How Family Portraits Can Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Artwork, Family

Family of 4 sitting on a bench in outdoor Northampton photoshoot

How Family Portraits Can Boost Your Child's Self-esteem

Children with good self-esteem can recognise the great qualities they have and they believe in their own abilities. They feel loved and know how to deal with and move past mistakes when they come along. Children with low self-esteem might not feel like they fit in, with their family or peers. They might think other children dislike them or that they’re not as attractive/clever/funny etc, the list goes on. Children with low self-esteem can be very tough on themselves. A child’s self-esteem is established as early as five years old, but develops as they grow. Having family photos printed and on the wall can offer long term benefits to your child’s self-esteem. 

Family of 3 in Northampton town centre

Licensed psychologist and co-author of “Photo Therapy and Mental Health” David Krauss 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.” 

Krauss is one of the founders of using people’s personal photography and family albums to assist in mental health counselling and therapy.

I’ll give you a good example. When your child draws or paints a picture they are proud of they will be so excited to show it to you. The first thing we do is stick it on our fridge or hang it on the wall for all to see. It sends your child a subconscious message that you are proud of them and that they are loved and important. The same goes for hanging a family portrait on the wall. When a child feels a strong sense of belonging they feel more confident and secure. 

“For children, in particular, looking at photographs is part of the socialising process; learning who you are and where you fit into the family. By displaying photographs of our children at different stages of their lives, we are making a very public statement that we are proud of them,” says Professor Geoff Beattie, Head of School and Dean of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester.

Northampton Newborn baby being held by parents and big sister

“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.”

Weiser has spent more than 20 years using all manner of personal photography to assist in the treatment process of her clients. She is considered by many to be the foremost authority on these treatment techniques, called PhotoTherapy.


The Importance of Print

I’ll bet you take hundreds of photographs of your children and family with your mobile phone, and these are fantastic and I urge you to continue, especially photos of you with your children as these little moments can really document the everyday.  Why not print these photos into a photobook so you can build up a library for your children to look back on.

Northampton photographer showing children an album of their photos

However, having something on the wall where your child can see it everyday without having to turn on a device and scroll through hundreds of other shots can really give them a sense of certainty and reassurance. 

“My bias is very simple. I think they (family photographs) should be on the wall,” says Krauss. 

Northamptonshire home in Towcester displaying four pieces of wall art above a sofa

Additionally, he recommends having photographs of that child with their family placed in the child’s bedroom so it can be among the last things they see before sleep and the first thing they may see before beginning their day. “It says we love you and care about you. You’re important.”

Northampton bedroom showing 5 photos on the wall of a family

As well as having the power to boost your child’s self-esteem, family portraits can also strengthen the bond of your entire family. They are a wonderful way to demonstrate that your family is a unit, one that love and support each other no matter what.  So what are you waiting for, choose your favourite family photo and get it on the wall! If you don’t have one or you’d like any help with printing please have a look at my investment page or get in touch.

Family portrait by Northampton photographer Miranda Walton Photography


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