This Paparazzi Parent Thing Has Got to Stop

The cameras flashed. The video was recording. The dozens of little dancers danced their little hearts out on the stage at the college, and every step was captured for the ages.

This is what it is like to be a kid in 2012. If Mom or Dad isn’t taking a picture of it, they’re talking about it on Facebook. Or, for my poor kid, blogging about it.

The good. The bad. That time they forgot to wear underwear to school or fell backward off the swingset.

I could go on and on about the stupid things parents should really keep to themselves (hint: no one, not nobody, not know how actually wants to see pictorial evidence of the fact that your child is now potty trained … least of all on Facebook). But can we talk about the kids for a minute here?

My cousin joked this past Sunday that he’s glad he got through childhood in an age before everything was documented. With genes like ours, you can trust that his exploits were … let’s say interesting, shall we? He’s got a real job now; we don’t have to go there.

Not so for our kids. They expect to be photographed. They demand it.

“Look Ma, no hands!” has become “Look Ma, get this up on YouTube for me!”

I’m not going to stand on my soapbox and scream. I’ve got guilty practically written across my forehead. This is the column that announced her impending birth after all.

If she steals her father’s sunglasses, she expects me to Instagram it.

I suppose it’s good preparation for a world where she’ll have to be Facebook photo ready at any moment lest she be tagged by a “friend” in a not-so-proper pose. But I’m beginning to think we’re creating monsters.

How else do you explain the kid who tells his Mom what is OK to Facebook and what isn’t? At 4? The kid who poses in the middle of her dance recital … for the camera, not the choreographer?

I never thought I’d say this, but it may be time to stow the camera and slam the laptop shut so my kid knows what it’s like to live without Big Brother on her shoulder. She’s got those same genes after all; what she’ll get up to in years to come may be better off un-remembered.

Have you “liked” Inside Out Motherhood on Facebook yet?   

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