I have been reading self-help books for about fifteen years. I first learned about the power of affirmations from these books.
But only recently I had the breakthrough that we all use affirmations regardless of we are into personal development or not. Our kids use affirmations too.
How is it that we all use affirmations?
All our thoughts and internal monologues are affirmations.
When struggling with a subject, does your child say that “I hate math, it is hard”?
There. It is an affirmation.
When struggling with parenting you might tell yourself “ I hate having to fight with my kid every day. It feels like I am a failure as a parent”.
All these are affirmations.
The sad thing is most of us use negative affirmations most of the time rather than positive ones. And it is not conscious but happens unconsciously.
We all have our moments of self-doubt. It is normal, but it is when we keep on repeating these statements and start to believe them, it becomes a problem.
When we repeat the negative self-talk, we are wiring our brains to view the situation negatively from then onwards. So when it’s time to study math, the child automatically gets frustrated.
When I started practicing affirmations I became more conscious of my self-talk and I realized how this negative self-talk was manifesting as my actions in reality.
And recently I started seeing this in my daughter too. She believes she can’t do certain things.
Of course, as a mother and as a person who has held onto such disempowering beliefs for the longest time in my life, I don’t want my daughters to have the same negative thinking patterns.
And I am sure there are so many parents out there who want to teach their kids to be positive – to think positively and to be confident in their abilities.
The most important thing is kids should be able to express their talents without fears like “ I am not good enough” or “If I fail, I will be ridiculed” etc.
Just think about this.
As a parent, you might not be there in their life forever. But don’t you still want them to be successful in their life?
How you feed their mind now and how you help them to think positively will change their life. And that’s where affirmations can help.
WHAT ARE AFFIRMATIONS?
Affirmations are positive statements that can be used to program specific beliefs in our conscious and subconscious minds so that we can change our thinking patterns, habits and behaviors.
Affirmations are said in the present tense and spoken as if it is the current truth even if it is not.
For example, if you want to become a kinder person, you can say, “I spread kindness everywhere I go”.
The first time you say your affirmations, you might cringe, because it doesn’t sound like the truth. It is because of the negative self-talk that you are used to.
You might be used to believing that you are selfish (or whatever belief you have about yourself), so you might find it hard to believe otherwise.
And that’s exactly why we need to teach affirmations to kids. Affirmations help kids to rewire negative beliefs and help them to be motivated in achieving a goal.
Goals can be anything. It can be to become a better student or to improve a certain behavior or even to override a certain thought pattern that is limiting a child’s potential.
HOW CAN AFFIRMATIONS HELP KIDS?
- Affirmations change the way kids think. Using affirmations, parents can help kids to think positively which will help them to view life’s challenges in a positive way.
- It helps them to break negative thinking patterns and to learn to reframe every negative sentence into positive.
- Thinking positively helps them to find a positive in every challenge
- Repeating daily affirmations will help kids to motivate themselves when they face a challenging situation because these words are getting etched into their subconscious minds
- Practicing affirmations helps kids in developing self-confidence because when they start believing a new belief, it helps to develop a growth mindset.
HOW TO TEACH KIDS TO PRACTICE AFFIRMATIONS?
There are many ways you can help kids practice affirmations. I believe, to get the benefit of affirmations, they should be repeated on a daily basis. Or at least 3-4 times a week.
You don’t need to make kids read all the affirmations every day but repeat the ones that they need the most at any point in their lives. Or choose a list of affirmations for each week and do a weekly rotation to avoid monotony.
You can motivate kids to say affirmations by telling them how the affirmations will strengthen their minds to bring positive things in life. Over time, they will get used to practicing positive self-talk.
Following are some ideas to get kids to say affirmations:
- You can print posters with affirmations and stick them on the wall. When they see it all the time, the message would get automatically imprinted in their minds. (I have created an affirmation poster for kids. You can click here on the picture below to get access to it)
- Create a word document by typing all the affirmations you want on it and print it and ask kids to read it every day
- Buy them affirmations coloring pages
- Write affirmations on a whiteboard with a dry-erase marker. They can choose the affirmations they want to say each week according to their goals
- Tell stories of people who believed in themselves despite the challenges they had to face and teach them it is due to positive self-talk.
- We criticize our kids way too much and that can make them think that “Whatever I do is wrong”. But giving them constructive criticism is necessary too. To counter that you can say affirmations like “You matter” or “You are important to me” or whatever that suits a situation. Eventually, it will become their self-talk.
Kids always might not feel like saying affirmations. But we can feed positivity in different ways- through stories, posters, books, etc.
50 AFFIRMATIONS FOR KIDS
Here are 50 affirmations that kids can use. Choose the ones that resonate with your kids. If you can’t find the ones that you want, read the next section on how to create your own affirmations.
- I choose to think about positive things
- I can make a difference
- I can do hard things
- I am kind to myself and others
- I deserve love and respect
- I am happy to be me
- I accept myself as I am
- I learn from my mistakes and become stronger
- Learning makes me stronger
- I always do my best in everything I do and that’s what only matters
- I can achieve whatever I want to
- It is by making mistakes that I grow
- It is okay to feel fear
- I am happy when I think happy thoughts
- I forgive easily
- There is no limit to what I can accomplish
- If I can dream it, I can do it
- I am perfect just the way I am
- Every day is a fresh start
- If I fail, I try again
- I can do better next time
- I forgive myself for my mistakes
- I believe in my dreams
- It is okay to ask for help
- It is okay to not know everything
- I can learn anything I want to
- I am strong enough to overcome my challenges
- I choose to believe in myself
- Facing my fears make me a braver person
- I am brave for trying
- I matter and I belong in this world
- I am proud of what I have achieved so far
- I am in charge of my life
- I can improve my skills with practice
- I deserve happiness
- I deserve everything good in life
- It’s enough to do my best
- I choose to focus on the positive
- I focus on what I can do
- I am my own cheerleader
- I am a problem solver
- I have people who love me
- I can train my brain to learn hard things
- Today is going to be a great day
- I spread love and kindness wherever I go
- I am grateful for all the good things in my life
- I can handle this
- My happiness is important
- I speak up for myself
- I love my body and it belongs to me
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN AFFIRMATIONS?
You can get plenty of affirmation lists online, but if you want to make your own affirmations specific to a situation of your kids, you can follow the general rules mentioned below.
- Use positive words – You want to focus on the positive. Therefore refrain from using words like “can’t”, “don’t” or “won’t”
- Use present tense – Use phrases like “I am” or “I have” instead of “I will” or “I could”
- Keep it short and specific
- To create an affirmation, focus on the opposite result of the negative belief your child has now. For example, if he thinks “Grammar is hard”, you can create an affirmation like “My brain is capable of learning hard things”.
- Make them repeat the affirmations by standing straight and with relaxed shoulders in a loud voice – loud enough for them to hear. Or they can repeat affirmations by looking at a mirror.
I hope this post helps you enough information to teach affirmation to kids and help them develop a growth mindset and a positive attitude towards life.
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