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How to boost your children's self esteem

I went on a lovely holiday with my family earlier this month. The resort was fantastic and what is more, there was an in-resort photographer. So i made the family scrub up, dress in colours complimenting each other and we had some photos taken.

I realised that any snaps we take ourselves during the holiday on our phones ( I decided against taking my camera with me as I would not be able to relax. I would also always be worrying about it going missing :) ) would not be the quality I was after. Taking photos ourselves also meant that there is always going to be one of us missing in the photos. You can of course ask a stranger/waiter or anyone around to take your photos but then you are never guaranteed photos in focus and at a flattering angle :D . Same goes for asking my almost 10 year old to take them. I mean he is pretty good, but it still is not quite there yet.

So this time I got to be on the other side of the lens with a professional taking photos. It was not easy. It helped me to put myself into my customer's shoes :). I do hope that I manage to keep an easy flowing conversation going and I always try to make children laugh naturally as saying CHEESE just does not cut it and the smile rarely reaches their eyes. I don't often succeed when taking photos of my own kids. After all, being their mum and giving them direction does not always work. This time round my little lady was in a bad mood for the photo session as she just woke up. Since I did not need to worry about my light, camera angle, crop and other technical things I got to stand behind our lovely photographer and pretend I was going to tickle him or do something silly to him. Within moments we got both the kids giggling.

Once out photos were taken we were given the option of having prints or just digital photos. I opted for both. I love photos in digital form as I can then go and print them in a size I want and how many times I want. But to be honest I often find that they end up sitting in my computer and waiting for me to get round to ordering them. I wanted to have our photos on our walls. I wanted to be able to look at them and remember the great time we had.

There is also another very important reason why I enjoy having prints of our family on our walls at home. A study carried out by psychologists showed that such a simple thing as having photos of your family on the wall can have a big effect at boosting your little one's self esteem.

David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio 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. ”

“It lets children learn who they are and where they fit,” says Judy Weiser, a psychologist, art therapist and author based in Vancouver. “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.'”

So next time you are looking at photos of your kids and family in your camera, phone or from your photo session, have some printed and put them on your walls, fridge, or wherever you have space. Tell your kids without words : "You are important, you matter and you belong here with us."

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