The power of affirmation

We live in an age where most children (and adults, of course) are constantly wired to a screen. Conversations have long been forgotten in some households, and exchanges only happen when needed. Parents might get too busy to realise how their children might struggle to cope with some situations. The repercussions of this could be decreased self-confidence in the child. Have you ever thought that just with a little positive affirmation, you could possibly change the way your child thinks and feels? It’s possible. After all, children learn a lot from their parents, even as infants. 

Positive affirmations are positive assessments of one’s qualities. When used around children, it can make them feel empowered and capable, instilling confidence at a very young age. Here’s the thing, children, much like adults, also develop a sense of self-esteem when they’re being loved and appreciated. Whether it's for cleaning up after themselves or helping out with simple chores, a little gratitude can go a long way. 

Like parent, like child…..

Even parents unconsciously tend to use negative affirmations which reflect on their children. “I’ve done such a terrible job of it” or “I look hideous in this outfit”. Remember, your child is listening. And before you realise it, he or she is repeating the same words. Sometimes, a parent might use these negative affirmations on their children in a fit of anger - “you can never do anything right”. When kids are constantly listening to negative talk, these affirmations get deep rooted within them, bruising their self-confidence at a tender age. 

Instead, when parents use positive affirmations on themselves and their children, these affirmations stimulate their minds and affect their behaviour. “Yes, you can do it” or “you’ve helped out so much today, thank you” creates a positive thinking pattern in children and makes them less anxious in unfamiliar situations. Essentially, new neural pathways are created and reinforced in the brain when the child keeps repeating these words. 

Establishing healthy parent-child communication is the key. For starters, parents must learn to cope with their own stresses, which will make them react to their children positively rather than displaying feelings of anxiety or anger.

Teach your children to respond to limiting remarks with a positive one. For instance, “I can’t do this” can be rephrased to “I am capable of doing difficult things”. Another way to reinforce this is to have affirmations boards and posters around their space. Sit down with your children and make them yourselves - it’s a good bonding activity!

Positive affirmation and academic achievement 

If you think daily mantras don’t make much of a difference in academics, you may be wrong. These daily mantras teach children to have a positive mindset all throughout the school day and can boost their academic achievements. A child who is constantly made to believe that he or she is capable is more likely to work on a test with a positive attitude and put in all their effort. 

David Creswell, author and psychology professor, conducted research that reported that people who are under pressure can boost their problem-solving abilities by using positive affirmations. This lessens the negative impacts of stress. These positive affirmations allow students to use that pressure in more constructive ways.

Some daily affirmations you can teach your children:

  • It’s okay to make mistakes.
  • I am happy. 
  • I treat others the way I like to be treated.
  • I believe in myself.
  • I did my best.
  • Today is a beautiful day.
  • I can ask for support when I need it.
  • I am enough.
  • I am safe and cared for.
  • My challenges help me grow.

Affirmations can pack a powerful punch! The dialogues that children hear around them are the ones they repeat in their heads even as adults. All you have to do is simply change that voice inside their head by changing the conversations you have with them. Break the cycle! Let’s teach our children to be more confident, grateful and positive!

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