Special needs

How to grow your toddler's self-esteem

Anchel Krishna's daughter Syona loves getting her picture taken — and she hopes that will always be the case.

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Syona loves the camera. Photo: Anchel Krishna

Follow along as Anchel Krishna shares her experiences as mother to Syona, an extraordinary toddler with cerebral palsy.

This week’s post has almost nothing to do with special needs, but it is a topic that has been on my mind lately.

I spent four days over the holidays getting our photos somewhat organized. I had about a thousand — I’m not exaggerating — prints to go through and put into old-fashioned photo albums. I had another 5,000 to sort through on the computer. Our photo collection continues to grow pretty much every day.

Syona has been the star subject of our photography pretty much since the moment she was born. In the past few months, Syona has decided that she loves the camera.

She will stop mid-tantrum if I tell her that I want to take her picture. If she’s dragging her heels in her walker, I will stand at the end of the hall with the camera or my phone in hand. This usually serves as enough of a motivation for a few extra steps. She’s also recently gotten quite interested in taking her own pictures, often using my phone since it is skinny enough for her to grip.

Read more: The debate: Should you post about your kids on Facebook? > 

I love the fact that she enjoys getting her picture taken these days. Although I don’t like to think too far ahead, I know the day will come where she’ll groan when I pull out the camera, or she will focus on what makes her different from other kids. She may not like the way she looks or complain about her situation. And although I never want these things to happen, the truth is that they just might.

These thousands of pictures I have banked will be what I pull out to remind her of how wonderful life is when you don’t let those things dictate what you like or don’t like. Not because of how cute she looks, but because in her pictures she is simply happy and enjoying herself. I truly believe that is what shines through.

When I look back at photos from my childhood they are so different. Times have changed significantly and most of the pictures commemorate some sort of occasion — birthday party, wedding, family get-together or some other similar event. But now we tend to quickly snap a picture all the time, often using multiple formats, and there are just so many pictures. I know a simple solution could be just to take less pictures, but who can really resist that?

In the meantime, I’m struggling a bit on how to manage all the photos we have — both electronic and print. I like the idea of having some photos printed and put in albums. And we do have some pictures in frames around the house. We also have a pretty extensive iPhoto library and I’d love your tips on how you manage family pictures.

Do your kids love getting their picture taken? How do you manage your family’s photo library?

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