One of the big themes on my blog this month is how important it is for parents to get in more photos. It’s so, so important to me to make sure that I get in enough photos with, and for, my children.
The thing is though, I’m really guilty of taking all these photos, maybe sharing them on social media or here on my blog, and then leaving them hidden away on the hard drive of my computer.
I do have some photos printed out; we have a little collection of prints on our fridge, a couple in frames around the house, and a family portrait up on the wall in the lounge. But there are so many more photos I could print, and so many more ways I could display them. So this post is as much for me as it is for anyone out there reading it. A little reminder and prompt to get printing.
Here are 3 reasons why we should all make more of an effort to print and display our photos at home.
1. It boosts our children’s self-esteem.
This one is first because I think it’s the most important, and most interesting.
Displaying photographs of our children around the house can really help bolster their self-esteem. There’s a study that was carried out in Tennessee in the 70s that involved children regularly taking polaroid photos of themselves. They then used the printed photos to create scrapbooks, over a 5 week period. At the end of those 5 weeks the researchers found a 37% increase in the children’s average self-esteem behaviours. All of which suggests that regularly seeing and interacting with photos of ourselves can really help boost self-esteem.
Several psychologists have since expanded on this, stating how this can be applied to displaying photos of our children, and our family units, in our homes.
David Krauss, a psychologist from Ohio has this to say about it:
“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 let’s them know that they are loved and cared for”
And Cathy Lander-Goldberg, a clinical social worker from Missouri, adds this:
“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”
Krauss also adds to his point about printing photos by suggesting that we should hang family photos in our children’s bedrooms so that they are one of the last things they see before they go to sleep. This has been on my to-do list for ages, and I think this is the reminder I need to just get it done!
2. It reinforces memories.
There are a few parts to this. Firstly, having photos on display of your children when they were babies can act as a lovely prompt for a bit of nostagia on days when they’re pushing your buttons. And studies have shown that nostalgia can be really good for us. It’s been found to make us feel happier and can be a really valuable tool in boosting our emotional well-being.
Secondly, having photos in our homes from fun times as a family can be a great trigger for conversations with our children. We can talk with them about the day the photo was taken, remind them of how much fun we had together. This can help to reinforce the memory for them, as well as help them feel more secure and happy as part of the family unit.
3. It gets conversations going.
We have photos on display in our house of members of our family that we don’t get to see that often. When we look at these photos with Rhys and Nerys it sparks conversations about their relatives. The photos act as reminders of who people are, and of good times we’ve shared with them.
And they prompt the children to ask questions about the people in them, and prompt me to tell them stories about them that they might not know.
There’s a photo of me on our fridge, from when I was little. I’m sitting on the work surface in my parents’ kitchen, and I’m small enough to fit under the cupboards. When we look at that photo it makes my children laugh to think of me being that young. And it gets me talking with them about my childhood and the memories I have from when I was little.
Anything that can spark conversation like that with my children has to be a good thing!
So there you have it, 3 reasons we should get more photos printed and displayed in our homes.
How often do you actually print out your photos?