Children start developing their belief systems at a very young age. They are constantly taking in their surroundings, absorbing, and processing the language they hear. Naturally, they learn, from the people in their lives (parents, teachers, family members, and friends), how to speak to others and also themselves. We can teach them, whether explicitly or by example, how to speak to themselves positively by introducing them to positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations can help shape the way children think, feel, and ultimately, how they behave and interact with others. They provide the following benefits:
- Equipping them. Resilience and perseverance become byproducts when positive affirmations are used as a tool to deal with challenging situations. Children must learn that they cannot always change circumstances, but they can control how they react to them.
- Supporting their mental health. If a child develops negative thought patterns, has anxiety, or experiences trauma, positive affirmations can work as a coping mechanism and help regulate emotions.
- Nurturing their self-worth. Positive affirmations encourage children to think positively of themselves, feel valued, and thrive!
- Boosting their confidence. Children will be more willing to try new things, which helps them reach their full potential, when they feel empowered and motivated by the words they tell themselves.
How to Introduce Positive Affirmations
Introducing positive affirmations to children can begin very early in their lives. The plasticity of kids’ brains allows them to learn and adapt at a remarkable rate, so it’s best to give them tools to foster a positive mindset early on - to use as they grow and develop. Once they understand what positive affirmations are and how to apply them, they can use them anytime and anywhere. Below are some tips for establishing positive affirmations in a child’s life.
- Cultivate awareness. Help children recognize their thought patterns by asking them to describe what they think and feel.
- Relate. Make the topic of positive affirmations an approachable concept by engaging them in ways they understand. For example, for young children, you can match pictures with positive phrases.
- Offer options. Give opportunities to use positive affirmations along with other techniques. Demonstrate how to use them with meditation, explain how to visualize the phrases, or show them how to journal (if old enough to write).
- Be an example. Let children hear you affirming yourself, and also give them affirmations. Tell them they are special, loved, and in control of their thoughts. They will be more likely to adopt the practice of positive affirmations if they hear them being said by others.
- Keep affirmations short and sweet. Children should be able to remember and restate the affirmations, so keep them simple and brief.
- Allow children to create their own phrases. You may offer a prompt or give some words to help, but allowing them to come up with their own affirmations is empowering for them. Ask them to reflect on their strengths, and then focus statements around those strengths.
- Create a routine. Start the day with positive affirmations. That way they can repeat the phrase(s) throughout the day. Say them out loud, have them repeat after you, or write them down as little reminders. One fun way to incorporate them into the day is to write them on paper and put them in their bags or lunch boxes.
20 Examples of Positive Affirmations for Children
There are many books, websites, journals, and other resources to help you come up with positive affirmations. Whether you get inspiration from one of those sources or create your own phrases, make sure they resonate with your child. Here are some great examples to get you started.
- I can do hard things.
- I am strong.
- I am brave.
- I am loved.
- I am in control of my feelings.
- I am joyful.
- I’m a good friend.
- I am smart.
- I choose happiness.
- There’s only one me.
- I am special.
- I learn from my mistakes.
- I am a blessing.
- I work hard.
- I can reach my goals.
- I always try my best.
- I like learning new things.
- My body is strong.
- My mind is strong.
- I make good choices.
Tools like positive affirmations help children understand their self-worth. At notes to self®, we developed a unique way to remind children of positive affirmations. We put them on socks! While running around or relaxing at home, they can see a positive message right on their toes, reminding them of their value, and that the person that gave them the socks believes in them.Shop our notes to self® products, where you can find a variety of affirmations in all colors and styles of socks.