On Tuesday Sean went on his first field trip to the LA Zoo. In preparation for this I bought him a funsaver (disposable camera). I gave him a quick lessen on how to use it, encouraged him to use it at the zoo and sent him on his way. Another parent/guardian did the same thing but was disheartened when the pictures came back blurry or of trees or the cement. This guardian actually wanted the chaperone to mind the camera. In the staging area as it were before they boarded he actually gave the camera to the chaperone and admonished, “Here is his camera …don’t give it to him” This got me thinking. Was the camera actually his (the child’s) or was it the chaperones? Was it the chaperones responsibility to read the kids mind and take pictures or ask constantly “Want a picture of that?” while minding three other wards? Now by no means were Sean’s pictures rivaling David Hockney’s the point is he used his camera and took the pictures he wanted to take. And I remembered my mother’s words, she was a photographer in the RAF, “Out of one bloody roll you get one good picture.” Also most of the participants on the field trip were 5. I don’t know many 5-6 year olds that can contain their excitement or retain rigid commands for lengthy periods of time without having supervision.
I’m not advocating for complete apathy when it comes to rearing children nor do I want all parents/guardian to smother the life/creativity/will out of a child but there has to be a middle-ground Where they are free to make their own mistakes and take their own bloody pictures!!