Using affirmations with children

Oct 04, 2021

What are affirmations?

Affirmations can help young children feel confident and cultivate a positive self-image and are a powerful way of reducing anxiety levels.  An affirmation like “I can do anything” just might help your tot keep their cool when they're, say, struggling to dress themselves, using kind hands or having a hard time waiting their turn.

Saying affirmations is a way to practice positive thinking. It usually calls for repeating positive declarations about yourself or your experience.

The idea is to start getting yourself in a mindset where you can catch negative thoughts happening and meet them with positive ones. Eventually, you'll start to believe more of the good things you say about yourself and embody them in real-time.

We want to be able to equip children from a young age with the tools they need to lead a calmer life. I believe that teaching self love and positivity is just as important (if not more!) as teaching Math. 

Explaining these to children

Begin by talking to your children about the different thoughts and feelings they have. Although there is no wrong or right way to feel, some of our feelings make us feel better than others. You might want to have a think about the types of ways you could talk to a friend to help them feel good about something. These same messages are what we want to be telling to our own brains too! 

Children will start to believe what they repeat. 

What are some examples of affirmations I can use with the children?

 I am a good friend

I am kind

I believe in myself

My mistakes help me learn

I am important

I respect others

I can make good decisions

I am special

I listen to my feelings

I can face my fears

I am calm

I am happy

I am strong

I am loved

Affirmations in practice with children

  • Begin by using a deck of affirmation cards and focusing on one each day/ week. Affirmations are a great way to start your morning routine! Share these on the self registration board for both children and their families to see and use too. 
  • Drawing around each child's outline ask everyone about what's special about that person. Then adding the affirmations that they choose around the outline of the child.
  • Give each child their own acetate mirror and write the affirmation they have choosen on the mirror using a wipeable pen. When they look in the mirror they see themselves and say their affirmation it will help them feel confident and empowered.
  • Turn your favourite affirmations into songs! Singing all makes us feel better and lifts our mood so make up your own tune. 
  • Share some books with the children showing examples of people that believed in themselves and made a huge difference. I particularly like the series of books Little People, Big Dreams. After reading a book with the children talk about the affirmations the characters in the book might have used to help them. 
  • Print out my affirmation cards and create an affirmation in your setting by pinning these up onto a cork board. You could even send a copy of these home with parents and share ways in which these can be used together. 


Last thoughts...

Creating a positive mindset in your setting always begins with the educator. The way you think, feel and behave is contagious to those around you. Thats why in the Hygge in the Early Years Accreditation we always begin the training by working on YOU for the first module. It's called Re-Balance you and gives you all the strategies you need to feel less stressed, calmer and lead your life with more joy. As when you feel good, those around you experience it too.  


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