Printed photos can trigger priceless memories, help build a sense of personal identity and help strengthen family ties. A young person who does not have a strong sense of belonging is more susceptible to peer pressure and to lose the opportunity to relive the most valuable memories. Having family photos at home, in view, enhances happy memories, helps children feel part of the family and cope with the most difficult periods in life.

Canon has collaborated with renowned child development expert and family psychologist, Dr Amanda Gummer, to raise awareness of the emotional benefits of home-printed photos, both in young children and in family life, and how they help promote family ties by recalling precious memories of special moments in our lives.

In today's digital age, where people capture more images than ever, families must show their most valuable photos outside the realm of social media as well. The emotional value of a printed photo far exceeds that of a digital download and helps bring families even closer together and share their life experiences.

Dr Gummer shares her tips for making the most of family images to benefit the whole family.

1. Post your family photos in easy-to-see places

Family photographs should be placed in places where family members can see them every day, without having to connect any devices, search for them in a picture gallery, or turn on a computer.

For children especially, photographs provide the reassurance and security of knowing that family members are valued and important to each other. Placing printed photos on a shelf in the children's room means that they will be able to see them every morning, upon waking, as well as at night, before going to sleep. Making these images part of the child's daily routine acts as a reminder that they are loved.

2. Encourage the little ones to identify themselves in the photos

According to various investigations, we have more brain cells dedicated to vision than to the rest of the senses combined, which makes photography an extremely powerful medium.

When your children see a photo, encourage them to ask other people who are not in the photo to identify them in the image. This form of brain stimulation helps them create their sense of identity, making it easier for them to recognize their own worth and increase their self-esteem as they get older.

3. Take photos of everyday moments, not just special milestones

Photographs of memorable daily events and fun days away from home play a vital role in children's development and memory. Physical photographs encourage family members to look back at the happiest times they have spent together and to fondly recall past emotions.

While pictures of important events, such as weddings and birthdays, are important, you should also display photographs showing moments from daily activities, such as a family picnic, to reinforce the child's sense of security in their environment.

4. Use photography to enhance your child's imagination

A fundamental part of the preschool and learning experience is being able to relate pictures and photos to real places and objects. Printed photographs allow children to do so as they can touch them and express their relationship to real life. For example, a photograph taken in the park could generate fond memories of when they learned to ride a bicycle or to play swing with their siblings. Once a month, take time to go over the printed photos together and encourage your child to tell you the stories behind each photo.

5. Create a life storybook as a tribute to the past

You can make a life storybook using a scrapbook or photo album in which you can include a mix of printed photos, as well as information about the family's history and important milestones from the different stages of your life. Sometimes children can confuse or forget memories, which can negatively impact their sense of identity or self-esteem. Creating a life storybook with the help of fotobok from lots of printed photos is a great way to help fill in children's gaps and make sense of their past.

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