How Your Family Photos impact your Child’s Self Esteem
Your child’s self esteem can be directly impacted by how often and in what manner they are exposed to their own image. A study done at Tulane University concluded that children who see photos of themselves have higher self esteem than those that are not exposed to their own photos. This should come as no surprise to anyone but it is certainly an aspect of a child’s well-being that many moms and certainly most photographers fail to consider.
Display What You Love
When people come into your home do they see photos of your family on display? People tend to show off the things they value most. Your new outfit? Oh, you can’t wait for an opportunity to wear it out! Your husband just purchased the latest tech gadget? He’s going to show that off at your next dinner party. But what do you love more than your family? If there are little or no family portraits in your home the chance is that you and your family don’t see yourselves as important to one another as you truly are.
Here’s what the experts say
A pioneer in the field of Phototherapy, Dr. David Krauss has dedicated his life to helping people understand the power of portraits. “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so 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 like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”
“It lets children learn who they are and where they fit,” psychologist and author Judy Weiser. “They learn their genealogy and the the uniqueness of their own family and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves: ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.'”
Print vs Digital
You may be saying to yourself “my kids are all over my Instagram and Facebook accounts”. Here’s the problem with this, your child does not follow your social media account! They don’t get a chance to see themselves as something you value enough to show off. They don’t know when or how often you share their photos.
Here’s what the experts say
“My personal and clinical bias is there is something very powerful in touching your fingers to an actual print. Touching the photograph is the same thing as touching a book when you read it. There’s a lot of stimulation of the brain when you have that sensory experience.” - child psychologist Craig Steinberg.
“Displaying photos prominently in the home sends the message that our family and those in it are important to one another, and we honor the memories we have experienced,“ - clinical social worker Cathy Lander-Goldberg.
“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 protecting quality that nurtures a child. It let’s them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for,” - Krauss.
You Are Important
Displaying photos of your family lets them know that they are important. This is a simple yet powerful gift you give to those who deserve it the most.