Dear Annie: I made contact with my birth mother several years ago, but we are not close. Recently, I found out from my sister that my birth mother has been reposting photographs of my children from other friends’ pages. I have set privacy guidelines for posting photos of my children and she has totally disregarded them. I have tried to be civil with this woman, who blatantly doesn’t care who she hurts. I understand that I can’t make my friends and relatives remove these photos, but am I wrong to be so guarded about who and how pictures of my children can be shared on social media? Mind you, this woman is not part of my life and has no rights to me or my children. – Outraged Mother
Dear Outraged: You can ask your friends and relatives to put privacy settings on their photos so that your birth mother does not get to see them, let alone repost them. You also can try explaining directly to your birth mother why you have these guidelines and ask her to respect them. But we’d guess she feels marginalized and excluded from your life and that of your children, and she is desperate to be “grandma.” You might be able to convince her to remove the photos from her social media pages by promising her an old-fashioned printed photo of your family that she can frame and keep at home. A small amount of consideration from you could go a long way to encourage her to reciprocate. You obviously don’t owe her any photographs, but she is finding and posting them anyway. Better on your terms than hers.
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