Positive affirmations are short statements or sentences that induce a feeling of wellbeing when said repeatedly. They are usually short and sharp, ‘I am happy’! , ‘I am amazing’, I am a super...
Daily affirmations promote a positive outlook on life. This works for the whole family. If your child begins affirmations at a young age studies have shown that their physical health will also benefit. A report by Jane E Brody in the New York Times (2017) states: ‘There is no longer any doubt that what happens in the brain influences what happens in the body. When facing a health crisis, actively cultivating positive emotions can boost the immune system and counter depression. Studies have shown an indisputable link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels.’ (5)
Positive affirmations can be life changing, just a few words in the morning and you and your child can be set up for a positive, meaningful day. Repeating the affirmations at bedtime will help you all go off to sleep feeling confident and strong. When you give your child that last cuddle before sleep try whispering the affirmation in their ear and watch them smile as they remember what a good day they have had. Using affirmations before sleep is a great practice for the whole family.
Everybody in the family should choose an affirmation without fear of judgment or ridicule. It is really important that children have a level of independence in choosing an affirmation. If you decide what it is going to be it will not be as beneficial as when your child does it themselves. By using gratitude and affirmations your child will start to think about their emotions and actions and how they are affecting other people. By introducing these daily thoughts and ideas you are helping your child to be independently sensitive to the needs of others as well as themselves. If your child does not know how to show gratitude they are being unkind to themselves as well as those they may have offended. It has a two way affect when someone is unkind. The unkind child often feels angry about something non-related actions and will feel bad about upsetting another child if they become upset. The upset child feels shunned and has no way of building themselves back up without the help of an adult. If you allow your child to find ways and words to build themselves back up they will have a much better insight into dealing with difficult situations. A child with high self esteem and an understanding of how they fit into the world and what they can do to make themselves happy and contented will have a much better chance of life satisfaction and ability to monitor their own emotions.
Affirmations become instilled into your mind as you repeat them. Its like learning nursery rhymes at a young age, I can still remember the words from them 50 years on and regularly used them with the children that I worked with. A good affirmation can turn your child’s mood around. If someone makes them feel bad about themselves, they can think about their affirmation and disregard the negative feelings as they will know that they are not true. If you child has been affirming that they are enough, happy, and loved and someone tells them that they are useless their affirmations will override what the other person says as it has become part of their psyche. It is never too late to start using positive affirmations. If you or your child have fallen into the habit of saying negative things and having negative thoughts then a daily dose of Thankfulness and Affirmations will soon put things right. Take the time each day to think about what you are going to say to yourself and how you are going to steer your thoughts towards the positive. By writing your goal for the day and your Affirmations you will be off to a good start. You will soon be able to self-regulate and if your child is also focusing on the positives that they have chosen they will mature into confident, self assured and self-regulated adults. Try to get into the habit of praising yourself if you have done something good. For instance your hair may look particularly fetching when you look in the mirror, or, you may have made a particularly tasty cup of tea. No matter how small, try to find at least one thing to praise yourself about each day. Encourage your child to use this habit as a child with a positive mindset will be confident to attempt tasks and problem solve as they have given themselves the self assurance to go for it!
‘Every thought and every word you speak is an affirmation. So why not choose to use only positive affirmations to create an exceptional life? I know you can do it!’ Louise Hay
Tell your child that you are going to start doing some fun affirmations every day to make you all feel happy and stop you from getting down if things try to get to you. Ask them to imagine that they are a little cheerleader in their head (they can describe or draw themselves as a cheerleader) and the cheerleader is going to do whatever they tell them. Say the cheerleader only likes to hear nice things and suggest they say something like ‘I am Loved’ or ‘I am happy’ or ‘I am enough’. Tell your child that you have a cheerleader too and you can also draw your cheerleader to make it more fun. Your child may not be totally confident at using affirmations straight away but if you persevere and show them how much better you are feeling they will join in with the fun! Positive affirmations contribute to growth mindset and help form who your child believes they can be. You are your child's inner dialogue. This means they are going to believe what you have to say about them. If you regularly tell your child that you can see that they are good at something they will grow in confidence. Your child does not have to be good at everything but your noticing that particular ‘something’, it could be painting, singing, dancing, telling stories, making people happy, being kind or whatever your child’s particular talent is, will make them happy and feel warm inside. If you use examples of these times by saying remember when you ‘danced’ and I said how wonderful you were, how did that make you feel? They can then use these instances to make their own affirmation ‘I am amazing at dancing’ or ‘I love being such a kind person’. When you are using the Journal you can share your own affirmations with your child so that they can see that you are confident to talk positively about yourself. Many adults find this difficult as they have not been encouraged to do so when they were growing up.
When you have thought of your affirmations look into a mirror and say them out loud. Have a competition to see who has the biggest smile or who can say it the most times before you have to get on with other things. Make it a game or a song that will stick in their minds all day. Use cards or pieces of paper to write the affirmations on and take yours with you wherever you go and encourage your child to keep theirs with them too.
If your child is not yet reading or writing you can talk about happy words and make a little chant or song together.
If your child does not feel ready to make affirmations you can continue to share your own ones with them each day. Tell them how much better you feel and that you look forward to each new day. If they don’t want to say them out loud it is fine for them to do them in their head. Soon they will see the pleasure in saying them out loud and if you make a fun song or chant or do faces in the mirror together they will come to look forward to them as much as you will.
It is best to repeat affirmations at least 3 times, saying the words louder and with more confidence each time. The more you say affirmations the more effective they are. You can encourage one affirmation a day or one a week, depending on how often your child wants to make up a new one and how confident they feel with the one that they have chosen.