Using Positive Self-Talk to Empower Your Kids
Is your inner voice positive or negative? Using daily affirmations for kids is a way to change the tone and message of the voice inside. So let’s get to it!
How do you talk to yourself? What kind of things do you say? I suspect that, more often than not, you aren’t very kind to yourself. We are our toughest critics and, women especially, are so hard on ourselves.
Now, think about your kids. How do you speak to them? Are you kind? Do you offer encouragement and words of love and support? Of course you do! After all, they’re your babies and you want the best for them. What do you hope their inner voices say to them?
Every mom wants their kids to think of themselves with all of the care and tenderness that we do.
While it should be natural, positive self-talk does not come naturally to most of us. Knowing this, it’s important to teach our kids that they have the power to control how they react to things in life. Sometimes those silver linings are hard to see, but using affirmations may help soften soften the tough blows and uplift them.
Related Article: Self-care for Kids
What are Positive Affirmations?
Positive affirmations are positive words and/ or phrases that challenge negative thoughts. They are the things we say to ourselves to boost our confidence and quell anxiety or fear.
Moreover, they are a great way to counteract the negative thoughts that take root in our minds. It’s far too easy to mire ourselves in insecurities. Those thoughts have a way of becoming our inner voice, seeping into our conscious and subconscious mind. In the end, it’s the way we always see ourselves and the image we project to the world.
However, positive affirmations are hopeful. Meaning, they are intended to look forward. It’s not about yesterday, it’s about now. What is happening now? What will I do? How will I act? What do I believe? People use affirmations to speak positive possibilities into existence.
As such, this thought process is more impactful in the present tense. These words have strength and are grounded in belief and conviction. Saying them embodies power, and control over a situation or themselves.
- I… “am”
That’s just a starting point. There are many ways to start those positive thoughts for kids and adults.
Positive Affirmations for Girls
By a stroke of biology, girls are generally more sensitive than boys. This can result in females having challenges with confidence and self-esteem in greater numbers than males. Add hormones to that and woah!
I’m noticing my daughter wonder why her hair is different than her peers and Disney princesses. She is curious and inquisitive. I was the same way. As a black girl, my reality was coarse hair, often braided, as is my daughters. Unlike me, my daughter has beautiful, curly hair that, thankfully, she loves.
Despite that, she still wants to connect with her environment. Her admiration is inclusive of her race as well. Seeing black women with long flowing hair also gets her attention. She’s young enough that she is happy pretending to be like them and doesn’t think poorly of herself.
I hope that continues. But, I am fully cognizant it may change. She’s also much, much taller than her peers, so that may pose a challenge for her as it did for me.
Knowing how things shape our self-perception and affect self-confidence, now is the time to invest in building her up.
I use positive affirmations with my daughter. To me, daily affirmations for kids like this example from @blackmomsblog, are the armor girls needs to face the world. This ‘shield’ will be there when needed. I fear that without it, it may change the happy, sweet, confident person that she is.
Unfortunately, girls face a lot of judgement and sadly, it often comes from other girls. It’s human nature to seek your place within your world. We look to friends, family and the media to see how/ where we fit in.
Comparisons are primarily outward facing, hyper-focused on body type, complexion, hair type and personal style. Social acceptance requires overcoming these barriers.
Benefits of Daily Affirmations for Kids
There are several reasons to teach your kids positive affirmations. To start, health benefits cannot be ignored. They include lower levels of depression, increased resistance to illness and decreased levels of pain and suffering, to name a few.
Next, affirmations improve self-confidence. Repetition reminds kids of their talents, skills and abilities. Confidence and self-assurance are traits that prepare kids to tackle challenges and strive for advancement.
When faced with adversity, being reminded of what they have to offer can help turn around how a child sees their capabilities.
Further, in this age of bullying and virtual influence from social media, instilling faith and self-worth in our children provides them with the foundation to navigate these challenges.
They require a much higher social intelligence than we ever did.
