Do you ever have negative thoughts about yourself? Do you tell yourself things like I am not good enough to _____. I'm not smart enough to ________. These thoughts are NEVER helpful and often untrue. Now imagine yourself telling these things to yourself as a child. It feels wrong, right? Now imagine YOUR beautiful child telling themselves these negative things. It could break your heart. One way to combat these thoughts is through affirmations.
The idea isn't new. In fact, I read somewhere about affirmations being used in the 1920s. I know in the 1980s, my dad would have me tell myself, "I love myself" in the mirror.
Teach your kids to see themselves through loving eyes, like you see them. Affirmations help kids to create a positive inner voice, combat negative thoughts and learn to handle difficult situations. Remember, we aren't denying that there may be hard or challenging times, but that we can deal with them. Also, there are NO comparisons to other people, or untruths.
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I like to do affirmations with the kids in the car on the way to school. One, because I have their full attention when they are strapped in and can't go anywhere. But also, because it's a great way to start the day. I can tailor what we say based on things that may be happening that day like a math test or a sports game. As an alternative, you can also have your kids say them in the mirror when they brush their teeth.
Here are some examples of affirmations we use a lot. I say the affirmations and the kids shout them back to me.
I am special and unique, created by God.
I am handsome.
I am smart.
I can do hard things.
It is OK to make mistakes. All humans make mistakes.
If I make a mistake, I can learn from it.
I am strong.
I am brave.
I do not give up.
I am loved by God and my family NO MATTER WHAT.
I love myself.
I love my family.
I am kind, and I am a good friend.
I deserve to be treated with kindness by my friends.
I did ______ yesterday. I am proud of myself.
I am going to have a good day!
At first, my oldest was a little skeptical that these would be helpful. But, I explained to him the science behind it. (Check out this study, Self-Affirmation Improves Problem-Solving under Stress) We talked about repeating these to himself when he needed them at school. He said he did some before a hard test and it worked! So, he has definitely come around! In fact, if I forget to do them, my kids will remind me.
For more, cool affirmation products, see below!
Let me know if you have any affirmations you and your family have found really helpful. For a positive nighttime activity, check out Add this to your Bedtime Routine.
Have a great day!