How To Take Photo Of A Hyperactive Child?

  • He hit the studio like a small tornado. The air was filled with yells, coaxing, scolding, threats and screams. He had to be restrained from dismantling the camera. He kicked his mother on the shins, violently rejected all the toys offered to him and finally threw himself on the floor stamping and screaming. He was two and a hall. His nine-months-old sister viewed his performance with amusement cooing angelically. 'Oh, Christopher, look how good Baby is,' said his mother.

  • The day had been disastrous from the start, just when mother particularly wanted the children in a good mood for the photographer. Christopher had started by tearing up the morning newspaper. Dad had gone to work in a rare temper, glad to escape the bedlam. On the bus journey to the studio the lady who had her hat knocked off had said to the lady who had the contents of her shopping basket scattered, 'I know what I would give him if he were mine.'

  • Christopher is on the studio floor in a tantrum a situation brought about by feelings of jealousy for the baby. Tut he loves the baby,' mother sometimes protests. And in apparent confirmation of this, he sometimes puts his arms round the baby and gives her a rough kind of kiss. He has learned that this little party-piece is a hit with grown-ups and earns him words of praise.

  • Resentment of the new baby does not always manifest itself in such an extreme fashion as in Christopher's case. His parents having prepared him carefully for the new arrival, he coped with the situation fairly well at first, until the baby had to go into hospital for a spell. Now he had his parents to himself again and he enjoyed the situation. But when the baby was brought home again and became the centre of attention and fuss, the little boy felt left out in the cold once more. One has to try and imagine what it is like to be the first-born, enjoying both parents' undivided love and attention, only to find that suddenly there is a rival for their affections.

  • Even with understanding parents, seldom is jealousy not aroused. But if his hostility is driven underground by unfavorable comparisons with the baby, or by excessive punishment, fear of losing his parents' love will cause him to act in any way that will draw attention to himself. He might feign illness, indulge in showing off, or resort to temper-tantrums. He would rather be thrashed for his bad behavior than feel he is being neglected.

  • Attempting to understand the causes of bad behavior is half the battle. Most personality misfits of this kind are due to psychological patterns in the unconscious mind. Once we accept this we are liable to he more patient and to find an answer to our problems.

  • Let us ask ourselves what Christopher feels he needs most. The most important thing in the world to him is to have his mother's love for him reaffirmed. Ignoring his noisy demonstration for the moment, concentrate on gaining acceptance from the baby. Now take her on to your 'posing' bench and ask the mother to take the little boy on her knee and nurse him. This may take some time, because when a child has made a demonstration he often does not like to give way or to 'lose face'. But the prospect of a display of affection from the person who is the centre of his little world is usually too good to miss.

  • As the little boy's rage subsides and he snuggles into his mother, peace reigns again. So far, so good. Continue to direct your attention to the baby, playing with her, getting her to laugh. Take one or two shots of her. Bring out a selection of toys and spread them around the baby. The older child, now reassured and already feeling more secure, will notice that the baby is having a whale of a time. Perhaps he is missing some fun.

  • Move your camera back to allow space for him beside the baby in the picture-area. He must not be rushed. Attempts at persuasion might put him on his guard again. Wait until he shows signs of wanting to join the baby in the game. If you have plenty of time and patience you will still get happy pictures of the pair playing together.

More about Child Behavior Pattern During Photography

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