Making your child feel loved, important, and special comes naturally for most parents. Showing your children how much they mean to you helps shape how they see themselves and builds their self-esteem. One way to make them feel important and have a healthy self-view is something you may already be doing: Printed family portraits – a great way to capture and display a family’s memories, and boost your child’s self-esteem.
In 2009 during a UK survey, 78% of people had between one and 15 photos of their family displayed in their home. I assume that this number has gone up now, since tech has become so easy to snap and share photos.
There are many different reasons to take family portraits – a family milestone or the annual family picture. Family photography helps us raise children with higher self-esteem and stronger self-confidence!
Tulane University conducted a well-known study in 1975 with a group of fourth-graders in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The children selected for the study showed low self-esteem scores. During the five-week study, the children’s task was to take polaroid photos of themselves in various poses and emotions. They created weekly scrapbooks of their self-portraits. After re-testing at the end of the study, students had a 37% percent increase in their average behavioral self-esteem!
It’s incredible that just having photos of themselves can help a child’s self-esteem. Can you imagine that having family photos can do even more? David Krauss is a psychologist and pioneer in using personal photography and family albums to assist in mental health, counseling, and therapy treatments. He states that seeing family photographs on a wall tells a child that they are important to their family. He further says, “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look safe, holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”
I love helping children see where they belong, and I take this part of my job as a photographer pretty seriously. Helping a child see how much their family loves them, and capturing their place of safety is my favorite thing about my job.
Children are growing up in a digital age, and while it has its pros, it also has its cons. Digital photos are a great and convenient way to pull up on your phone. But printing your favorites and displaying them throughout your home is agreed upon by experts the way to get the best confidence-building results.
Krauss says, “My bias is very simple. I think they (family photographs) should be on the wall. I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them and a protective quality that nurtures a child. It lets them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for.” Krauss also recommends having photos of your child, including your family, in their kid’s room so they can be some of the last things they see before falling asleep and the first when they wake up. “It says we love you and care about you. You’re important.”
Commit to printing your family photos to share them with your kids. Please give them a constant reminder that they are important to you. It will not only improve your children’s self-esteem, but it will make your home a more beautiful place.