What family portraits tell our children

Updated: Sep 25, 2019

Studies have shown that children who have family portraits on the walls of their homes have higher self-esteem, are more resilient and understand their place in their family and the wider community better than those children who don't.

Obviously this is only a tiny part of the picture, if you'll pardon the pun. There are many contributing factors to a child's self esteem, but it makes sense that growing up with images of the entire family displayed as art in their home will promote a sense of belonging.

A framed print is particularly powerful, as the frame creates a clear boundary around the family, both holding them together and showing them as a single entity.

Seeing the resemblances and differences in their family can also help a child to feel a sense of belonging, to understand their origins, and to know who their "tribe" is.

Seeing the resemblances can give children a sense of belonging.

Even where the parents have separated, children and teenagers often find it helpful to have family portraits from a time when their parents were together. It helps them to see that they were loved and treasured by both parents, and that they are the product of two people who were once together.

And for families that have merged, with step-children and step-siblings, having a piece of art that visually states "we are a family" can be very affirming, subliminally letting each family member know that they have a place in this newly formed unit.

In short, photographs tell our stories. What does your family story look like?

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