Building up positive responses in our subconscious trains the neuropathways of the brain to see things in a more positive light.
Additionally, positive affirmations are a great way to reinforce family values. Send your children out into the world with kindness and charity.
It’s important that, although negative influences may come from peers or authority figures, they are armed with the knowledge, information and beliefs that you value. With that information, they are better able to make good choices and trust in themselves.
Finally, kids are able to have control over their emotions. Growing up is full of challenges and situations that may illicit an emotional response. Heartache and disappointment send some kids spiraling.
Immersion in negativity, colors how you see the world. Instead of seeing opportunity, you see barriers and challenges. Optimism turns to bitterness.
Empowering your child to see the potential of a positive outcome can reduce the chance they may give in to negativity and help them bounce back from setbacks with greater ease.
Related Article: Household Chores for Kids
How to Use Positive Affirmations
Start when their young. You’ve been whispering positive words of love to them since you brought them home. Keep it up! When they’re old enough, have them join you in uplifting themselves. Eventually, the goal is for them to tap into their personal sense of self and not look for external validation.
Remember, teaching your child to self-sooth as a baby? This is along the same lines. Only now, you are providing the tools to make that process a little easier. As mentioned in What it Means to Know Your Why, try to demonstrate the behavior you want them to emulate.
Be kind to yourself and speak strength and fortitude with your inner and outer voice.
Children are an extension of you, so use your power wisely.
Rather than saying things to feed an ego, it’s best to tailor affirmations to your child’s life. The goal here is to help kids stand tall, head up, shoulders back. You don’t want them to walk around with puffed up chests and their noses in the air. Foster a sense of confidence, not arrogance.
Build them up and remind them of their skills and abilities before they face a challenging task or event. For example, before a soccer match, you may encourage your child to say, “I am a great soccer player,” or “I am a great team player.” Before a test, “I am prepared. I can do this.”
- Stand in front of the mirror and repeat affirmations
- Recite affirmations while doing a power pose (super hero pose)
- Call & Response – Parent leads by starting the chant, “When I say ‘I am,’ you say strong… ‘I am,’ ‘strong,’ ‘I am,’ ‘strong.’
- Simple repetition (with/out mirror) – “I am kind,” “I am confident”
- Parent can also say it and the child repeats after them
- Say affirmations while marching, dancing, wiggling
- Sing affirmations
- Write affirmations for your kids on the bathroom mirror
- Put affirmations in their lunch box (post-it note, drink box)
At our house, I use the time driving to school to frame the day with my daughter. She’s young, and the routine at school differs greatly from what happens at home. She’s also sensitive and a little shy, so anything I can do to build her up so she feels strong and capable is important for both of us.
Knowing my child, I give her about 5 statements of positive affirmation each day. In some cases, she just repeats after me. To make it fun, I’ll do silly movements and change the inflection of my voice. However I do it, she follows along.
Make positive affirmations a regular part of communication with your child. But, do so when you think that the message is getting across. Consider the values and traits you would like to instill in your child and spread them out. Depending on age and comprehension, 2-5 should do it. Don’t bombard them with too many as it likely won’t stick.
Family Exercise –
- Ask your child questions to get them to recognize their skills, talents and potential
- Use responses to create personal affirmations together that are tailored to your child
- Their answers may also offer opportunities for deeper discussions around self-image, confidence, insecurities
- When are you most proud of yourself?
- What are you good at?
- What makes you happy?
- Does anything make you sad?
- What do you like about yourself?
- Here are a few things that I see in you (share what you love, appreciate about your child with them)
Final Thoughts: Daily Affirmations for Kids
You may think the concept of saying positive affirmations is new or different. While it may not be something you are familiar with, I think we’ve shown how beneficial they can be, for adults and children alike.
By starting your kids off training their inner voices at a young age, you will create habits that will be a natural part of how they view themselves. Be lighthearted about it. Build them up, highlight their great qualities, but avoid encouraging them to boast.
