Why Children Need Positive Affirmations
As important as it is for parents to love, encourage, and support their children, it is just as important that children are taught to create these positive emotions within themselves. It is empowering for a child to have positive and uplifting thoughts and feelings of self-worth. It also helps them to overcome the negativity brought on by culture, society, and even bullying at school.
Positive affirmations are like acts of kindness and love towards yourself! As children learn behaviors and wire their brain, affirmations can be very effective in nurturing their well-being and mental health as they mature. They build self-esteem, kindness, and love that stays with them throughout their lives.
Everyone develops their belief systems about themselves and the world around them from their environment – what we experience, what we see, what we’re taught, how we’re treated, etc. Our family and friends, role models, television, and social media can either be nurturing or damaging. How we learn from these influences is typically a passive process – it is essential to be mindful of these influential factors in our lives and take control of our beliefs at a young age. The younger we are, the easier it is to combat lies against self-worth. It can be as simple as affirming the positive beliefs that we would like to grow up believing. Negative beliefs can impact our lives greatly and can be hard to shift as we grow older.
Affirmations are a powerful and holistic way of building a positive mind and genuinely happy children. Nurturing your children's authentic selves and helping them to enjoy the magic of childhood!
What are affirmations?
“Affirmation takes advantage of our reward circuits, which can be quite powerful. Many studies have shown that these circuits can do things like dampen pain and help us maintain balance in the face of threats.”
- Christopher Cascio, PHD
Put simply, an affirmation is to affirm to one’s self. Positive (and true!) words that are absorbed by the mind to create your belief system about yourself and in turn, about others as well.
How do affirmations work?
Once affirmations are learned, they work by coming to mind when a belief is challenged. For example, if your children are faced with a bully at school or a social media post that promotes self-doubt, they can bring to mind what they believe and know to be true about themselves and not be shaken by the adversity or disapproval against them.
For example, if your affirmation is "I am beautiful just the way I am", and you are told you are ugly, the affirmation will be recalled remind you of your belief. Instead, you will think, "I’m not ugly, I am beautiful!”
Without a positive belief engrained in their minds, children may take on what others and social media says about them, which isn’t always positive or affirming. The more an affirmation is repeated, positive or negative, the stronger it becomes.
Furthermore, if we feel we are worthless, we will behave like we are worthless. If we believe that we are special and loved, we will behave like we are special and loved. This is why affirmations are so important to help children develop positive foundations on which to grow. Once we have matured, it is hard to change those foundations.
How can I affirm my child(ren)?
Looking in the mirror
One of the most valuable lessons children can learn from affirmations is being comfortable looking at themselves in the mirror while using positive self-talk (talking to yourself with kindness and positivity). Many if not most of us (yes, parents included!) find it difficult to look at our reflections without being critical or judgmental.
Affirmations are the most powerful when we say them to ourselves whilst looking into the mirror. Young children who are introduced to this concept feel more comfortable and far less confronted looking at themselves in the mirror. It can actually turn into a positive experience for them, instead of one that promotes self-criticism!
Pro Tip: The “monkey-see-monkey-do” concept is huge here. If children see us looking at ourselves in the mirror with positivity and kindness, they will learn from our behavior. The same goes for if we look at ourselves with negativity, criticism, and shame.
Leaving notes in their backpacks/lunch boxes
The same affirmations that you share with your children verbally, can be just as effective written! There’s nothing more refreshing and that truly brings a smile to your face than finding an unexpected note from a loved one. The next time you make your child’s lunch, stick in a sticky note with a kind affirmation and make their day! Eventually, this will become a daily habit. You never know what kind of day your child is having at school, so it’s always a good idea to give them a reason to smile. 😊
Reminding them before bedtime
The time you have putting your kids to bed is one of the most special and sincere times we get to share with our children. Our days are busy and will only get busier as our kids grow up! Using bedtime to slow down and remind our children of their worth will leave them feeling confident, supported, and worthy of love as they end each day.
They say it takes 2 months to develop a habit… Imagine starting each day affirming your children for 2 months and those affirmations becoming engrained in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives. Consistency is key! Of course, we all have good days and bad days, days with a full night’s rest and days where we definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Regardless, doing our best to remind our kids of who they are, how beautifully shaped and designed they are, and teaching them kindness every day, will have lasting effects on their self-worth and confidence.
30 Examples of Affirmations for your Child
- I am loved
- I am enough
- I am an amazing person
- I am talented
- I am beautiful
- There is no one better to be than myself
- All of my problems have solutions
- I am a leader
- I am perfect just the way I am
- My mistakes help me learn and grow
- My challenges help me grow
- Today is going to be a great day
- I forgive myself for my mistakes
- I have courage
- I have confidence
- I have people who love and respect me
- It’s okay to not know everything
- I deserve to be happy
- I deserve to be loved
- I am open and ready to learn
- It is enough to do my best
- I accept who I am
- I love who I am
- It is okay to make mistakes
- I am strong
- Wonderful things are going to happen to me
- I am beautiful inside and out
- My voice matters
- I am smart
- I am important