My son's bedroom floor is sprinkled with half a dozen photo books and scrapbooks that contain all the pictures that tell the story of his parents in college, his Grandparents, his life as a baby and toddler. He turns the pages of those books almost every single night - I gave up on making him put them back on the bookshelf.
I do not consider myself great at home decor - interior decorating just isn't where my talents lie. I do, however, make sure that there are pictures of our family hanging in nearly every room of our home. I know we live in a digital age and everyone wants to share pictures online, but I still firmly stand in the land of the printed image. And based on the reactions my children have and how much they love to look at old pictures, I'm glad I have stuck with the hassle of printing images.
I got my Bachelor's degree in Psychology, so it's not big surprise that I am intrigued by learning the effects of different stimuli on the brain. It's become increasingly interesting to me since I had my children and I am forever trying to make sure they have self confidence and know that they belong in our family. I stumbled upon a few articles recently that discuss how having pictures of themselves hanging on the walls of the home can help boost a child's self esteem.
Judy Weiser, a psychologist and art therapist from Vancouver, says this about displaying pictures in the home, "“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.'” Don't we all just want to feel like we belong to someone or something? It's human nature.
“Touching the photograph where a face is smiling or the shoulders, it 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. That is a bit lost in the move to digital. You are touching a keyboard, mouse or a touchscreen but you are not touching the image," says Craig Steinberg, a licensed psychologist who works with children ages 5-13.
There are so many other experts who have chimed in on this topic, but I have the proof that what they are saying is true living in my own home. This is why I continue to encourage and offer print packages with my sessions. It's tough to build confidence in such a crazy and negative world, but within the walls of our home is where we can have the most impact. Hanging a picture you love is such an easy way to get your family out the door on a positive note.