A Question

I asked this on my Facebook wall. I’m curious what my readers think.

Serious question: Am I doing wrong because I take surreptitious videos and photos of Claire? She loudly objects if she’s aware of me; she says, “That’s not nice!” I tried explaining why I do this — it helps family and friends stay connected to her. It’s also for remembrance when she’s older. Too abstract for her 2-year-old mind. So I do it on the sly. Yet she has a right to privacy too. Yes?

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6 Comments on “A Question”

  1. Karen Maezen Miller Says:

    Of course take pictures. It’s the job of a two-year-old to say no to everything! To make everything a power struggle. But the whole concept of “rights” is overwrought and overthought, as is the concept of privacy. How about, from time to time, instead of explaining the why, which is entirely conceptual and farfetched from her vantage point, ask politely, “May I take your photo?” or “Claire, let’s take turns: I’ll take your photo and then you take my photo!” These are approaches that are consistent with age-appropriate behaviors you are trying to model anyway.

  2. Tiffany Says:

    I totally agree with Karen, and I’d just like to add this. How sad would you be, years down the road, if you didn’t have pictures of Claire at this amazing age? I think she’ll understand why you wanted them. 🙂

  3. Kathryn Says:

    I like the suggestion, Karen. Thank you!

    And the funny thing is, Tiffany, that she doesn’t always object. Sometimes I can point the camera and it’s just fine. Such is the whim of a toddler.

  4. acm Says:

    man, we *have* to do it that way, for a related but different reason — the Heisenberg Uncertainty reason: if she ever sees that her picture (or video) is being taken, Speck stops whatever she is doing and rushes over insisting that she be shown the resulting photos or vids. often this happens before I’ve had time to take any! (although she’s getting better about going back to her previous position and at least partly continuing the prior activity, until she judges that I have created something for her to view.)

    can’t miss the entire age, and have few opportunites (and lots of long-distance relations), so one does what one must!

  5. Jan Says:

    LOL. This is so typical of kids. I found my new grandsons (ages 3, 5, &7 when I married Randy) were camera shy and objected to me taking pictures. I took pictures on the sly (Zoom lens are terrific). When they were aware of me taking pictures and objected, I went with the flow and took funny pictures. They were allowed to cover their faces, stick out their tongues, turn around and show me their butts (with clothes on, of course). They’d jump around at night, blurring photos. Then I’d show them the results. They loved seeing how ugly they could make a photo shoot.
    The grandsons are always willing to hold up one of their creations, so I can take a picture of what they’ve been working on. If your daughter doesn’t want a photo of her, it may be a great time to get a photo of her hand as she holds her favorite toy. I have loads of shots sans children because it got me past the camera phobia moment. My own sons became so used to mom taking pictures of everything (including their boo-boos) that they eventually started coming to me asking for a photo record of their latest Leggo creation, crazy hairdo, or injury.
    You are recording a childhood of adventures and moods. By all means, stay with it. Kids get more comfortable with the process as time goes by.
    Thanks so much for bringing back smiles as I remember my own camera challenges with little kids. It reminds me that as they grow I need to remember more than picture perfect.

  6. France Says:

    Good for Claire! And for you for taking her objections seriously enough to think them through. I’d want to know more about her objections but I have to say, in general, I’m very in favor of young girls being encouraged to know and protect their boundaries. I never let friends, for example, tell their children to kiss or hug me and I’m always happy to see a child who knows her own mind and speaks it.

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