Kids are already born with a healthy dose of self-confidence. They fearlessly try out hoverboards, do little wheelies with their bikes, and climb trees as if they had wings to fly. They are really remarkable people, if you think about it!
As adults, we lose that self-confidence. Sadly, by the time we reach adulthood we’ve been told many things: You’ll never make it. You’re ugly. You’re too old for this. You’re fat. You’re [insert depressing adjective here].
The point? We need to start positively affirming our kids at a young age so they can grow into confident and happy adults. They can take these positive phrases and use them in place of that negative, annoying little voice that seems to crop up and squash one’s happiness or creativity.
Let’s get into what these are, and how you can use them. Then, we will discuss some affirmations you can give your child.
What Is A Positive Affirmation?
Positive affirmations are positive self-talks. When you repeat these phrases to yourself-over and over, you eventually believe them, and you achieve greater levels of self-esteem and you think more positively.
When my daughter tells herself-that she is capable of being a hard worker and overcoming bumps in the road of life, she becomes a person who takes negative thoughts, throws them out the window and replaces them with positive ones.
If she repeats these phrases to herself-often enough, she internalizes these beliefs, and learns that she can be a helpful, caring and hardworking young lady who perseveres through all challenges.
It’s not just kids that benefit from these positive phrases. If you as the adult do them with your child, you are not only modeling good habits for self-care and self-respect, you are also affirming to yourself-you are a good, kind, and capable parent.
How Can I Use Positive Affirmations with My Kids?
It is easy to do this. You can utilize affirmations with your kids as a way of encouraging them to think positively and create a positive mindset. If your kid encounters an affirmation about themselves, they just don’t believe to be true, it’s time for you to have a chat about what the affirmation means and why it really can be a reality for that child as time goes on.
Affirmations only work when we do them consistently. So, make sure you incorporate these affirmations into your daily routine. Practice it several times each day- we do ours before school and at night before bed.
Steps for Use of Positive Affirmations
Begin by nailing down any negative talk you want to change. For my daughter, I wanted her to alter the belief she could not learn to roller skate.
Now think about one positive way that you can alter this thought process positively. I knew my daughter felt really upset that she kept falling while attempting to move around in her skates. She thought this meant she could never learn the sport, as the videos she’d seen on the Internet made roller skating look easy.
She did not realize the people in the videos she was watching had done the activity hundreds of times and perfected their technique before making the video.
We conversated about how what we see on the Internet is not always what it seems to be. I explained to her that every roller skater in the videos she was watching was, at one time, like her.
They too put on roller skates for the first time and did not know what to do. But with hours and hours and HOURS of practice, and plenty of falls, and help from friends, the skaters became good at what they did.
Craft Idea – Affirmation Flashcards
You can make fun cards with your affirmations written on them to help you develop reading skills and create a positive atmosphere. You can make them out of index cards if you like. Write the affirmations on the cards and put them into a pile.
Then, choose any card from the stack and read them to yourself-in the mirror. You can decorate the cards with stickers, glitter glue or anything else you like.
Examples of Positive Affirmations You Can Say to Your Kid:
- It is OK to ask for help when I need it.
- I find the joy in everything.
- I can overcome adversity.
- I can make others smile.
- I am a kind soul no matter what.
- I think of good ideas.
- I am capable of helping myself.
- I can do this and learn it.
- I can learn new skills.
- I am a friend to others.
- I learn from my mistakes.
These are just a few examples of positive affirmations you can say with your child. Think about your own specific affirmations you would like to internalize and write them down.
Do These Positive Affirmations Really Work?
Yes! There is a science behind positive affirmations. It lies in a phenomenon known as the self-affirmation theory. Empirical studies exist that are based upon the belief that we can keep our sense of self-integrity in high esteem when we tell, or affirm, to ourselves what positive things we believe.
Self-integrity has a direct relation to our self-efficacy, which is our perception of how well we can control our destiny and respond in a flexible way when our concept of self-is threatened. We are driven to shield ourselves from such threats by keeping self-integrity intact.
Self-Affirmation and Its Relationship with Self-Identity
Self-affirmation theory comes with three major ideas that make its foundation. We have to understand these if we are to really understand how positive affirmations work.
First, it is through self-affirmation that we create a narrative regarding ourselves. This narrative is where we are moral, flexible, and able to adapt to different scenarios. This is where self-identity comes from.
Self-identity is what we seek to maintain. This is NOT the same thing as having a strict and static defined self-concept. Instead of seeing ourselves in just an unchanging way, for example as a “daughter” or “nurse” our self-identification is malleable.
We can view ourselves as being able to take on many different roles and identities. Through this, we can define success in a few different ways.
This is a good thing because we can see ourselves in a positive light in many ways. We can look at different aspects of ourselves and see success in a few different ways. We can adapt to varying situations a lot better, too.
Second Idea of Self-Affirmation
Self-affirmation theory states that the maintenance of self-identity is not centered upon being perfect, excellent or extraordinary. Instead, we just need to be adequate and competent in different parts of our life that we hold in high regard as a means of being flexible, moral and good.
Third Idea of Self-Affirmation
We maintain our sense of self-integrity by behaving in ways that really warrant praise and acknowledgement. When speaking of positive affirmations, we do not say things like “I am a good roller skater” because we desire such compliments.
We say it because we want to earn, to deserve such an accolade for behaving in a manner that is consistent with that highly held personal value.
Daily Affirmations Have Benefits
Yes, these are good for your health. Check out these real benefits of incorporating positive self-affirmations:
- Self-affirmations have been used with success in interventions that helped people boost their physical behavior.
- Self-affirmations decrease the amount of stress we feel that negatively impacts our health.
- Self-affirmations can help us view messages that are threatening with less friction, such as interventions.
- They help us wave off harmful messages about our health but encourage us to make better changes. For instance, we dismiss negative self-talk- “You’re so fat, you can’t wear nice clothes,” and instead say something like, “I will incorporate more fruit and veg into my diet.”
- They are linked to scholastic achievement by reducing GPA decline in college-going students.
- Self-affirmation can lower your stress levels and lower rumination, too.
Wrapping It Up
Positive affirmations are absolutely something you should incorporate into your family’s daily routine. Indeed, these affirmations can help your child grow a mindset that is positive and healthy toward themselves and others.
It helps them not only to think positively but also do well in school, in subjects such as reading where kids often struggle. These affirmations combined with a solid program like Children Learning Reading will ensure a better school year and better education all around.
After all, reading is the basis of all learning, whether your child wants to be in the STEM field or a Fine Arts major.
So, whatever your child is trying to accomplish, you can definitely make it happen using these affirmations to your advantage. Start making your flashcards or write them down today and make them a habit so you can reap the benefits!