You know those days when all the balls you are juggling start to slip through your fingers?
Parenting, working, household chores, bills…
You’ve lost your shopping list, you’ve snapped at your kids and you just want the day to be over?
What if I told you there is one thing that could save the day just a little?
There is! And it’s awesome. Positive affirmations. What was that? A little snigger? That’s ok 🙂 I’m happy to convince you. And once I’ve done that, I want to double down and tell you that teaching your kids positive affirmations both improves your day, as well as theirs. And you get to tick off good parenting for the day!
What are positive affirmations?
Positive affirmations are statements or phrases that we say to ourselves, either aloud or in our heads. They are powerful because our conscious mind chooses them and says them, but our subconscious mind hears them, and believes them. And by saying these affirmations daily, we build the strength of this belief until it becomes a natural part of who we are.
Positive affirmations can be used to override negative self-talk, or bolster our courage when we face new or challenging situations. For example, you might not even notice yourself saying “I can’t do this” over and over again. A positive affirmation can help you to break that cycle and tell yourself “I might be scared but I can do this”.
And for kids, this is a great way to teach them that they have power over the thoughts in their head. They can choose what to think, and how to create a more positive way of thinking,
Do positive affirmations really work?
Absolutely! These days there is more and more evidence to show the real-life effects of creating a positive mindset. Studies show that positive thinking increases our productivity and creativity, and conversely, negative thinking can have a negative impact.
So by developing a positive mindset, where we actively seek ways to stay positive and happy, we can produce an upward spiral effect in all aspects of our lives. What a great gift to share with our kids!
You may be wondering why are affirmations so powerful?
Positive affirmations allow us to be very intentional about our thoughts. They are inspiring and motivating. The power is in the fact that we say them as true statements, as facts. (Even when they might not quite be true yet). And our subconscious cannot differentiate between fact and fiction, it only hears the statement being said. And, as I said earlier, the more frequently we say it the more believable it becomes. It’s like planting a seed in our mind and watering it just a little every day. It will grow!
And why are affirmations important for children?
Kids are sponges, right? Their minds are developing, building wee synapses all the time and science show that the more positive experiences children have the more connections are developed in the brain.
If we can teach our kids that they can literally change the way they feel in any given moment, why wouldn’t we? It’s like their own superpower.
Lastly, when should you say affirmations?
Best answer? All of the time! 🙂 But seriously, morning affirmations are a great way to start the day and take a few minutes together before you go about your busy days. And equally, bedtime affirmations are a gentle, quiet time to share a special moment. The best time to say them is a time that suits you. Whatever time you can build a habit around and that you are most likely to remember.
There are 101 affirmations out there but I have distilled it down to the ten best positive affirmations for kids. This shortlist of positive affirmations below shows how these affirmations can help shape the way kids think and also different ways you can use them.
Let’s get into some positive affirmations for kids you can use today!
“Today is going to be a great day.”
If your kids are just new to this you want to use short affirmations that are easy to remember and that they can relate to. Start out easy and believable. Once they see that affirmations can help them build confidence and pull them out of a bad mood, they’ll be ready to experiment further.
“I am my own superhero.”
Who doesn’t love superheroes? Talk with your kids about all the superpowers they might have and what they could do with those powers. Some can be silly and fun, but be sure to point out their superpower to make you smile. Or to cheer up their friends when they are feeling sad.
“I matter and you matter.”
Share your affirmations with your kids! This is a great one to encourage both self-esteem and gratitude. You can even make a game out of it! Take turns sharing positive affirmations between you and your child –
- You might start with “I matter and you matter”
- And they might say “I am loved and you are loved”
- I am valued and you are valued
- I am trustworthy and you are trustworthy
Just say whatever comes to you! Place your hand over your heart when you say you matter, and then place it over your child’s heart when you say they matter. An alternative (because I know my son wouldn’t go for that), is to toss a ball to each other and share affirmations with each throw. It’ll still sneak into their subconscious, I promise!
“I stand up for what I believe in.”
Being mindful of the important things, like what we really value, is a really good way to minimize some of the small things that are going wrong in our lives. Not disregard, mind you. Just put in perspective. This is a grounding affirmation that children can carry with through into adulthood. It reminds them that they have a voice, that their voice is valued and that they can make choices about what their voice is used for.
“My best is good enough.“
It’s OK to be selective of the types of affirmations you use and share with your kids. And I encourage you to take a moment to think about what the words mean to you. Personally, I try to stay away from affirmations like “I am perfect just the way I am”. It’s a message with a double-edge sword. What happens if one day we are not our best self and we know it – are we no longer perfect? Do we need to be perfect? Nope.
“I am open to new things.“
This is a great one to start a few weeks before a change. Maybe you’re shifting house, or you’re wee one is starting school. A little effort now will go a long way when the time comes.
“I am brave.“
Kids are always faced with new situations. Starting school, making new friends, or starting a new sport. They are naturally brave creatures – even my son who spends a lot of his most nervous moments tucked behind my legs. He’ll still dig deep and take on new and different experiences in the face of fear!
“I’m thankful for today.”
And for anything else you want to share your gratitude for. Gratitude is a wonderful way to acknowledge and appreciate all we have in our lives. Kids especially… no, all of us can be guilty of looking over the fence at our neighbor and seeing all the things we don’t have.
It’s a truly great habit to get into to get up in the morning and think of three things we are grateful for. Some days it will be gratitude for the people we love, and some days it will be for the newest bouncy ball or Nerf gun. It’s all good!
“I am creative.”
Encourage your kids to think of ways they are creative. It doesn’t have to be an ‘arts and crafts’ kind of creative. Teach them that any story they write, any game they makeup or any new tune they strum on their ukulele, are all different ways of expressing creativity. Human beings are often happiest when they are in ‘creative mode’, whether we are big or small. So encouraging your kids to embrace and explore their creativity will stand them in good stead for a happy life.
“I am loved.”
Have you seen that movie Breakthrough yet? I watched it recently on a long-haul flight and cried my eyes out, my neighbor must have thought I was crazy! Not only is it an incredibly moving true story about faith and surrender, but it also shows the power of a positive mindset.
Every night the mother tells her adopted son, “you are loved”. It really inspired me to share these positive affirmations with my own kids consistently. If they grow up, with memories ingrained in their hearts of being told they were loved and they matter… Well, I reckon I might have redeemed that bad day that I forgot to pay the bills and snapped at the kids.
I hope you’ve found something useful in these examples of positive affirmations. How about you? Do you have any favorite positive affirmations you use for yourself or share with your kids? We’d love to hear them!
I’m Francesca and I am the author/owner of a different everyday life. I live what you’d call an ordinary life and I love it! I didn’t settle for it. I chose it. And I want to show you how to find your happiness too!