Using positive affirmations with kids can be a great tool to help kids build their self-confidence and self-esteem. They can help children to focus on the positive aspects of their lives rather than the negative, and to recognise their strengths and abilities.
Age Appropriate Positive Affirmations for Kids
By repeating affirmations, children can learn to focus on the positive and become more motivated and confident in their decisions and abilities. Here are some tips to make affirmations age appropriate.
For babies and toddlers, it is never too early to start using affirmations! Even if you have children who can’t talk get, you can begin by role modelling and using positive affirmations into your own life. Say them out loud and use positive body language, show in real life, the times when you need to use positive affirmations.
For younger kids, start simple with statements with just a few words. It’s important to make sure that the language used in affirmations is age appropriate for the child. For young children, use simple, positive language that is easy to understand like “I can do it”, “I am brave” or “I am strong”. They can build on simple statements as their language develops.
For tweens and teens, you can choose more complex affirmations with more words, such as “I am capable of anything I set my mind to” or “I am worthy of love and respect.” Affirmations are powerful tool for helping tweens and teens to build their self-esteem, confidence and to remind themselves of their worth and potential.
How Do I Start Using Positive Affirmations with My Kids
Starting to use positive affirmations with your children can help to reduce stress and anxiety, as they focus on the positive and practice self-acceptance. They can also help them to develop a growth mindset and to be resilient and flexible in their thinking. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Be Encouraging – Affirmations can be a great way to encourage your kids to do their best and achieve their goals. Affirmations should be said with conviction and enthusiasm. If you don’t believe what you’re saying, your kids won’t either. Speak with a strong voice and make eye contact to show that you mean it.
- Be Consistent. Affirmations should be used regularly and not just when your kids need a boost in self-confidence. Remind them of their worth every day, even when they’re having a bad day.
- Be Creative – Get creative with your affirmations. Make a scrap book, paint, create your own affirmation cards or make a vision board. Kids are so creative they will have some great ideas too!
- Be Fun – Use affirmations in play! Sing, dance, play games. Use affirmations with in themes like Christmas, Easter and Halloween or around pop culture like cartoons or films.
- Make it Personal – Personalising affirmations can help your child relate to them more easily. Here are a few ideas: Use their names, relate affirmations to their goals and interests and ask kids to create their own affirmations.
Tell Kids How Positive Affirmations Work
My son loves to ask questions and understand more about everything! If children and teens understand the how and the why, then they can make their own decisions about using positive affirmations.
I explain positive affirmations to younger kids a little bit like this:
“Affirmations are positive words that can help to rewire your brains to see the good stuff. You have the power to reprogram your thoughts. Your brain is a super computer, but we have something called a negativity bias, which means its much easier for us to notice the not so good stuff and ignore the positive things.
Our brains are like super glue to the negative. So, when we repeat positive affirmations regularly, they can help to create new neural pathways in the brain, so that the positive sticks like glue too!”
What is the Negativity Bias
The negativity bias is a psychological phenomenon in which we give more attention and weight to negative experiences, thoughts, and emotions. This means that we tend to remember negative events more than positive events, and the negative events we remember may be more intense or longer-lasting than the positive events.
The negativity bias is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation that helped our ancestors survive by making sure they took note of potential threats and dangers in their environment. It can still be useful today in helping us recognise potential risks and dangers, but it can also lead to unhealthy and unhelpful rumination on negative events or experiences.
I hope this information is helpful for you and your children, whether they are younger or older practicing using positive self talk and language is an important part of their mental health and wellbeing. Take Care Emma x