Fostering a sense of belonging through photographs.
There is no doubt that photographs have the power to shape our world. They can raise awareness and bring the world’s attention to the unjust and the inhumane – acting as a force for good. They’re also powerful tools capable of swaying public opinion, accelerating fame or ending careers in one click. Photographs can not only influence our perception of the world around us but as social media has proven, they even have the power to influence our perception of ourselves.
Henrik Ibsen once said “A picture is worth a thousand words” meaning that complex and sometimes multiple ideas can be conveyed by a single still image, which conveys its meaning or essence more effectively than a mere verbal description.
So why don’t we use photographs more purposefully to bring forth positive changes in our immediate environment? i.e. family and home. Well, as it turns out psychologists have been using photographs as part of therapy as far back as 1975.
Experts have long known that having family photos displayed in our homes; provides positive psychological reinforcement by reminding us of our sense of belonging. Psychologist Judy Weiser notes that looking at photographs can reduce people’s sense of loneliness. When someone sees a photo of them with the important people in their lives, their trust and positive regard for these individuals grow stronger and deeper. Because of this, households that display family photos have stronger bonds with their family.
As parents, we should pay attention to just how powerful family photography is. By displaying photos in our home; we’re sending the message that our family and those in it are important to us and we honour the memories we have experienced.
We’re able to send signals to a child’s brain, reinforcing that they are important and valuable members of their family unit. Far more than simple room decor; displaying photographs of your child surrounded by family within their bedrooms; will echo in their minds before they fall asleep and be the first thing they see before beginning their day. It says we love you and care about you. You’re important!
Raising children with more confidence in themselves by enhancing feelings of worthiness and belonging is so important. Even more so in this day and age where outside influences are constantly contradicting this.
If this topic was of interest to you, read our supporting blog here where Jess shares a personal story about her experience using PhotoTherapy to reconnect with her troubled daughter when nothing else worked.