that I claim a bit of it for myself! It is a hard issue and I’m really happy with this solution…I hope it does help others out there facing a similar dilemma!

  6. cathy says:

    I too go through periods where I doubt my decision to publicise my children through photos and naming them. But in the end the good outweighs the bad for me…I try to remember that most/all people reading my blog are just ordinary people/mums and dads etc. I hope I never regret my decision. Your post has made me feel a bit uneasy again…

    • Kirsty says:

      Oh Cathy, I didn’t mean to make people question their decision about identifying their kids, I only wanted to explain why I don’t identify mine. I’m sure you’ll never regret your decision, it’s just I’m a bit more overprotective and overcautious than most!!! I love your blog, and I love the stories of your boys…looking forward to reading more!

  7. Bronwyn says:

    Wonderful post! I am in agreement with you. I am not sharing the names of my children on my blog … I am sure that other time it might escape but it is not something that I am going to do on a wholesale basis. I think you are wise because no generation has what our children will have … their whole lives online with a digital trail that will go from birth to death … potentially open for the world to see.
    Bronwyn recently posted..Life on the Spectrum – Reflection edition

    • Kirsty says:

      Bronwyn, that’s definitely my main concern. And as much as I would love to feature the real thing on here (I do sneak non identifying photos on here sometimes, just to make me feel better!) I know this is the right decision for our family. I’m glad I’m not alone!

  8. MultipleMum says:

    They have a strong family resemblance! I use pen names for my kids but there are snaps of them around the place. You make a very valid point here though. Thanks for Rewinding x
    MultipleMum recently posted..Weekend Rewind – Most surprisingly successful post edition

    • Kirsty says:

      Considering the bears did come from different places they do compliment each other nicely! I am now at peace with how my kids appear on my blog so it’s definitely a win win for us!

  9. Erin says:

    We struggled with this ourselves, our children do have blog pseudonyms (given names are unique) and for a long time we didn’t have photos of them. we do now but I still wonder if we made the correct decision. (visiting from rewind)
    Erin recently posted..Treasured Moments (25)

    • Kirsty says:

      Erin, it seems to be a vexed question that everyone struggles with. We may be completely overprotective when it comes to this issue but this solution works for us – but there are some days I still itch to put their real names and faces on there!

  10. Shelly says:

    I struggled with this also. I didn’t post photos of the kids for the first few months of blogging, but eventually I broke down and start to post photos. I don’t post video of them, I don’t post photos with them in their school uniform and I use the MasterAge monikers. I don’t have my surname on my blog. I am comfortable with this, but I think your idea of naming the children after their bears is pure genius!
    Shelly recently posted..This Week I’m Grateful for…Well-Behaved Offspring

    • Kirsty says:

      Sadly, it was my husband’s genius idea so I can’t take any credit for that! But it nicely solved our problem and is working well so far. I could have got away with putting photos on there if my last name wasn’t known but I chose to identify myself so I feel better going down this road – still doesn’t stop me sneaking in the occasional non-identifying shot sometimes, makes me feel a little bit better!

  11. Dianne Bradley says:

    You make a very valid point here though. I went through a stage where I named, then I didn’t, now I am, but thinking I shouldn’t…. I do include photos, and clearly my full name is slandered everywhere, so this makes me more aware of potential issues.
    Dianne Bradley recently posted..Arthritis Tips

    • Kirsty says:

      Dianne, it’s quite a personal choice. This is what works for us but others may find it overkill. It is an important issue though and there is no right or wrong answer – you just have to go with your gut instinct and do what’s right for you.

  12. Kate says:

    I agree. I wouldn’t name my underage kids on the Internet either. All my nieces and nephews I call Miss Niece and Mr Nephew. My children are grown, but my boys don’t like anything other than basics, ie that I had them or fostered them or whatever. First name (last names are all different on my kids anyway) and very general discussion. My daughter has a business and a blog, so I share what she shares, no more.
    It’s not like I am out of touch with the younger generation, in fact the opposite. I am studying Info Science. Computer security and identity theft and so on are a huge part of that. So I think it’s important to teach the kids to protect themselves online.
    Kate recently posted..Cat Thursday

    • Kirsty says:

      I think that’s a fair approach Kate and I completely agree about the importance of teaching kids to protect themselves online. It’s so important nowadays.

  1. February 4, 2013

    […] my kids: I will never publish identifiable photos of my children, nor their real names. I wrote a post a while back discussing the reasons for this stance but essentially I don’t want people to be […]

  2. August 25, 2014

    […] to be a little more forthcoming with photos of the kids. Originally we didn’t want to post photos of them but we have revised our position and feel more comfortable with that now. So here are Delilah, […]

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