Understanding perspective can be a game-changer for your child. How we choose to see things can alter how we allow things to affect us. Is life always full of sunshine and lollipops? I wish, but no. It’s also not full of gloom and doom either.
We often don’t have control over what happens, but we can definitely control how we react. For example, failure can be used as a setback or an opportunity for growth. It’s all in how you see things.
Remember, you are working to build up your child’s self-confidence and create a positive mindset. We know you are a proud parent. By all means, share that with your child. But, we also want to ensure that our children feel pride and accomplishment within themselves.
Comparing yourself to others starts at a young age. They should look for internal validation and not seek it elsewhere.
Check out the list of 40 Daily Affirmations for Kids below to get started.
List of 40 Daily Affirmations for Kids
- I am strong
- I can do it
- Who I am is enough
- I know I am valued
- I will try my best
- People enjoy having me around
- I face my fears with courage
- I am brave
- My heart is warm and loving
- I know that I am trustworthy
- I am talented
- My sense of humor makes people happy
- I am smart
- Nobody works harder than I do
- I am a leader
- I believe in myself
- You can depend on me
- I am loved, always
- Singing makes me happy
- I am a great friend
- My family loves me
- I am a great helper
- I love myself
- My mind is powerful
- I care for people
- I am kind
- Today is my day
- I am up for the challenge
- I never give up
- It’s ok to make mistakes
- I learn from my mistakes
- My potential is endless
- I’ve got this
- I am a leader
- My body is private
- I am creative
- I care for people
- Friendship is important to me
- I know how to forgive
- My voice is powerful
Do you use positive affirmations for yourself or your child? Share some of your favorites in the comments.
36 thoughts on “Daily Affirmations for Kids”
I love this idea! I think more parents need to do this, including me. I always talk positively to my kids, but I haven’t taught them to say positive affirmations to themselves. That would be amazing.
It’s something that I just started this year and I can tell you that they take to it so well. There’s nothing better than to see how proud your child is of themselves. And to hear from their own mouths that they know they are smart, strong, talented. Go for it, you won’t regret it and neither will they!
These are some great affirmations. I think it is really important for children to have a voice and to have that confidence.
Lauren – bournemouthgirl
I’m in full agreement. Kids need to be given the permission to be themselves and the knowledge to speak! Especially in the world we all share today.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
Ok so full disclosure, I’m definitely crying over this lol. I felt this with my whole heart. I recently began embracing my type 4 hair and my 11 year old daughter slowly started embracing hers. We use positive affirmations alllll throughout our house! We listen to Bob Baker on YouTube in the mornings. They’ve helped my entire family! Great post!
Now, you have me tearing up! When I was writing that part of the post, my eyes were tearing up. During the editing process, that section was HUGE, so I had to decide whether or not to keep it. In the end, it’s who I am and what we’re going through. There are struggles and concerns in parenting and I feel like it’s greater raising a girl. I worry all the time that I am going to fail her. And now I’m full on crying! I don’t know Bob Baker, but I’m checking him out now!!
From one 4c mom to another, thank you for sharing your heart.
Sensational list here Cassie. Repeating ideas to children – the positive kind – programs them to live happy, free lives of possibility. I had quite a bit of negative self-talk to overcome before I began blogging and circling the globe. Stating affirmations to myself helped me change course.
Thanks, Ryan! I agree about the power of positivity. Given how receptive kids are, it works especially well with them. I’m happy to hear that blogging help you find some peace and self-appreciation and acceptance. You sure do look happy in all of your pictures and appear to be living the life you want. That’s to be admired. I’m sorry that you had to overcome the negativity to get there, but you did it. You should be proud of that. Do you think that blogging plays a similar role in the lives of other writers?
I probably could have benefited from these as a child. Unlike your daughter, I never wondered why my hair was different to a princess or prince, because I was brought up in a white family and went to an all white school. In those circumstances, you never expect to see someone like yourself represented.
It’s nice to see that presentation has started to change, but it still has a very long way to go.
