Many of us would assume that the current generation of children adore their tablets and electronic gadgets to the point of obsession. But when it comes to real comfort, an iPad really isn’t all that huggable. That’s where comfort objects come in – blankies, teddies, dolls. And this adorable photo series solidifies the role that these inanimate objects play in the lives of children.
While my children do love a bit of tech time, when it comes to crawling into bed at night, they both reach for their blankies. It’s something they’ve done since they were both babies, and it’s not a habit I’m keen to break. As studies have shown, these comforters play an important role in development.
Seattle photographer Anna Ream used this relationship as the basis for her photo series, Comfort Objects. She says a comfort object is, “a physical link to a child’s emotional and psychological world, often bearing the stains and scars of tears and play”.
Anna says while she didn’t have a comfort object when she was a child, her three children do.
“Like many parents, I’ve hunted for it at bedtime, sent it along when leaving a child in another person’s care, and carefully packed it on trips. It is a conduit for meeting their emotional and psychological needs,” she details.
Fascinated by the link to parenting that these objects play, Anna embarked on her photographic series, and what she captured are some compelling images. They detail the importance these beautifully threadbare objects play in those important formative childhood years.
“The children in my series include my own and those of friends and strangers. The objects are a thread of continuity running through the images, and a means for the children to reveal elements of their emotional lives. Most profoundly for me though, they are a vehicle for pondering childhood and reflecting on my feelings about parenting.”