What’s inside this article: Tons 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.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Positive affirmations for kids can be an effective self-regulation strategy to help them persevere through troubling situations.
They also boost self-esteem and help your child develop a positive mental attitude which can ultimately affect their overall perspective on life.
What Are Positive Affirmations?
Positive affirmations are specific phrases that you repeat to yourself to provide yourself with encouragement or motivation.
They’re 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 a pathway gets used, the stronger it becomes.
By using positive affirmations, kids think about themselves in a positive way, even though this may feel unnatural to them.
Over time, it becomes easier to think positively because you’re strengthening the brain’s pathways.
Eventually, using positive affirmations will come naturally.
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. So, 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):
- 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 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 more positively 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.
Why is all of this so important?
Some research indicates that the beliefs we have about ourselves carry into adulthood and are very hard 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.
Here are some examples:
- 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 make my own choices
- Doing my best is enough
- 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
If you love these affirmations, use this image to share them with your friends:
Printables: Posters & Positive Affirmations Activity for Kids
I’ve created a package of 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.
You can also purchase these positive affirmations posters. The poster package includes 12 full-color posters 18″ x 24″ (displayed in the images in this post).Positive Affirmations Posters
Other Positive Affirmation Activities:
- Positivity Journal for Kids – This is a printable journal that contains 30 days of prompts for positive thinking and affirmations, created to help kids develop a positive mindset.
- 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.
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