Boost your child’s self-esteem with printed photos
Did you know that printed photos help boost your child’s self-esteem? Don’t just take my word for it, scientists have done research on the subject!
What is self-esteem?
I like how Tel-jeunes puts the definition of self-esteem into simple terms on their website. “Self-esteem is the value you set on yourself.” Low self-esteem is when you perceive yourself rather negatively and good self-esteem is when you see yourself positively.
“Good self-esteem means accepting yourself the way you are.”
If we want to take it a step further, four components define self-esteem:
- Feeling of belonging
- Feeling of competence
Self-confidence, or feeling of security, is the foundation of self-esteem. When children feel secure, loved and have their needs met, their self-esteem develops.
Our experiences and the people we meet influence our self-esteem. Why not also use photography to influence it positively?
Photography as a way to boost your child’s self-esteem
Many psychologists and experts have done studies showing that children who regularly see printed photos of themselves and their family have a higher self-image and self-confidence.
David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio, 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 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 believe this works with any type of photos, whether they are traditional portraits, lifestyle scenes or documentary images.
But I like to think that documentary images go even further because they are scenes of real life, where the photographer doesn’t interfere with the subject, actions or environment. In these kinds of photographs, children see themselves as they are, which goes back to the meaning of good self-esteem: accepting yourself the way you are.
Tips to boost your child’s self-esteem
Tel-jeune gives 7 tips to help boost your child’s self-esteem. To do so, older children or teenagers can answer the following questions:
- How well do you know yourself?
- What are you proud of?
- What activities are you good at?
- Are you setting realistic challenges for yourself?
- Do you count on friends and family when in need?
- Do you know you can learn from your mistakes?
- Do you accept your differences?
What about self-image?
“A beautiful body doesn’t necessarily give you self-confidence. It’s your perception of yourself that’s important! Even if you think that you meet some of the standards for beauty, even if people tell you you’re handsome or beautiful… it’s up to you to develop your self-esteem. You need to cultivate your talents and interests as well. Your big and small successes in different areas of life will help build your self-confidence. It’s important to feel comfortable with your looks, but if you count on them too much, you risk forgetting to develop your personality! Your relationships with other people, your ability to fit into a group, your romantic relationships, the recognition people give you, and your successes are all factors that will help you build self-esteem.”
The role of documentary family photography in building your child’s self-esteem
A documentary family photo session can help your child answer the previous questions. (And younger children exposed to documentary photos of themselves will find it even easier to answer the questions!)
Since the photos taken during a documentary session are about real life, they’re a great way to focus on your child’s personality, interests and talents–not just their physical appearance. Children can truly be themselves during a session, expressing different feelings and emotions, doing something they love or are good at, being surrounded by the people they love…
And when they regularly look at the printed photos later on, whether it be in a book, on the walls or on a shelf, they’re reminded of the characteristics that make them unique and they see that other people appreciate them just as they are. Talk about a way to reinforce their self-esteem!
For more information about self-esteem and other parenting tips, here are eight inspiring Instagram accounts to follow.
If you’d like to apply these concepts with a little help from a professional photographer, call me to talk about the various possibilities documentary family photography has to offer!
I'm Marie-Pierre, an easygoing mother of two and a documentary family photographer. I believe we can all learn and grow from other people's experiences. Real life stories help us relate to each other, open our minds and feel better about ourselves.
this blog is a collection of featured client stories, tips, and articles on various family related topics. I hope you will find some inspiration!