I don't know about your kids, but my 9 year old daughter LOVES to look at pictures of herself as a baby / toddler / etc. This is always nice, of course, but something I noticed recently was that looking at these photos is reinforcing her identity as a person who loves books.
When she was a baby we generally surrounded her with books. She had accordion-style books with pictures of baby faces open in her pack-n-play. We would toss down those "indestructibles" when she was doing tummy time. We would give her taggies books to gnaw on in her carseat while we were out at restaurants (she loved the one below, with a mirror on it). We would read to her while she had her bottle. And so on.
Being first-time parents, we took lots of pictures. And because the books were always around, it turns out that we have a lot of pictures of her holding, chewing, or otherwise surrounded by books.
Yesterday my daughter and I were looking through some little photo books that I made when she was small, and she made some remark about always having loved books. We came to a photo that included a particular book with an attached stuffed animal. I remarked that I believed this particular book to be the very first object that she ever reached for. This made her positively giddy with joy. "The first thing I reached for was a BOOK!" She was thrilled.
It struck me that every time we look at these photos, her identity as a person who loves books is reinforced. It then struck me that parents who want to raise kids who love books could purposefully take such pictures in the first place. I'm not suggesting that you fake it and create some sort of artificial record of your baby's childhood. But if your baby happens to be holding a board book that the doctor gave her at her six-month checkup (thank you, Reach Out and Read!), make sure you snap a quick photo. If you always stick books in the playpen with the stuffed animals, make sure you capture them in photos from time to time.
Truth be told, if you know that you want your child to grow up to love books, you are probably already surrounding her with books anyway, right? If not, well, that's something to think about, too.
© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.