Let’s build on mindfulness by showing kids how positive affirmations can help improve their lives. First, help your kids be aware (mindful) of their self-talk. I didn’t figure this out for myself until my thirties (in therapy) so I want my kids to start with this as a core foundation.
I shared previously that we’ve started with mindfulness training using the MindUp curriculum and other resources. Kids need to first be conscious (mindful) of their internal world in order to even know if they can consider changing negative thoughts into positives.
The goal of mindfulness is to become aware of what is happening at the present moment, including an awareness of inner dialogues, sensory perceptions, and intentional with behaviors.
Once kids realize what their self talk is, they can consider affirmations.
Positive Affirmations for Kids
Is this true? Our self talk often is not positive.
I think it’s true.
Although many of us aren’t even aware of what we are telling ourselves. Kids for sure aren’t. But, we all can learn to listen and to change our inner dialogues.
In Louise Hay’s book, I Think, I Am! Teaching Kids the Power of Affirmations, she explains how our thoughts affect us –in kid language: “When you say something over and over, you start to believe it is true; and what you believe creates what you do and what happens to you.”
She writes that you can turn a negative though into a positive affirmation. Each two-page spread illustrates this beautifully. On one page she writes “When waiting around is not what you planned, you may start to have negative thoughts . . . This line is so long. We will never get in to the fair.” On the next page she writes, “Picture the fun you will have and say . . . I MAKE TODAY GREAT!”
Kids really connect with the examples in this picture book. Who hasn’t felt alone, unlovable, jealous, guilty, or apathy — some of the feelings associated with her negative self-talk examples? The author shows how to turn the thoughts around into a positive affirmation.
By the way, I highly recommend reading Byron Katie’s books and trying to do “The Work” with yourself and your kids. It’s so powerful and will be more specifically customized to your situation. I also suggest you consider a practitioner who is trained in The Work to help guide you. It’s well worth the money!
Ask your kids to write down the affirmations they find most meaningful using pieces of Shrinky Dink paper and colorful markers. (I divided up the papers using a pencil line which could later be erased.)
Before you bake the affirmations, punch out holes in the sides. Bake.
Now, you can make your own keychain or bracelet out of your affirmations. Use throughout the day to remind yourself to be aware of your thoughts. Hang on backpacks, belt loops, or use to decorate other jewelry.
Keep working on this with your kids. It isn’t an overnight thing.
When you feel like they’re stuck in negative thinking, ask if they know what the thinking is — and if they would be able to think of something else that is true that is positive.
You can do the same thing. Share how you do this so your kids see the examples!
You are beautiful and loved. It’s true.