Hopefully these positive affirmations will help child avoid developing the issues I did
My goodness, that had to be a challenge all on it’s own. Even if you never wondered, I’m sure you still hoped for someone ‘like’ you in your life. Even when you are loved and cared for, it’s hard to feel isolated and there’s nobody out there like you. As an adult, while we still want to connect and belong, we can at least benefit from life experience enough to have a different perspective on things and be happy to be unique. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not without it’s own pain. As a child, there’s so much going on just in the process of aging that anything else really can tip the scales. If speaking with positivity to kids helps them find a foundation of self-assurance and gives them the power to use their voices, it’s all we can ask for. I hope that now you have found your place and feel confident in who you are. You certainly appear to have found your voice through your blog.
Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment,
I do this everyday ✨ even I need it everyday✨ We all need all the positivity we can get, be kind and have love for each other
Good for you Catarina! Not many people do this. Or, if they do, they don’t make it a practice. We really do need more positivity in life. I feel tired and heavy from all of the negativity that’s around me. I too am learning to lift myself up and believe in myself while teaching my daughter to do the same. I hope it’s as much as a habit for us as it is for you.
I LOVED this post! These ideas are so cute – I love the idea of writing affirmations on the bathroom mirror and putting little notes in their packed lunches. As a primary school teacher, I’m definitely going to try and include positive affirmations in my classroom and will try and remember these for when baby arrives!
J E M M A ♡ http://www.ohhjemma.com
I love that you’re a teacher! I think it would be a great thing to use with the kids in your classroom. They learn and grow so much during the school year. It would be great if they were able to recognize it and be proud of themselves. Teachers hold a special place in kid’s lives. Especially for those with less than ideal home situations. You have the ability to uplift and provide stability for our most precious and vulnerable kiddos.
And, I’m excited for you to use affirmations with the baby.
What a lovely post! I plan on sharing some of these affirmations with my daughter once she becomes of age. I think it is so important to speak love into your child on a daily basis to boost a positive self-image and confidence. My favorite one listed is “It’s okay to make mistakes.” I wish I heard that more as a child. Maybe I wouldn’t be so hard on myself as an adult if I was reaffirmed that. Thank you so much for sharing!
We can be so hard on ourselves, can’t we? I know I limit myself and shorten my own wingspan when I am worrying about failing. I am that way with this blog. It’s something that I want to matter and the thought that it might not does bring me a little apprehension. But, I have to believe in myself. I am trying to be a positive role model for my own daughter. We learn from our failures/ mistakes. That needs to be emphasized more in life. Just keep loving on her, lift her up and validate who she is and she will soar.
I remember when my 16-year-old was much younger, we used to have heart-to-heart in the car on the way to school and church and it felt safe somehow and comfortable for her to say what was on her mind. We would discuss school, her friends, church etc. Now she is a moody teenager lol, our conversations have changed of course, but I try to make her understand that she is enough, beautiful as she is. I really like the asking questions technique because you get to enter their psyche and understand what and how they feel about themselves and what’s going on around them. Great article.
I can feel your experience deep in my soul. Mine is still quite young but I swear she’s channeling her inner teenager already. Everything I say, she says the opposite. She is definitely asserting her independence. I will take what you say to heart and treasure the time I have with her now while she is willing to listen to me. If anything, by the time that changes, I will have done enough for it to already be a part of her spirit. It’s great that, despite having a moody teenager, you still do what you can to get through to her. I will remember to do the same.
I love this. I’m sad to admit that a lot of my insecurities came from my dad growing up, I don’t think he ever meant any harm but his jokes would often get taken to heart and there’s a lot I now dislike about myself because of his comments. I’m glad you do these affirmations with your daughter and I hope she grows up knowing how valued and amazing she is! And I hope that representation keeps improving so that she can see herself accurately reflected in the media she consumes!
