High levels of self esteem are important for everyone and developing a strong sense of self-worth in children is especially crucial. Some of the associated benefits of having a confident and secure child include:
Better academic performance
Increased ability to reach personal goals
Having a positive self-image
Stronger ability to confront problems and stay true to themselves
But what do photos have to do with any of this?
Experts insist that hanging photos of your children around the house is a great way to boost their self esteem!
Photographs can be a powerful visual representation of a concept. To boost a child's self esteem, it's important to constantly remind them that they are capable and cherished. "It's important not only to be photographed in ways that indicate caring, nurturing, love and success, but also to see those images and take them in," says David Krauss, co-author with Jerry Fryrear of Photo Therapy and Mental Health. This clinical psychologist from Cleveland encourages families to regularly look at their family albums together in order to showcase and celebrate how they've grown and changed throughout the years.
Stephanie Marston, a renowned child psychotherapist advocates for families to display two photos of a child next to the child's bed. One photo should showcase the child engaged in an activity that brings them great joy. A cherished family moment highlighting your togetherness should then be the focus of the second photo.
"Research has shown the 30-minute time period just before bed is when children are more receptive and listen and absorb more than any other time. Put photos of your kids being capable and loved next to their beds," she says, "and these positive images are likely to be the last thing they see before they sleep and the first thing they see when they awaken."
Family photos in particular are shown to help foster a sense of belonging in children. David Krauss says, “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.”
Hanging photos of your children on your walls also reinforces that they are cherished by you. Each time they see these photos they will be reminded that they're important and that they are something you are extremely proud of.
Photos are also a beautiful and easy way to relive memories. Having tangible evidence of the times we've felt the happiest and the most confident can provide us with the encouragement that we need to push through our bad days. Surround your children with reminders of joyous memories to increase their self esteem.
When asked if digital images have the same impact as printed photographs, Dr. Krauss said "My bias is very simple. I think they should be on the wall. I am very conservative about self-esteem, and 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 lets them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for.”
I've personally seen the amount of confidence an excellent photograph can give someone and it's incredibly fulfilling to be able to provide that for people. I know the albums and wall art I create will be passed down as family heirlooms in celebration of the beautiful people I'm lucky enough to photograph!
What kind of photos have you hung in your home?