Marie Kondo, the author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and “Spark Joy”, talks of how the process of sorting photos with her family was the project that brought her the most joy. She highly recommends viewing photos together as a family to encourage storytelling. Even the expert of decluttering realizes how important our personal photo collections are!
Research in psychology repeatedly shows that investing in making and sharing happy memories with family has a positive return on investment. A series of studies conducted by researchers Marshall Duke and Robyn Fivush at Emory University found that children who knew more of their family’s history had a stronger sense of control over their lives and higher self-esteem than children who did not know these stories. Further, the children with the most self-confidence had what the researchers call a strong “intergenerational self.” In other words, these children felt part of something bigger than themselves.
Children, even grown-up children, can draw on a bank of positive memories and family stories to help cope with more stressful or turbulent times. When families revisit memories with loved ones through photographs, bonds are strengthened, relationships deepen, and memory improves. It is also just plain fun to look back at the way things used to be, as time was passing before you realized it, as the children grew overnight, and as traditions were practiced over the years.
Here are 4 ways Grandparents can connect with their grandchildren:
1. Create Photo Albums: Printed photo books, scrapbooks, and photo albums don’t require technology to be enjoyed. You don’t need an internet connection, and you won’t need to migrate them to a new format to view them fifty years from now. When you combine images and words into a documentary-like narrative, you are creating a historical record for future generations with stories that you can celebrate and enjoy today.
2. Video Slide Shows: When you combine photos, videos, oral narratives, and music into a slideshow or montage, you create a living album filled with emotion and fun. Try adding music, oral narratives, or both, and the result is a living album filled with movement and sound that triggers your senses. Slideshows are a great option for family gatherings, special events, and celebrations. They can also be a fun option to enjoy on family movie night. Popcorn, PJs, and precious family memories—can it get any better than that?
3. Wall Galleries: Are you looking for instant gratification while you work on that family archive or photo album? Decorate your home with the people you love! While you organize photos, you’ll come across pictures too good to keep hidden. Look for frame-worthy images that you can display on walls or turn into photo gifts for others.
4. Digital Photo Frames: This is an excellent choice for technology-challenged family members. This way of displaying image slideshows is perfect for people who want a quick, easy way to showcase their memories. It’s also really easy to regularly send photos and videos to your frame, adding to your family story as you go, especially with Nixplay’s easy to use digital frames.
Organizing, telling, and retelling the stories of your family’s good times as well as the stories of bouncing back from the difficult times, can result in more confident children and happier families. And nobody can do that better than Grandparents.
Cathi Nelson is the founder and CEO of The Photo Managers, but most importantly, she’s passionate about helping people organize their photos so they can share their photo legacy. If you need help or more ideas, check out Cathi’s best-selling book “Photo Organizing Made Easy: Going from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed”