Using Positive Affirmations With Children

Thank you so much to Savannah for this great guest post on a favorite topic of mine: using positive affirmations with child. Make sure to follow her and leave a comment below!


Our thoughts become our words become our actions create our lives.

We can do, have or be anything that we desire in this world of opportunies but first we must first believe that it’s possible. For nothing will be accomplished or overcome until we know we are capable.

More about me

Our society is riddled with low self esteem and confidence. An epidemic of depression and anxiety spands across our culture. So few of us know our magnificent worth. Especially to the extent of its truth. I was one of these people for most of my life. 

I didn’t speak for 23 years due to social anxiety and rock bottom self image. I was terrified of every encounter I had to the point of shaking and faintness. Spending my life hiding in the backs of rooms and shadows, praying no one looked in my direction.

I was bullied throughout my childhood and never remember anyone ever once telling me I was pretty, smart or in any way good enough. I was left to navigate the world and myself on my own as so many of us are.

Using positive affirmations with children

As per our culture, emotions and feelings have routinely been pushed down and silenced. We’ve been told to “Suck it up” but never how to change the belief or that it was false. Never taught how to grow from it or navigate through it so in it we would soak. 

I didn’t want to repeat this pattern with my children. Instead, I wanted them to be a stranger to self doubt. I wanted self love to be their natural default so strong that being incapable of anything never once appeared as an option to them.

Just maybe, I could teach them of their worth early on so that they never had to learn it or swim through the sea of worthlessness and depression the way I did. Those waters are deep and dark.

Using positive affirmations with children

So as soon as my children became old enough to converse and understand simple concepts, I started playing a simple affirmation game with them to build their self worth and confidence. They picked it up rather quickly, albeit not instantly, and now ask to play the “I am” game.

We usually start by going for a walk outside. Getting outside gives us a chance to connect to one another and nature away from the distractions of technology. It also helps them to burn some energy which can make life a lot more peaceful for me. I’ll start the game by asking “What am I?!” to which the boys, ages 5 and 4, will reply with affirmations like “I am strong!” or “I am brave!”

They’re boisterous about it now which feels good to my soul to watch. Especially since they didn’t start out that way at all. When I first introduced the game, they were sheepish and quiet. They didn’t participate without coercion and would only repeat affirmations that I stated after I insisted that they do.

Keep it simple

I would usually frame them around whatever I had noticed that they needed that day. If they were being whiny I would center the affirmations around bravery, strength, independence and the like. If they were fighting a lot that day I would center them around kindness, compassion and love for one another. Maybe even adding some gratitude in there like “I am thankful I have someone to play with.” or “I am thankful I have so many toys.”

In the beginning, I told them: “I’m going to start a sentence and you’re going to finish it. I am….” and they wouldn’t answer. “What am I?” I would ask and they would just look at me, then to each other and then back to me with a shy grin, their heads down and shrug. 

So I would finish the sentence “I am BRAVE!” I would exclaim. “Can you say that? I am brave!” 

Using positive affirmations with children

Reframing Beliefs

“But I’m not brave.” They would tell me. At which point I would stop, get down to their level and explain to them how we are what we want to be. If we want to be brave than we can be. All we have to do is choose to be.

That it’s ok to be afraid.

That everyone is afraid of something but being brave means we act anyway. We don’t let the fear control us because we’re stronger than it. It’s just a feeling and it has no real power. 

Of course we had to repeat this lesson a couple of times before they started believing it. In the beginning, we had to talk through a lot of them.

The benefits of affirmations

Practicing this game will really give you insight into their little minds and how they perceive the world. Best to correct those things now before they’ve impacted their lives. The older we become, the harder it is to uproot such harmful belief systems towards self and the world.

 Now, though, they no longer need coercion into saying the affirmations. Now we start the game in one of 2 ways. Either I’ll randomly yell “What am I!?” to which they’ll reply with immediately and joyfully: “I am brave! I am strong! I am kind!” Etc. 

Or, they’ll ask, “Can we play the ‘I am’ game?” and when I nod or say “Of course” they’ll immediately begin spouting them off without any extra input from me. I usually press them with “What else am I!?” and they’ll either find another or say “I dunno” to which I’ll come up with something. 

The whole thing is a very simple concept and I’ve noticed beautiful differences in them since we’ve started playing. They are becoming the embodiment of their affirmations. I’m watching them grow more confident, kinder, more compassionate and of course, braver. 

