Several months ago, I significantly cut back the amount of pictures that I take of my daughter. I realized that parental pride and the feeling of her first year flying by caused me to go a little camera crazy her first few months. Here’s why I dialed it back:
When I was growing up, taking pictures was a rare occasion saved for holidays, special occasions, or family trips. Now, it seems that every occasion is a cause to snap a photo. I absolutely get it; our kids are beyond cute and every day they are as young as they will ever be. They all grow up. Our pictures and our memories will be the only things left that we have of this wonderful time in our lives. However, as much as I know I would love each and every one of those photos, I don’t want to look back at thousands of pictures and regret not looking longer with my own two eyes.
It would be a shame to miss making the memory because I’m trying too hard to capture it. You can’t take a picture of the feeling you get when your child laughs, dances with you, or gives you hugs and kisses. I can get ten times the amount of all of those in the time it would take to try to snap a good photo of one. When you’re too focused on missing the moment, you just might miss the moment.
The potential effects to myself are nothing compared to my concern about the potential effects to my child. I want to prevent my daughter’s memories being littered with cameras in her face. Part of me fears, too, that she might one day believe that any piece of her value stems from whether or not she can take a good photo. I want her to feel confident in herself, but I don’t want that confidence to stem solely from her appearance. I want her to live life so fully that the thought of standing in a bathroom taking a selfie on a regular basis seems absurd. Although I mean no offense to anyone, I have to be honest. As a parent, I want more for my kid.
Lastly, I want her to understand moderation with technology. In this day and age, she will have access to so much more of it than I did at her age. How can I teach her personal accountability if I don’t hold myself responsible to my own use of technology while I’m around her? Even though taking pictures of her is a really good excuse, she will live by example, and who knows what kind of technological changes will happen in the next decade. I may not even know what I’m preparing for, but if I don’t teach her to focus on the world, who will?