If the philosophy that your children believe everything you say stands, then it’s imperative that we say the right things to them. What I mean by that is making sure they hear positive affirmations that can help them believe in themselves, alleviate their fears, make them braver than they feel and give them courage. Positive affirmations for kids is a tool that can be used to prepare our children to deal with a world that can sometimes be a little scary.
Don’t worry, I’m not suddenly going to pretend to be the mom who doesn’t yell at my kids, or who doesn’t give out kisses for boo-boos that happen even when I told them NOT to do something. Nope, I’m not that mom. But I am the mom who believes that our children are incredibly sensitive to words, words that can be said in frustration or without even realising that they are affecting our kids.
“Stupid is as stupid does.”
The phrase ‘Stupid is as stupid does’ was popularised by Forest Gump. It was his reply to always being called stupid. It means that a person should be judged on their actions, not their looks.
I was quite annoyed recently to be listening to my 7-year-old daughter reading out loud one of her reading books from school. In the book one character told the other not to be “stupid”. I strongly dislike the word stupid. Until recently (thanks to schoolyard friends) my girls believed that stupid was a swear word. It’s one of those words I forbid my kids to use because I don’t believe anyone needs to be told they are stupid. Neither should they think it’s okay to call someone else stupid. It’s a nasty word only used when someone is incapable of coming up with a better more appropriate words to express their frustration or inability to understand a situation.
But, I digress. My point here is that I believe that children believe the things they hear said about them. If you continuously tell a child that they can’t do this or that, then they won’t bother trying to do them.
However, if you tell them they are clever, brave and beautiful, loved beyond measure and important, they will also believe you.
So with that said, here are some of the most powerful positive affirmations for kids to hear. These are the things that we should say to our children all the time, in an effort to make them believe how wonderful they truly are:
1. You is smart, you is kind, you is important!
Yes, this is another quote from a movie. The movie “The Help,” and okay, maybe this isn’t the queen’s English but I believe that this is one of the most powerful moments and speeches I have ever heard in a movie. It’s not just an affirmation for the child in the movie, but Abileen saying this to Miss Mae is also her telling herself these words too.
This is definitely something we should all be telling ourselves as well as our children because it’s just as relevant in either situation.
2. You are brave, I know you can do it.
This positive affirmation for a child is one that can be used to help them overcome any insecurities they might be struggling with. There’s a moment in Grey’s Anatomy where the Doctors assume the superman pose as they prepare for extremely complex surgery. The idea is that if they convince themselves that they are superhero’s then they will be brave enough to tackle a task that even they are scared to do. Kids need their parents to believe in them and to help them convince themselves that they CAN do the things that scare them the most.
3. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
I don’t want my children to think they have to struggle with something on their own. I want them to know that they can ask for help. Pride is something that stops people from asking for help, and this idea that we should just know something can cause massive insecurities to develop. Whilst it’s essential to encourage our children to try things first, we should equally encourage them to be comfortable asking for help.
As the parent of a teen (albeit a step-mum), I’ve seen how not wanting to appear ‘stupid’ there’s that word again, becomes a massive hurdle/barrier to achieving what you want to in life. Asking for help shouldn’t be something you are ashamed of. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
4. Saying sorry means you want to do better, it shows you care.
Saying sorry shouldn’t be a punishment for a child. I’m 100% guilty of this one, of forcing one child to apologise to the other for something that I deemed a crime against the other. But was I really there? Did I really see the build up to the situation? No. I wasn’t. We should teach them why it’s important to say sorry, not just by making them do it, but by also saying sorry when the situation warrants it, genuinely.
An empty or forced apology is worthless. Saying sorry to someone you’ve wronged means you acknowledge what you did wrong and you want to make amends and be better.
5. If at first, you don’t succeed, try again.
We live in a world where a lot of things in life come easier than even before. It makes having to work hard for things you want, even harder because it’s not as necessary. My eldest is quite good at a lot of things, she’s a quick learner, good at swimming and various sports. She is NOT good at Uno or mini-golf! After a couple of tries we have decided not to go to min-golf/put-put again. She could not understand that it’s a game of skill, and you can’t just whack the ball like you do in hockey. You actually have to have patience, and keep on trying, keep on practicing in order to be good. Yes, I’m good (better than even my husband – not that he will even read this I’m sure), I’m also 30 years older than she is and so I should be better than her.
The point here is that she needs to learn to practice and to work for what she wants. You can’t just be the fastest swimmer, you actually have to go for training. And maybe if you didn’t get a pen-license the first time round, but you are more careful and practice your hand writing skills you’ll get it on the second round and it might even mean more to you. If at first you don’t succeed, try again – a life lesson we all have to learn but another positive affirmation for kids that can help them through difficult situations.
6. It is enough to always do your best.
With that said, it is enough to always do your best. I want my kids to know that I am proud of them, as long as they always do their best. They may not be the fastest swimmer or the best at maths. They might not have a gymnasts flexibility or be the next child genius, but if they always do their best and put in the effort, that’s good enough for me. If there’s one from this list, this positive affirmation for kids to hear it one of the most important for me.
7. Be Kind Always
This one is fairly simple and self explanatory. My girls have learnt a few harsh lessons in life. It’s not easy moving schools, moving country’s, leaving the familiar and entering the unknown. I’m extremely proud of them for all that they have achieved. At the start of every new school term, after their first day back, I always ask them if there are any new kids in their class. I then remind them of how scary their first day at their new school was and how it costs nothing to be kind and to go talk to the new kids because they know just what that person is feeling.
Kindness is more than just being welcoming to strangers though. The very basis of kindness is to just be nice, be understanding, empathetic and non-judgemental. Kind is a small word with a huge impact. I do believe that the #KindnessMatters movement is one of the most important and potentially impactful movements that will hopefully have long-lasting repercussions on the future of society. Be Kind Always.
There you have it, those of my top 7 positive affirmations for kids to hear. What are some of your favourites? Please let me know in the comments below?