Causing Harm Unintentionally?

It’s the busiest time of the school year bursting with performances, testing, and well . . . everything. Lucky for you, the video camera is no longer as big as a shoebox. Now, it fits in your pocket and the temptation to photograph most everything takes hold.

Even babies can figure out how to take a selfie or shoot a video. And, it’s so fun to watch them do it. It’s also great fun to show your child how they look on camera. You get home from the latest school performance and cast the video onto the flat screen for viewing. No problem, right?

Recently I came across an article that raised some alarms for me and I wanted to share my concerns with you—my readers.

Before we talk about the article, go back in your mind a bit and recall how you felt when you were a child. Maybe you were in an end-of-the-year recital or play and all you basically remember, besides the jitters and stage fright, is your own perspective as you looked out on the parents and teachers.

You remembered how you felt about your performance and you wanted your parents to simply admire and love you. Am I right?

When we watch ourselves on video we can’t help but see ourselves with a more critical eye because we are judging from the outside. We instantly forget how we felt during the performance and now we recall how we see ourselves on the screen.

If you’re like most, you don’t like seeing yourself on the screen. And, as pointed out in this eye-opening article, your children may not like seeing themselves either. The author discusses how viewing oneself on video may actually change one’s memories of the event from the first person perspective to the third person view. In other words, they remember what they saw on video not what they saw through their own eyes during the event.

We have many children (adults, too) dealing with anxiety and some of this is unidentified and underappreciated. A few signs of anxiety in children are:

  • restlessness
  • agitation
  • inattention or poor focus
  • somatic symptoms, such as headaches and tummy trouble
  • avoidance
  • tantrums
  • crying

The end of the year is stressful enough for the kids. Let me encourage you to enjoy being there and cheering them on. And . . . maybe wait a while before reliving the moment on video.

Have you ever been so concerned with recording your child that you didn’t even see the performance? This is because you were seeing it from a third person perspective (much as a TV camera person) and not a first person one (being in the moment).


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