Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your kids can start the practice of positive self-affirmation?
Children these days are pretty smart and are taught to think more critically – to question everything. So while we know that positive affirmations really work, it might take a little more than the “because I say so” tack to get them to try embracing the practice of self-affirmation.
So how can you get your kids on board?
Practice positive self-affirmations regularly
Living by example is always the way to go if you want your kids to learn anything. If you want your kids to even consider trying positive self-affirmations, let alone believe that it works, you need to do it first so that they can see the result for themselves. You don’t need to talk loudly to yourself and utter your affirmations every time they walk by, which would only serve to annoy anyone, but manifesting being a good guide to your kids through self-affirmation will lead you to success in this area as well.
Once you are confident that self-affirmations work because you have your own experience to prove it, you can take the next step by introducing the concept to your kids.
Open the floor for conversation
Instead of just telling your kids that you think that positive affirmations will help them and that you are commanding them to practice self-affirmation daily henceforth, present the idea to them and be ready to have a conversation about it.
Presenting the idea to kids can take many forms, depending on the age of your kids, their interests, your family lifestyle, and dynamics.
Some things you can do include:
- snuggling up with your child and showing them a short self-affirmation video that is age appropriate or addresses an issue they are experiencing right now,
- sitting them down and bringing up the topic to them outright, explaining what it is and then ASKING if they’d be willing to try it,
- talking about self-affirmation and how it has helped you or how you have seen it help others over dinner without asking them to join you in practice, and
- waiting for a time when they open up to you about an issue they are having and offering up self-affirmation as a tool that can help them in the long run.
Be very careful with the last one though, because really listening to your child when they need you is more important than using it as an opportunity to get them to do self-affirmation. Wait until they are done unburdening themselves and ONLY if they ask you for help or advice and self-affirmation is truly relevant to the situation.
Whatever tack you take, always remember that it needs to be a CONVERSATION, which means that it is a two-way street. Invite them to ask questions or air their concerns. Listen to them. Validate their feelings about affirmations, whether positive or negative. Be ready to answer their questions honestly. And most important, accept whatever their decision is at the moment. If they are not ready to take on the practice of positive self-affirmations, do not push them. Instead, be the one to AFFIRM THEM. Your affirmation as a parent is just as important in their journey.
Show them the science.
One question your kids may ask is how you know positive self-affirmation works. And while being able to share your experience and how it has helped you is important, telling the kids that it is backed by science can seal the deal.
Did you know that there are many scientific studies backing the effectiveness of positive affirmations in improving various aspects of our lives, such as relationships, health, and education?
In fact, a study by Cohen and Sherman not only supports the efficacy of self-affirmations, but also reveals that the benefits can last for months and even years. Even more cool perhaps, is that neuroscientists have even mapped out key pathways in our neural processes that are associated with successful self-affirmation.
Your kids may love you, but just like they would trust their teacher over their parent when it comes to solving math problems, they know that scientists are the authority when it comes to facts. You don’t need to read scientific journals and articles to your kids, but just telling them that positive self-affirmations are backed by science, and you knowing where to point if they ask for proof, is more than enough.
If your kids are older, it would be better if you encourage them to do their own research. This will not only solidify their belief that self-affirmation truly does work but will also teach them valuable research skills and show them that you trust them to figure things out by themselves.
Help them get started
If your child seems open to the idea of practicing positive self-affirmations, then equip them to help ensure that they stick to the practice. You can start by looking up positive affirmation videos that are appropriate for your child’s needs. You can find everything from this 1-minute morning affirmation that is suitable for younger kids to affirmations for success in exams geared towards students. If you and your child prefer not to use gadgets for the practice, you can help them pick out from this list of positive affirmations for kids, write them down and display it in a convenient place for their daily affirmations recitation.
Last, show them how to do it. Do a practice session or two with them if they are comfortable with it. With younger kids, they might even want or need you to do their daily sessions with them, which can turn into a powerful bonding experience.