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.