If you haven’t been following the Wren Eleanor controversy, or even if you have, let me catch you up. Wren Eleanor is a toddler with her own TikTok account. On the account, Wren Eleanor’s mom shares videos of the toddler doing toddler things, like wearing cute clothes and eating snacks. With a whopping 17 million followers, Wren Eleanor’s TikTok is also an “influencer” account, where toddler and her mom show off clothing gifted to them by retailers. 

After parents began sharing concerns over the account, a debate ensued regarding photos and videos of children on social media. Parents sounded the alarm when they noticed that videos of the toddler had been saved tens of thousands of times by complete strangers. Comments by grown men were often sexual and predatory in nature. Parents also expressed concerns about exploitation of Wren Eleanor for her mother’s monetary gain. Concerns about the safety of Wren Eleanor and her exploitation prompted the #SaveWren movement and sparked a larger conversation about the ways parents use social media. Wren’s mom called the concerns “false rumors,” assured the public that her daughter is safe and expressed plans to continue posting videos and photos of her daughter.

Related: Viral TikTok reminds parents to avoid posting certain back-to-school pics for safety concerns 

The Wren Eleanor controversy makes us uncomfortable for many reasons. Of course, there are concerns about the creepy strangers saving videos of the toddler and the grown men who are posting sexual comments on the videos. For instance, videos of Wren eating pickles or playing with tampons have gotten millions of views and been saved by viewers.

The risk of internet predators is a very real concern that parents don’t take lightly. As a mom, just thinking about it makes my skin crawl and sparks a not-so-minor panic. I’m certainly not alone in this. But there is another reason that the Wren Eleanor controversy makes us so uncomfortable—it has caused us to take a closer look at the way we’re portraying our own kids on social media

I’ll admit, I’ve had to ask myself some hard questions. Have I shared a stories about my children when they were preschoolers that they might not want the world knowing about when they are teenagers? Have I posted photos that might embarrass them when they are in middle school? Are there photos on social media that my kids might not love when they’re older? 

Unfortunately, the answer is probably yes.

The controversy has caused a lot of us to examine our social media habits, especially as they impact our children. It has sparked debate about the importance of asking for consent before posting photos of or sharing stories about our kids. And the issue of consent can become a bit of a pandora’s box as well, since young children lack the capacity to consent even when we ask for it. 

Related: A new parent’s ultimate guide to social media

Common Sense Media, a platform designed to help parents navigate social media safely, warns of the long-lasting digital footprint that’s created any time we post a photo or video of our child.

“Someday your preschoolers will grow up, and they might not want documentation of their diaper days hanging out online for their friends to find,” the site says. 

The controversy has highlighted the difficult issues parents face with respect to social media. Issues of consent, boundaries and exploitation go beyond potential predatory behavior and impact basic issues of respecting our kids’ privacy. Sure, we want to connect with others on social media, but our boundaries might not be the same as our kids’ boundaries. That family photo we can’t wait to share on social media might not be something our child wants shown to anyone else, let alone the world.

Consent isn’t a one-and-done thing, and boundaries change over time. As parents, we need to remember this, respect it and teach our kids this as well.

As a new mom, I shared lots of photos of my kids when they were toddlers and preschoolers. When my kids got older, I began asking them if I could post photos of them on social media. Many times, they said no. It was hard to not share a photo that I deemed cute and fun because they didn’t like the way their hair looked or their smile in the photo, but I respected their wishes. And as I scroll through social media lately, I often wonder if other parents are doing the same.

Related: What’s the harm in posting about our kids on social media?

It’s also important for parents to understand that our kids’ feelings about social media and what we’re sharing on it may change over time. Most recently, my kids—who are now in middle and high school—have asked me to remove specific photos of them shared several years ago—the same photos that they were OK with being on the internet at the time. My kids told me there is an Instagram account dedicated to sharing embarrassing old photos of students that their parents shared when they were younger. For this reason, they asked me to make my Instagram account private (which I immediately did).

Consent isn’t a one-and-done thing, and boundaries change over time. As parents, we need to remember this, respect it and teach our kids this as well.

“It’s something to really, really think about even as early as when you have a newborn and you’re so excited and you want to share,” Jasmine Hood Miller, director of community content and engagement for Common Sense Media, told ABC News. “As a parent, you need to stop and think before you kind of jump on that bandwagon.”

The Wren Eleanor controversy has made a lot of us uncomfortable (raises hand.) Conversations about children on social media aren’t meant to “mom shame” or finger-wag at parents for their social media habits. But it has sparked a reckoning of sorts, with parents taking a closer look at their relationship with social media. And even though it’s uncomfortable, that isn’t a bad thing.