Oftentimes I've asked myself the age old question — If you take a picture of your kids and don't post it on Facebook, does the picture actually exist?

Of course it does! But it's so much fun when you share it with your close friends and family, who get to enjoy seeing your children enjoying their new experiences and growing up before their virtual eyes. That's the benefit of sharing those precious, once-in-a-lifetime moments on social media. Are there safety and privacy concerns? Yes, but they're manageable.

Think First

The most important thing to keep in mind about sharing pictures of your children on Facebook is this — think before you hit post. Take a look at the photo. Is it something that you feel comfortable letting people see? Is there any element of the picture that could be misconstrued or corrupted for a negative purpose? That is a conversation that you should have before deciding to upload.

Facebook is Forever

The pictures that you upload live on online. They are out there for people to see forever. That's a long time.

Private Isn't Always Private

Another important consideration is to make sure that your privacy settings are where you want them. Are you interested in sharing the photo with the entire Facebook universe or do you want to limit it to your Facebook friends? Spend a minute or two updating your settings if that is a concern for you.

And remember that others in your friend circle might share that picture with others that you don't know, so the picture will likely exist outside the borders of your Facebook family. If you don't want the picture shared, make sure your friends are aware of your wishes.

But for many, the benefits of sharing photos of your little ones outweigh any privacy concerns. First, those pictures, if shared properly, keep your faraway family and friends in the loop on your children's development, activities and growth. It is such an easy way to keep in touch with dozens of people at one time.

Facebook as a Timeline

Also, those pictures will help create a record or timeline of your children's lives. As the years pass, you'll be able look back day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month on the changes your children underwent and the adventures they experienced. As they grow up, they might enjoy doing that, too.

So, go ahead and continue posting those pictures to social media sites, like Facebook. Just make sure that your pictures are family friendly and that your privacy or sharing settings are where you want them.