Using positive affirmations with children

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Children need our direction and encouragement. It’s our responsibility as the adults and caregivers to teach them how to be self sufficient and that means showing them how to master their minds and control their thoughts and emotions.

There is no greater skill than mastery of oneself and nothing in this life can be accomplished without self love, confidence and belief in oneself.  


Bio

Savannah Shea Blake is a Birth Doula, Life Coach and Writer at EarthandWater.co. She helps women unleash their inner warrior goddesses through self love and self care so that they can conquer the battles of life and feel more supported in their ventures. 

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I write more about positive affirmations here: Positive thinking

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56 thoughts on “Using Positive Affirmations With Children”

  1. Jessica Formicola

    You sound like an amazing momma! Positive affirmations do wonders with my kids too! They get excited to say the “I am brave, I am smart, I am beautiful!” in the mornings.

    1. Hey Jessica, she really is! That’s great that you’ve been able to incorporate positive affirmations into your family’s routine. Keep it up, and thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Swathi, for sure. I always try to remember. They may not “get” the things that stress me out, but they can tell I’m stressed. So it still affects them. Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey April, I need to get those finally! I usually just make them up off the top of my head, but I think my little ones would like pulling a card. Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Catalina, I love how many simple options there are. Luckily little ones tend to be easily amused, so almost anything can be turned into a game. Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Lois, that is good to know. I have kind of the opposite situation or being negative from having negative parents, so I figure can’t hurt to try the positivity with my own kids! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. I love this! As a teacher, I’ve done affirmation exercises with middle school students. It saddens me that the majority of them have such difficulty saying positive statements about themselves. We are trained to see the good in others, but not to celebrate the good and worthiness within ourselves. It took me years into my adulthood to do this for myself also. I’m also doing things differently with my own children. Cheers to teaching our children to love themselves and to recognize their own worth!

    1. Hey Sherry, ugh, middle school is such a hard age. And I think it is getting harder as the years go on. Good for you for helping instill positivity and confidence in them! I agree, it is much harder when you are an adult, so it’s important to start when they’re young. Thanks for reading, and keep it up!

  3. Positivity is always the best thing. I would always look on the bright side of things and made sure the people around me did the same. That has helped a lot of people I know get through tough times.

  4. We always seem to learn something from our past experiences, well most of us do. I’m glad to hear that you were able to learn something from your past and make it into a more positive experience for your children. I firmly believe in positive affirmations, but once the kids hit teenage years (for my oldest it’s now around age 17) it seems to be more difficult to have that pull or influence on their emotions. I just hope that positive parenting affirmations and positive parenting for her entire life will come back to her once she’s settled into who she is as an adult and, as we all do, she’ll take some of what she felt I could have done better and perfect it some more (I’m sure of it).

  5. I love this! My children respond so much better when we are positive. I love the idea of reframing and instilling positive thoughts in them when they are young.

    1. Hey Heather, I think so too. They tend to feed off whatever energy you are giving off. I think if you are yelling a bunch as a method of behavior management it just makes things worse. Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Sarah, childhood is the best time to start! They haven’t had decades to build up bad habits like we have. It’s much easier to start as kids than it is as an adult. Thanks for reading!

  6. It is never too soon to start using positive affirmations with kids! In fact, I think if kids grow up around people who use positive affirmations, they are more likely to do the same and be that much more happier for it. 🙂

  7. I’m not a parent yet but I so love your approach. The positive affirmations with your I Am game seem so incredible. How powerful to have that as part of your life from a young age. Will definitely implement something like this with my kids in the future.

    1. Hey Riana, so glad you liked it. It’s great because it’s FREE lol. And doesn’t take very much time during the day. Just quick kind words here and there. Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Brianne, it happens. Life is so busy when they’re little. I try to just challenge anything they say negative about themselves if I catch them saying it. I hope it adds up! Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Lisa, that’s the hope. I wish I had started these at a young age. I think these days (vs late 80s/early 90s when I was little) people are a lot less afraid of “woo” practices. Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Amber, LOL. That’s funny. I’m sure they hit an age where it’s very corny. My 5 year old is a little sensitive so we do them often but she hasn’t hit the stage where I’m embarrassing yet. Thanks for reading!

  8. This! This is so good! We try so hard not to just affirm our daughter with you’re pretty. We try to make sure she knows she’s strong, brave, smart, capable… Thank you for sharing. I think the game is a great way to get a feel on how they feel about themselves and how to build them up.

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