Affirmations are positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative and unhelpful thoughts.
As parents it is important we create a loving, encouraging, and supportive environment for our children. That being said, it is just as important that children learn to create positive emotions within themselves.
Using positive affirmations can be an effective way to nurture wellbeing during childhood and can carry through into adulthood. Studies have shown that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks (Cascio et al., 2016)
Use the practice of positive affirmations to help motivate your child, encourage positive change, and boost self esteem.
“I am confident”
“I can ask for help”
“There is nothing I can’t do”
The beauty of affirmations is that they can grow with you and your child. As you make this part of your routine you will teach/promote positive self talk and see your child’s vocabulary expand. As they continue to practice they will eventually be able to come up with their own affirmations. (positive self talk)
- Build resilience
- Validate effort and acknowledge challenges
- Counter negative thoughts
- Practice positivity
- Boost confidence
How to introduce positive self talk:
It is important to make this part of your routine and with simple affirmations. (Beginner Affirmation printable) You can start with one affirmation a day (example: “ I am brave”) and say it together. Then talk about what being brave means and both share your ideas. This is where the child will learn what these affirmations mean, give them the vocabulary and understanding. You can do it in the morning while you are getting ready and look in the mirror or after brushing your teeth at night. While affirmations are most effective while looking at a mirror, they can be done anywhere at any time.
Positive affirmations can help children change their negative self talk.
“I can’t” –> “I can try my best”
“I am bad at …”–> “I will get better if I practice”
If a child feels like they aren’t capable they may not even try. It is important to teach children to be kind to themselves. Rather than “ I can’t” teach them “ I can try my best” “I can ask for help” “I can do it when I am ready.” Give your child the words that empowers them to try, believe in their abilities and feel heard. By creating positive self talk you help build resilience.
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