Do affirmations feel awkward or goofy to you?
Affirmations have SO MANY mind/body/spirit health benefits. I could go on forever but here are a quick few:
- Improved motivation to tackle a problem, a project, or something new
- Ability to turn negative thoughts into positive
- Improves concentration
- Reduces stress
- Creates a personal narrative
- Creates new neural pathways in your brain, which is like lifting weights for your brain
Knowing all of these benefits, how amazing would it be if we raised children with this practice right off the bat?
- Could it reduce anxiety in children? Yes.
- Could it best equip kids to deal with bullying? Yes.
- Could it potentially reduce kids from bullying? Also yes.
- Could it give kids self confidence to be themselves and have more fun? Yes
- Could it help kids in school with hard lesson materials? Yes
So let’s do it! Again I say, affirmations are not goofy. This practice will have astounding impacts on you, your child, your family, and the community you surround yourself with.
When to start:
I am a big believer in that it’s never too early to start talking to kids about mental health and loving themselves. And yes, this applies to your tiny little baby infant who has no idea what you’re saying. The point is to bring the overall concept of affirmations, self-believe, self-love, etc. into our homes as a foundation of your family lifestyle.
The age where it starts to click and make sense is whenever your child starts to expand their vocabulary and express themselves, which will be between ages 2 and and 3.
How to start
The best way to get your kid started with affirmations is by hearing you say them first.
When they’re trying to do something all on their own and are struggling, instead of swooping in and doing it for them, get down on their level and encourage them.
- “Keep trying, you can do this”
- “This is tricky but you can do hard things”
- “You’re smart, you got this!”
- You’ll then build on this by having them repeat after you.
- “I can do this”
- “I can do hard things”
- “I am smart, I got this!”
Eventually, get them to do this in front of a mirror. My kids were a little shy in the mirror at first so make sure you let them take their time with it. Don’t force it because then they won’t want to do it and won’t think it’s fun. That’s defeating the whole purpose. And before you judge, try it for yourself – it is a little intimidating at first!
They can look at you through the mirror or off into the distance, but eventually you’ll want them to look at themselves. The brain science behind making your own eye contact and saying affirmations is WILD and so cool.
Make it a routine
Every time they brush their teeth, end that getting ready routine (morning and night) with affirmations. Let this part be fluid because it doesn’t matter what you say as long as it’s positive and kind. Have fun with it! Bring in thoughts about the day or anything they are thinking about, worried about, wondering about, etc. Let them say as many things as they want; there’s no rhyme or reason for saying a certain amount. Being genuine and fluid is what you’re going for.
Once they are done brushing, start by saying “okay repeat after me” .. and say whatever affirmation comes to mind. I like to start with the same two phrases, then see if they have their own ideas on what else they want to add.
Ideas of what to say
- I am smart
- I am kind
- I am brave
- I am strong
- I am a good problem solver
- I love myself
- I did a good job today
- I am creative
- I am funny
- I tried my best and my best was perfect
- I am a nice friend
- I am a good person
- There’s no one else in the world like me
- I am beautiful
Mom, need an easy way to get started for yourself?
First, listen to the song I am Woman by Emmy Meli. Find a time when you’re in the car by yourself or can throw in some headphones and turn it up – soak in the words. Whenever I’m feeling a little overwhelmed or insecure about something, this is my song on repeat and it completely changes the tone for my mindset on whatever it is I am facing.
Then, you can start by saying all the same things to yourself that I listed up there for the kids. It’s an easy place to start, but then find one or two that are personal to what you’re going through. There’s a magical energy shift in your heart when you hit one that resonates and that’s what you want to pay attention to – and lean into.