My daughter was trying her hands on a new product that I recently got for review and there I was photographing her away like a mad woman while she clumsily try to figure out how the thing works. At that moment, she started to speak. Words so softly spoken yet tore through my heart like a jagged knife.
"Mama, why are you taking pictures of me?"
"Well, because I need them for my review"
"Do you really have to?"
"That sucks" she sadly whispered. "You always take pictures"
"It's part of my review process, honey. Gotta show people the product in action!"
At this instance, I started reviewing the pictures I've just taken and came upon the picture I took of her when she was sleeping the other night - she was sleeping funny and cute at the same time - I thought I'll preserve that moment forever. I showed it to her. And this is when she firmly demanded "Don't you blog about it Mama! Don't you even try! " with a pained look on her face.
I was dumbstruck! Then she started rambling about a post I have of her a while, while back with a picture of her when she was younger and how it made her angry. I commend her for having a good memory but wow, I didn't realize how much that post (and some) has made such a negative impact on her!
"I don't want people seeing me". "I don't want them talking about me." "It will ruin my life!"
(Yeah I know what you're thinking) That might be an over assumption. BUT it doesn't change the fact that my daughter who is only six years old is obviously affected and is demanding for her rights to privacy! And that posting stories of her and her pictures without her permission was to her a violation of these rights.
You must know, that though it took me much deliberation before I started posting pictures of her in my blog or anywhere else, and took me months of debating and justifying with hubby if doing so was the right thing to do, I neglected to consider the fact how doing it would affect her in return. I even raised the issue of Kids on the Net in one of my articles at Working Mother, where I also blog, and of which created a ruckus in another Mom site. Yes, it's a touchy subject but I thought I had nailed it down to science. I thought that because I'm the blogger here, I know exactly what I'm doing. Besides, everyone else is doing it. I saw no harm. Until now...
To those who blog about their kids, has these possible situations ever crossed your minds? Where one day, your kids will hate you for blogging about them? Or that they will rebel against you because you never considered how they would feel whenever you talk about great (and not so great) things and post pictures of them online? Are you sure your kids are OK with the whole blogging-about-them-thing?
Apparently, mine is not. I'm not saying everyone should stop blogging about their kids and posting pictures of them online just because! Listen - I'm not the boss in any of you - I'm simply raising an awareness here. I believe this is a crucial discovery. Now, if you don't see this as an issue or cause for an alarm, then good for you. But please, there's no need for sarcasm or passing unnecessary judgment to those who are having them (don't be a bitch - cut that out ).
All I'm saying is that, to me, this incident was a rude awakening. It made me realize that my child is growing and maturing rapidly. If I want her to continue respecting me, then I should show her R.E.S.P.E.C.T first. Does this mean I will stop posting stories or pictures of her? That remains to be seen. It will also depend on several factors. AND IF I DO, she will definitely have the final say. After all, she will be the main topic in the story, so that gives her the right to approve or object.
For at the end of the day, I don't want to find out that my child felt like she was victimized by her own Mother for the sake of blogging. Would you? I think not. Have a talk with your kids and find out how they feel about it. You might just be surprised. Don't wait for me to tell you, "I told you so!"