Thank you for responding with your story. I am sorry to hear that your dad did that to you. I suspect that the language you heard from him, he also heard when he was growing up. That kind of poison has a way of working through generations of families. Please don’t hold on to that. You are a great storyteller. Your writing showcases how hopeful and optimistic you are. It comes through the page. Let that be who you are. You may not feel that all the time, but it’s there. You are embarking on a journey to claim your authentic self and to live with joy and acceptance. Let that be who you are. Your dad did what he knew to do, but you know better. So, you have the great chance to do better for yourself and the people in your life. And thank you for the kind words about my daughter. I wish so much for the same.
This is a wonderful idea and I am sure that it can help children build confidence. I grew up having really critisising people around me which definitely affected my self image and self confidence. It took years of self work to change it. Thank you for sharing such a lovely post.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Isn’t it amazing how being in an environment like the one you grew up in can just seep into your own subconscious? I am so sorry that you had to experience that. I am happy that you were able to change that for yourself. I fear that too many kids internalize that kind of negativity and never recover from it, which is a shame. I hope that you are happy now and love who you are.
These are really great! I think it’s so important for kids to start reciting positive affirmations from a young age to give them more confidence as they grow up. I think its also important for parents as kids learn from their parents.
Yes! It is so important! I think if more kids had that foundation, it could improve their self-worth by so much! In my life, as and adult, I’ve had moments when I use them for myself on a regular basis, but that was mostly in reference to professional pursuits. I am new at using them more broadly and being kinder to myself and do not want my daughter to wait as long as I have to love herself and appreciate what she has to offer.
Loved this article, Cassie! I am the nanny to two beautiful little ladies who will do so well with these affirmations, so thank you for sharing them x
That’s so nice to hear, thank you. I do hope that you use these with your little clients. It’s so nice when you see them independently use them on their own or with each other. I heard my daughter playing by herself in another room and saying some to herself (while playing with her dolls).So it does eventually sink in and become a part of their own thought process.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
I think affirmations are such a great self-care/supportive tool; they’re something we should all use but even better if young children hear/use them. Words of love, acceptance and encouragement are powerful — thanks for sharing this!
I don’t think most people look at them as self-care, but you’re right, they are. It’s something everyone has access to and the ability to do for themselves. Despite that, depending on how you grew up, it can be one of the most challenging ways to care for ourselves. I believe in the power of words, I always have. I’m hoping that courage and self-assurance and self-acceptance is a natural part of my daughter’s life and is something that she can share to others in her little world as well.
What a wonderful post! Positive affirmations are so important to build confidence and you have a great list here!
Thank you, Raji,
I’m sure we can both agree that there’s enough negativity in the world today. If we can combat some of that with positive self-talk, that may go a long way in our kids being able to stand strong. Not only kids but adults as well.
Thank you for reading and commenting.
As a mom of 2 teenage daughters this post really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing that list of positive affirmations – saving for future use
My girl is only 5 but I can’t tell you how much of my time is spent worrying about her heart and head as she gets older. The teen years are hard enough for girls so I am hoping that I can give her the tools she needs to be strong within herself by that point. Please, if you find them useful, I encourage you to share these ideas or some custom to your daughter’s needs with them. Our girls need to know their value and be able to stand proud to advocate for themselves.
This is such a good idea! Affirmations are definitely important, especially as you are growing up. Love this x
It sure is, Caroline! I know too many people that have low self-esteem from what they experienced as children. I think if we can help foster self-esteem and positive coping methods when kids are young, they will have a better chance of adapting to challenges as they age. Hopefully, more parents will do this for their kids.
I don’t have kids but this is something my husband and I agreed that we would do when we have kids. It’s great to see a blog about it encouraging parents to do the same.
Hi Rachel, you can’t hear it, but I’m applauding you! When talking about kids and raising a family, I don’t know many people who consider including positive affirmations as part of their parenting plan… before becoming a parent. It’s great that you are both in agreement that it’s something you want to do for the mental well-being of your children. Your head is definitely in the right place and your kids will benefit from your approach. I wish you well when the time cones.