10 Positive Affirmations for Kids + How to Use Them
As parents and caregivers, we want our children to be happy, healthy, and safe. Protecting and nurturing their mental health is one incredibly important way to do this. Mental health affects everything from physical health to self esteem and self-confidence. For little ones to thrive, we need to start early with a focus on helping them to develop a growth mindset and to utilize positive self-talk.
One approach that has been successful in schools where educators have a focus on social emotional learning is to teach children to use positive affirmations. Using daily affirmations in the classroom helps children to develop a routine of positive thinking. Printable affirmation cards are a great tool for both home and school to incorporate into daily routine and also to have on hand when kids are having a hard time.
“Affirmations are a powerful tool to help our children grow into their identity,” says Heather Wallace, Positive Parenting Expert, Love and Logic Facilitator. “What you focus on, you get more of. This means that as our children focus on positive character traits they will see these traits reproduced in their life.” This quote is resounding in Wallace’s home. “I have seen my children internalize this mantra and act accordingly.
Growth Mindset Journals
One helpful way to get started with positive affirmations for kids is to have them use a daily reflection worksheet or a journal that highlights positive phrases and provides them with a chance to share their feelings. The Big Life Journal for Kids (which you can purchase on Amazon) is one example of an excellent option to encourage kids to focus on resilience, self-love, and gratitude in a kid-friendly and enjoyable way. Journals and worksheets like this one create a safe space for children to reflect on their day and on their inner world and to record positive thoughts as a daily practice.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Young children can easily get into repetitive negative thought patterns and negative self-talk just like adults can. Teaching them the life skill of identifying and interrupting those kinds of thoughts with a focus on self-love and positivity can be very helpful. This can be taught through mindfulness activities such as kid-friendly meditations on positive affirmations or yoga practices focused on the same. When little ones can start early with these positive and mindful life skills, it can help them carry these approaches through the rest of their lives.
Another helpful approach is to create a social-emotional toolbox with children to help them learn to use positive affirmations as a regular tool. You can write affirmation cards with kids that offer statements for them to read when they are in need of positivity and self-love. Encourage kids to create statements that are simple, clear, and in the present tense and emphasize personal characteristics in a positive way. They should be short and to the point, and kids can determine what kinds of statements they want to include. Positive affirmations can be as simple as: “I am kind” or “I am smart.” The easier they are to repeat and remember, the better.
Positive Affirmation Art
It is especially helpful with younger children to create visual representations of their positive affirmations. This can be a great tool for little ones who are not reading yet or for anyone who is more of a visual learner. Children can choose symbols that they naturally relate to each affirmation such as a heart for kindness or a rainbow for cheerfulness. You can also work with them to use photographs of themselves putting these affirmations into action to pair with the positive statements. For instance, you could use a picture of your little one hugging a friend to go along with “I am loving” or a picture of your child setting the table for dinner for “I am helpful.” Starting the day by repeating positive self-image affirmations can increase a child’s confidence and help them have the right mindset to have a great day.
Here are 10 positive affirmations for kids that you can incorporate into your child’s daily routine:
- I learn from my mistakes.
- I accept others for who they are.
- I am deeply loved.
- I am the boss of my own body.
- I can do hard things.
- I can be kind to myself and kind to others.
- I choose to feel happy.
- I believe in myself.
- I can make a difference in my world.
- I can find beauty in everything.
You can encourage children to speak these affirmations to themselves by looking into a mirror or by looking at a picture of themselves. You can also have different categories of affirmations to help kids address specific issues. Categories can range from affirmations about healthy boundaries to affirmations about self-worth to affirmations about kindness. The most important thing is to stick with it as a regular routine. The more it’s a short, sweet, and simple practice, the more likely kids will be to continue with it.
Looking for more information on positive parenting methods? Check out A Parent’s Guide to Conscious Discipline.