Talking with your child about what might be happening in a photo is a great way to lead into helpful discussions in which a lot of learning can happen.
The photos in The Twelve Gifts of Birth book were created with this activity in mind.
For example, look at this photo of a girl getting on a school bus. In the book it accompanies the text, “The first gift is strength. May you remember to call upon it whenever you need it.” Notice her hesitation. What might be happening here?
Some children have said it is her first day going to school. Others have said she just moved to a new school and doesn’t have any friends yet. Some have said that an upsetting event happened on the bus, or at school, the day before and that that is causing her be afraid to get on the bus today.
Along with asking what might be happening, ask, “How do you think this girl feels?” Both questions can lead to enlightening conversations about what your child is feeling and experiencing as well as to building an understanding of inner strength.
After discussing how this girl might be using strength, we can ask children to think about a time when they felt unsure, hesitant, or afraid, yet went ahead and used strength to act.
As I write this, I’m thinking about my grandchildren telling me about the fear they were feeling when they started safety swim lessons a few weeks ago. “I’m a little bit scared,” said Alexis, who is not yet three. “I’m afraid I’m going to go under the water.”
If I were to have this discussion with her in the future, and she couldn’t recall a time she used strength, I could prompt her to remember how she used strength to get in the pool and to learn to hold her breath and swim underwater and float and roll and make her way to the edge of the pool and climb out. I could show her a photo of herself smiling after each lesson, exclaiming, “I did it!”
When we discuss strength with the children in our lives, we can also tell them a story about a time that we had to reach in and use this gift to face a fear, a challenge, or an unknown.
The main objective is to help children see that they have each of The Twelve Gifts and to appreciate how using their inner gifts can help them to be happy, healthy, and successful.
Discussions about the photos have also led to some children opening up and sharing more about feelings, concerns, and experiences. All in all, photo interpretation can be a great way to deepen closeness and trust among parents and children and teachers too.