Having annual family portraits taken can seem like it’s not a big deal. Who cares if you don’t send out a holiday card or update your Facebook profile picture? But in reality, family portraits can have a huge impact on your children’s self-esteem and how they view their place in the world and your family unit.
A Tulane University study found that children who see photos of themselves have higher self-esteem than children who aren’t exposed to family portraits. Having your family photos hanging up in your home can help your children grow into more confident adults.
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 honour 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.
Show off what you love
Your home tends to reflect what you value most in life. After all, if we get a new outfit or the latest tech gadget, we can’t wait to show it off. Having the same attitude toward your family photos can reassure your children of how much they’re loved and valued. Let your children know just how important they are by having photos of them displayed prominently throughout your home.
Family photos can show your children that they are an important part of your family and can serve as a reminder that your home is a safe space, no matter what life throws at them. By seeing their place in portraits, they can better understand how they fit into your lives and into the family as a whole.
Strengthen your family bond
In addition to boosting your children’s self-esteem, family portraits can also strengthen the bond of your entire family. It’s the perfect way to demonstrate that you are a unit, a group of people who love and support each other and walk together through life.
Seeing family photos hanging on your wall lets your children know where they come from and who they are. It can help them establish and understand their identity at an early age and move through life with more confidence.
Print vs. Digital
If you’re like most parents, you probably take phone photos of your kids constantly. You may even post them to your social media. But your child doesn’t follow you on Instagram, so they don’t get to see your captions about how much you love them. They have no way of knowing how frequently you share their photos.
Having physical prints hanging on the walls of your home lets your child know every day that they are loved and valued. A photo on the wall is a more sensory experience for your child than images on a phone screen or tablet. Displaying photos in your home lets your child—and everyone—know that you value your family and celebrate everything you have experienced together. It’s a way of demonstrating how important your family memories are to you, which can be comforting to your child.