What’s inside this article: A huge list of positive affirmations for kids, the benefits of using them, and ideas for when and how to use them in daily activities, and a printable worksheet to help children choose their own positive affirmations.
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Positive affirmations for kids can be an effective self-regulation strategy to help them persevere through troubling or stressful situations.
Research shows that positive affirmations also boost self-esteem and help your child develop a positive mental attitude, helping them develop a growth mindset and a positive outlook on life.
Using positive affirmations can also help your child overcome negative thinking patterns.
What Are Positive Affirmations?
Positive affirmations are specific, simple statements that you repeat to yourself (often) to provide yourself with encouragement or motivation.
They’re usually spoken in the present tense, directed toward yourself, and use positive words. For example: “I can…” or “I am…”
How do they work?
If you, or your child, are using positive affirmations, even if you don’t believe the statement you’re saying is true – it can still help you overcome negative thoughts.
So how do positive affirmations work? More or less, the same way positive reinforcement works.
When you have low expectations for yourself, you tend to sink down and meet those low expectations. However, when you think positively and believe in yourself, you’re more likely to succeed.
Neural Pathways – The Psychology Behind Positive Affirmations
When we do things a specific way, the brain forms pathways.
The more we do something, the more often the brain uses that pathway. And, the more often a pathway is used, the stronger it becomes.
Think of it like forging a path through the forest. If you take the same route over and over again, a worn-down path develops that’s easy to follow.
The same is the case for our brains.
The more worn-down and visible a neural pathway is, the easier and more likely it is that our thoughts and behaviors will follow that pathway.
By using positive affirmations, kids think about themselves in a positive way, even though this may feel unnatural to them, at first.
But, over time, positive thinking becomes easier and more natural, because that pathway is becoming stronger. It helps your child develop a positive mindset and self-image.
Eventually, using positive affirmations will come naturally.
How Often Should You Use Positive Affirmations?
There are no rules about the frequency of positive affirmations. However, most psychologists recommend repeating affirmations 5 times daily or writing them down 5 times daily.
Positive affirmations are more effective when they’re used often.
How Should Kids Use Positive Affirmations?
If you’re new to using positive affirmations with your kids, you’ll want to begin by exposing them to these affirmations repetitively.
The goal is that, eventually, these positive phrases come naturally to your child and they use them without even really thinking about it.
There are many ways you can do this (and printables included at the end of the post), here are a few ideas for how to use positive affirmations:
- Print posters and hang them on your walls or fridge
- Write a daily positive affirmation on the chalkboard or whiteboard
- Coloring pages that include positive affirmations
- Repeat the phrases out loud together
- Encourage your child to repeat the phrases 5-10 times to themselves in the mirror
- Write the positive affirmations on their mirror with a dry erase marker
- Write down affirmations on popsicle sticks or cards and keep them in a jar, pull one each day and read it aloud.
- Complete activities together that encourage your child to think about positive affirmations for them to use in different situations
- Keep a daily positivity journal
Benefits of Using Positive Affirmations for Kids
For so many children (and adults, too!) positive self-talk doesn’t come naturally. Many of us have a lot of negative thoughts about ourselves and our capabilities.
Using positive affirmations trains the brain to think positively and reduces negative thinking and self-criticism, and this comes with many benefits for kids.
- Builds a positive self-image
- Helps children cope with strong feelings like sadness, fear, or overwhelm
- cultivates a growth mindset
- Reinforces that mistakes are ok and we learn to overcome challenges
- Builds confidence in children
- Helps kids cope with stress
- Improves overall attitude
- Motivates children
- Pushes children to take chances even when they’re afraid of failure.
- Helps children recognize their strengths
- Helps children with rejection sensitive dysphoria overcome fear of rejection and/or cope with feelings of rejection
Why is all of this so important?
Some research indicates that the beliefs we have about ourselves children carry into adulthood and are more difficult to change as we get older.
Negative thought patterns and self-talk in childhood can limit us even as adults.
These therapy games for kids include an activity where you must match the positive self-talk to the negative self-talk card and is a great way to help kids practice changing the way they think about situations.
Positive Affirmations for Kids
There is an endless amount of positive affirmations out there.
So, it’s important to find a few that really resonate with your kids that you can focus on using consistently.
Usually, affirmations target a specific belief or behavior you’re struggling with.
List of Positive Affirmations for Kids:
- I am extraordinary
- I forgive myself for my mistakes
- Today, I am grateful
- I am perfect just the way I am
- Today is a fresh start
- I have people who love me
- It’s okay to not know everything
- I choose to think positive
- I deserve happiness
- I’m going to make today count
- I am capable
- I can make a difference
- My life is beautiful
- I believe in myself and my abilities
- I am important
- Being true to myself is what matters
- I decide my own attitude
- My choices are my own
- It’s okay to make mistakes
- I am brave
- I can and I will
- Bad emotions will pass
- I am going to get through this
- I can make good choices
- Doing my best is enough
- I make my own choices
- I am enough
- I can be anything I want to be
- Today is the perfect day to be happy
- I am a good person
- I am creative
- It’s okay to be scared
- Mistakes are how I grow
- I get better every single day
- I can be a leader
- Happy thoughts create happy feelings
- I will be okay
- I can handle this
- Today will be a good day
- I am valuable
- I can totally do this
- There is always a reason to smile
- I am a hard worker
Printables: Posters & Positive Affirmations Activity for Kids
I’ve created a set of free printables that you can use to begin introducing positive affirmations to your child at home or in school.
The printable package includes:
- A list of all the positive affirmations listed in this blog post. You can read them aloud, hang them up, chose a couple to focus on, and use them for the activity sheet.
- A positive affirmation activity sheet. This sheet helps kids start thinking about which types of affirmations they can use in different situations that they may find difficult.
- A coloring page with the affirmation “I Am Extraordinary”
Printable Positive Affirmations for Kids
You can also purchase these printable positive affirmations posters. The poster package includes 12 full-color posters 18″ x 24″ (displayed in the images throughout this post). *These are digital images you can print *
*Note: These posters are included in the understanding and coping with feelings mega bundle as well at a discounted price.Positive Affirmations Posters
Other Positive Affirmation Activities:
- Lunch Box Notes – These printable lunch box notes contain positive affirmations for you to pack away in your child’s lunch. That way, they’ll be reminded of how amazing they are while they’re at school.
- The Positive Path from Your Therapy Source – This activity combines positive affirmations with proprioceptive input. Proprioceptive input prepares the brain for learning and positive affirmations help children get into the right mindset!
- Coloring Sheets with Positive Quotes – All of these coloring pages have positive quotes on them for kids and a handful of them are the same positive affirmations listed for kids here, such as “I am enough”, “Mistakes help me grow”, “I believe in myself”
- Growth Mindset Activities from Big Life Journal – Big Life Journal creates engaging resources that help kids develop resilience and a growth mindset so they can face life’s challenges with confidence.