Just The Notes

Parenting Note #752: Photogenic

parenting note #752
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“Smile for the camera” seems like a simple enough request – unless you’re a kid.

For certain kids, smiling on camera is torture. The idea of being on camera is excruciating. This seems odd for a generation born with a camera in their face, but I guess some kids don’t like to see themselves in photos or on video.

I was curious about specific reasons why kids might not smile in photographs, so, naturally, I googled “why don’t kids smile for cameras?” and one of the top results was this article from the website, “Dear Sabrina.”

Jodi Elliott – the article’s author – explains why she stopped asking her kids to smile in photos.

“I’m not against having happy, smiling photos of my kids: I love happy, smiling photos of my kids. But I only want them if they are genuine, internally-motivated smiles.

I also love broody, moody, calm, absorbed or angry photos of my kids. I get out my camera because I want to capture who they are in that moment, not who I want them to be.”

It was Easter, and I wanted one photo of the three of us together. In all honesty, I don’t know why I want the photo.

Yes, I want pictures of myself and the kids, and the holidays seem like a natural time to take the picture. But in all honesty, I don’t know why.

Am I doing it for the content? Maybe but I didn’t end up posting the photo anyway, which made me feel even worse after forcing my son to take the photo and telling him to “smile like he doesn’t hate being around us.”

So I’m making my kid

  1. do the thing he hates doing and
  2. forcing him to look happy while doing it.

While my son hates posing, my daughter is all about the camera being in her face. She’ll absolutely have her own Instagram account or TikTok when her mom and I feel she’s the right age.

My daughter’s love of performing is the reason she’s involved in so many of my videos. My son is fine making cameo appearances and making random noises in the next room.

Hopefully, he’s smiling while doing it.

OTHER STUFF I DID ON INSTAGRAM THAT YOU PROBABLY MISSED

OTHER THINGS I DID WHEN I WASN’T WRITING NOTES

ON LAST WEEK’S EPISODE OF “WE RUN THIS”We sit down with Wilkerson Given and James Perez, creators of Stoke Performance. Stoke Performance Nut + Seed butter is my new food obsession, and the guys tell us all about the product’s creation, running together in college, and now building a business together.

ON LAST WEEK’S EPISODE OF “NOT ABOUT WRESTLING”Tara Clark of Modern Mom Probs joins me for a hilarious discussion about wrestling and romance and why so many romantic storylines are just plain awful

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