Helping our children develop a strong sense of self is important to all parents. This strong sense of self will help our children face adversity and negativity they are sure to encounter for the remainder of their lives. Taking intentional steps to affirm children and allowing them to affirm themselves can be done simply and effectively. Research shows that those who positively self-affirm (internalize affirming statements and repeat them during times of doubt or stress) can use this as a tool to combat criticizing themselves or falling prey to unjust criticism from others.
Examples of Affirmation Statements
- I can forgive myself.
- I can forgive others.
- I am creative!
- I can solve this.
- My brain can grow!
Fun Ways to Use Affirmation Statements
- Place a mini mailbox on the kitchen counter. Put the flag up when a new affirmation is delivered. Mini mailboxes are often available at dollar stores close to the Christmas season.
- Simply hang up a statement on the refrigerator. Make a fun ritual of each family member saying the statement when he/she opens the door.
- Fill an affirmation jar with statements that positively describe your children. Color code them to each particular child so they are individualized. Use the jar during dinner or while in the car.
Take time to repeat the affirmations. This repetition helps to embed the positive sentiment and allows the child to own it. You may find that once you start intentionally using affirmations you don’t want to stop. You may want your children to contribute to affirming adults in your household or even extended family-the sky’s the limit. It can feel warm and empowering to positively affirm one another!
More information on how to introduce and use affirmations with your children can be found here.