Thank you so much to Savannah for this great guest post on a favorite topic of mine: using positive affirmations with child. Make sure to follow her and leave a comment below!
Our thoughts become our words become our actions create our lives.
We can do, have or be anything that we desire in this world of opportunies but first we must first believe that it’s possible. For nothing will be accomplished or overcome until we know we are capable.
More about me
Our society is riddled with low self esteem and confidence. An epidemic of depression and anxiety spands across our culture. So few of us know our magnificent worth. Especially to the extent of its truth. I was one of these people for most of my life.
I didn’t speak for 23 years due to social anxiety and rock bottom self image. I was terrified of every encounter I had to the point of shaking and faintness. Spending my life hiding in the backs of rooms and shadows, praying no one looked in my direction.
I was bullied throughout my childhood and never remember anyone ever once telling me I was pretty, smart or in any way good enough. I was left to navigate the world and myself on my own as so many of us are.
As per our culture, emotions and feelings have routinely been pushed down and silenced. We’ve been told to “Suck it up” but never how to change the belief or that it was false. Never taught how to grow from it or navigate through it so in it we would soak.
I didn’t want to repeat this pattern with my children. Instead, I wanted them to be a stranger to self doubt. I wanted self love to be their natural default so strong that being incapable of anything never once appeared as an option to them.
Just maybe, I could teach them of their worth early on so that they never had to learn it or swim through the sea of worthlessness and depression the way I did. Those waters are deep and dark.
Using positive affirmations with children
So as soon as my children became old enough to converse and understand simple concepts, I started playing a simple affirmation game with them to build their self worth and confidence. They picked it up rather quickly, albeit not instantly, and now ask to play the “I am” game.
We usually start by going for a walk outside. Getting outside gives us a chance to connect to one another and nature away from the distractions of technology. It also helps them to burn some energy which can make life a lot more peaceful for me. I’ll start the game by asking “What am I?!” to which the boys, ages 5 and 4, will reply with affirmations like “I am strong!” or “I am brave!”
They’re boisterous about it now which feels good to my soul to watch. Especially since they didn’t start out that way at all. When I first introduced the game, they were sheepish and quiet. They didn’t participate without coercion and would only repeat affirmations that I stated after I insisted that they do.
Keep it simple
I would usually frame them around whatever I had noticed that they needed that day. If they were being whiny I would center the affirmations around bravery, strength, independence and the like. If they were fighting a lot that day I would center them around kindness, compassion and love for one another. Maybe even adding some gratitude in there like “I am thankful I have someone to play with.” or “I am thankful I have so many toys.”
In the beginning, I told them: “I’m going to start a sentence and you’re going to finish it. I am….” and they wouldn’t answer. “What am I?” I would ask and they would just look at me, then to each other and then back to me with a shy grin, their heads down and shrug.
So I would finish the sentence “I am BRAVE!” I would exclaim. “Can you say that? I am brave!”
“But I’m not brave.” They would tell me. At which point I would stop, get down to their level and explain to them how we are what we want to be. If we want to be brave than we can be. All we have to do is choose to be.
That it’s ok to be afraid.
That everyone is afraid of something but being brave means we act anyway. We don’t let the fear control us because we’re stronger than it. It’s just a feeling and it has no real power.
Of course we had to repeat this lesson a couple of times before they started believing it. In the beginning, we had to talk through a lot of them.
The benefits of affirmations
Practicing this game will really give you insight into their little minds and how they perceive the world. Best to correct those things now before they’ve impacted their lives. The older we become, the harder it is to uproot such harmful belief systems towards self and the world.
Now, though, they no longer need coercion into saying the affirmations. Now we start the game in one of 2 ways. Either I’ll randomly yell “What am I!?” to which they’ll reply with immediately and joyfully: “I am brave! I am strong! I am kind!” Etc.
Or, they’ll ask, “Can we play the ‘I am’ game?” and when I nod or say “Of course” they’ll immediately begin spouting them off without any extra input from me. I usually press them with “What else am I!?” and they’ll either find another or say “I dunno” to which I’ll come up with something.
The whole thing is a very simple concept and I’ve noticed beautiful differences in them since we’ve started playing. They are becoming the embodiment of their affirmations. I’m watching them grow more confident, kinder, more compassionate and of course, braver.
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Children need our direction and encouragement. It’s our responsibility as the adults and caregivers to teach them how to be self sufficient and that means showing them how to master their minds and control their thoughts and emotions.
There is no greater skill than mastery of oneself and nothing in this life can be accomplished without self love, confidence and belief in oneself.
Savannah Shea Blake is a Birth Doula, Life Coach and Writer at EarthandWater.co. She helps women unleash their inner warrior goddesses through self love and self care so that they can conquer the battles of life and feel more supported in their ventures.
I write more about positive affirmations here: Positive thinking
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