How Affirmations Can Make a Positive Impact on Your Child
My last year of high school was phenomenal. Most students would find their social studies classes very boring; however, this social studies teacher had a particular way of engaging his students. He accomplished this with affirmations. He was intentional about grasping the attention of the class. Our daily assignment was to prepare and discuss an affirmation at the beginning of the class. Although this teacher was not able to get to every student we understood that we needed to have our assignment ready for the class. I particularly enjoyed this assignment as it created a sense of community in our class. We grew closer as classmates.
This was back in 1997 when most students did not have Internet access at home. I was among them. I mention this because today you can do a simple Google search to find affirmations. Since most of us was just beginning to understand how to use the web to find this information, we resorted to creating our own quotes.
In retrospect I received much more than social studies lessons or a sense of community, I received self confidence that I haven’t had in a long time. Here’s what I mean. I got all A’s that semester. I never received an all A report card in all of my years of being in school. I knew I was smart, but I didn’t necessary “feel” smart. There is a difference. Having the feeling is much more powerful. All of those affirmations made me feel a level of intelligence I knew was in me, but was unable to access. Maybe it was because I was too busy fighting against the bullying, the name calling, and avoiding confrontation in school.
I remember sharing my feelings with my mother and she confirmed that my new awareness is what she had been trying to instill in me all along by telling me that I was smart. As I reflect on how positive affirmations changed that one portion of my life, in that one moment in time, I understand the importance of teaching children how to affirm themselves. This is a practice that I have instituted in my home. Here is what I do.
Definition of Affirmations
I want to define the word affirmation before I tell you how I have instituted positive affirmations as part of daily practices for my children. Keep in mind that saying these positive words daily is not just reciting a bunch of meaningless, good words. You will know how to use them properly once you understand the definition. The following are two definitions that I found on definition.com.
True or Exists
The first definition I found states that an affirmation is an assertion that something exists or is true. The purpose of using positive speaking is to confirm that something is true in their lives. In this case children. For example, this assertion can be their great intelligence, their worthiness, or their gifts and talents.
When your child speak words that assert or confirm that something is true or exist they will believe it such as “I have the ability to pass all of my tests.” Your child can also say “I am loved and worthy to be loved and accepted.” These affirmations when spoken daily will help your child encourage themselves in a way that, you as a parent cannot. They will know in themselves who they are and become aware of their abilities without you telling them. This can easily be done as they begin to form sentences and have the ability to repeat after you.
Declaring Something to be True
The next definition says that affirmations are a statement or proposition that is declared to be true. Having your child declare positive self-statements will drown out all of the negativity they are hearing in school and even in television.
Here’s a prime example. Growing up as an African American, I always heard that I was a minority based on the lower population of blacks in the United States. This is a word that I detest because of the unintentional side effect. Regardless of the context or why the word is used it can create a belief of being small or lesser value. If this word was not meant to be anything other than to describe the lesser population of a group then why has there been protests and rallies for equal rights of a minority. It’s because the connotation still sends a signal that a “minority” is subordinate or less important to the more dominate group.
Children that have to combat this word could speak affirmations that can confirm their value. Here are an example of two sayings that can establish the value of an African American child
“I have great value in this world, I can contribute great things to society and this country."
“I am great and destined for greatness” can establish their value as citizens in this land."
How to Customize Affirmations for Your Child
Here is how I utilize affirmations in my home. I come up with a customization process.
I am a mother of three beautiful children. Each one has different and specific needs for validation to establish good self-confidence. I customize my children’s affirmations to fit their individual needs. I make note of their behaviors and concerns. I also make note of the actions they should be doing such as potty training for example. I going through this process with my 3-year-old son who is afraid to go poo in the toilet.
I also speak to them about their deepest desires and write uplifting statements that they will enjoy saying. For instance some children may need courage when they are fearful at nighttime. Some might need to believe they can win friends. Others might need to believe they are safe.
Based on the examples I gave here are some things children can say out loud.
Once you find the perfect quotes for your children make signs for them as a project. It can be as simple as writing the words on construction paper and taping them to the wall.
"I have courage to sleep through the night. I am at peace. Nothing scares me."
"I am friendly and can win lots of good friends that will accept me."
"I am protected, I am safe. My angels are protecting me."
Take a look at a children's affirmation video that I created
Parents be Aware of the Words You are Saying
It is true that words have power. And, if you decide that you want to implement any of these concepts for your child you must also be cautious to speak positively as well. If you are consistently telling your child something negative about them, then it will create confusion. You child can feel one way but are listening to your words wondering if YOU are right. It is truly important that the entire family participates in affirmations; not just the one child that might be having trouble in school or the one child that is shy. When the whole family participates it will encourage your child to have a positive mindset, but it also affirms that their declarations are true.
Affirmations for the entire family
My life is easy, my life is good. Good things happen to me every day.
I am favored. Favor finds me.
I can have everything that I desire.
I am loved and can receive love.
I am beautiful. My body is beautiful, my heart is beautiful, my mind is beautiful.
I am strong enough to overcome any adversities.
I have happiness in every area of my life.
I enjoy being in this world. My life is marked for greatness.
I am surrounded by love in my home.
I am at peace. My home is full of peace and joy.
I am an achiever.