Curious about affirmations for kids? Keep reading to learn the top 6 affirmations for kids and how they can benefit from them.
Have you ever faced a challenging conversation or a perplexing task and told yourself, “I can do this!” That simple phrase might not solve the problem, but that type of positive language could give you a little boost of confidence. It could remind you of something you already know to be true—that you’re capable of doing hard things.
As simple as it sounds, that’s an example of a positive affirmation—one that may have come from your inner beliefs about yourself. Why are affirmations important? Affirmations are specific simple phrases made with the intent of encouraging positive beliefs and perspectives, and they’re equally important for children as they are for adults.1
So, what positive affirmations can you teach your children to help instill confidence, create a foundation of positive core beliefs, and develop an inner voice of self-esteem? We’ll dive into a few of our favorite affirmations, why we love them, and why they work.
#1 I Can Say What I Feel
For some children, speaking up comes naturally. For others, it might be a little more difficult to express their feelings, ask for what they need, and develop their own boundaries.
The affirmation, I can say what I feel, can help remind children that they can speak up about their feelings, even when it seems difficult.
Every child should feel empowered to speak up and express their feelings. Helping your little one understand this concept early on can help them better express their emotions as they grow up.2 It can also help them feel capable of speaking out if they’re uncomfortable, or if they are in a situation where they feel intimidated or disregarded by someone else.3
When a child understands the power they have over their own feelings, they can make healthy choices and become a skillful communicator as they grow older. This will be even more important for developing healthy boundaries and self-efficacy as your young child becomes an adult.
#2 The World is Better Because I Am Here
Self-esteem is a critical part of how children understand their own worth—even if they may be a little kid in a very big world. The powerful affirmation, the world is better because I am here, can help to support your child’s core beliefs about their importance in the world, in their community, and in your family.
Research suggests that affirmations can help build positive feelings of self-esteem through the application of the self-affirmation theory.4 This theory proposes we can help boost belief in ourselves through the development of three components:
In short, when we engage in consistent positive self-talk, we eventually come to believe it as the truth about who we are. Thus, consistently repeating the affirmation, the world is better because I am here, can reinforce the narrative that you are a person who has value and who can positively impact others.
#3 All My Feelings Are Welcome
Even young children can be susceptible to stress, anxiety, and feelings of unease.5 These feelings are a normal part of life, but sometimes it can help to have a little support when dealing with them.
By using the statement all my feelings are welcome, you can demonstrate to your child that negative feelings are nothing to be ashamed of. Instead of hiding bad feelings, you can talk about what they mean and what to do when you feel them.
Coping with emotions is a key skill that develops with practice. By showing kids that it’s okay to feel sad, disappointed, regretful, or overwhelmed, you can encourage them to practice healthy emotional coping when things aren’t going their way.
#4 I Can Try New Things
We all need a little push sometimes, especially when we’re faced with a challenge or something new. As adults, we can support our self-belief with past experiences. But kids lack the life experience to know that they can try new things and still be okay, even if the task seems daunting or difficult. They may also be afraid to make mistakes.
The affirmation I can try new things might help your little one face new situations, such as:6
- Meeting new friends at school or a playgroup
- Learning a new instrument, sport, or subject at school
- Facing scary situations such as a doctor’s appointment or asking for help
- Trying new foods, activities, or skills
- Interacting with unfamiliar environments, people, or animals
Acknowledging that something is difficult, scary, new, or stressful can help your child accept that reality and move past it. When they see that they’re capable of achieving something they’ve never tried before, your little one can benefit from a significant confidence boost.
#5 I Am Loved Even When I Feel Mad
Whether your little one is struggling to get along with a sibling, dealing with conflict, or feeling upset when things don’t happen exactly as they wanted, coping with feelings of anger is an important skill to learn.7
The affirmation, I am loved even when I feel mad can help to reinforce the idea that being angry doesn’t make us bad people or unworthy of love—but that we can use our feelings and words to find connection instead.
Understanding that they don’t need to hide from big feelings like anger can help kids set healthy boundaries and speak up when they need to. Knowing they are loved even when conflict springs up can also encourage them to communicate about those feelings and build even better relationships by talking about them.
#6 I Can Dream and Make It
Reminders that you can make a difference, be creative, and accomplish your dreams are an important component of hope and belief in a better future.
Another powerful affirmation, I can dream and make it, can help encourage children to embrace their creativity and believe in their ability to do positive things for themselves and the world.
One way you can further support this affirmation is to talk about how your child can accomplish their dreams. This may include:
- Talking about steps they can take to reach their goals
- Imagining what it might feel like to have their dream come true
- Learning about people who have accomplished the same dreams
Actionable affirmations are among the most powerful because your child can see the results and believe in the possibility of their goals.8 When we take a statement and turn it into an action, we demonstrate that the statement isn’t just empty rhetoric.
What Makes an Affirmation Beneficial?
While many different kinds of affirmations can be beneficial for kids, you don’t necessarily need to use every one on this list—and not every affirmation will have the same meaning for every child. Affirmations for kids are most effective when they are meaningful and relevant to a young child’s life.2
When teaching affirmations to your children, use these criteria to help them feel more confident as they practice:1
- Use ‘I’ statements – The first step to crafting a positive affirmation is to make it about you—or in this case, your child. Affirmations like “I can try new things” work because they help us rethink our self-perception. They can help give us power over what happens in our lives. By using an ‘I’ statement, you’re showing your child that they are in control.
- Make the statement present tense – The next component to a successful affirmation is to write or say it in the present tense. We can only control what happens in the moment, not the future or past. Making a statement about the present can help eliminate dwelling on things that your little one cannot control and shifts their attention to what they can do, e.g. “I can dream and make it.”
- Be realistic – Affirmations also work best when they’re realistic. The goal isn’t to simply tell your child that they’re perfect and won’t have to face any difficulties in life. Instead, affirmations are intended to help your child understand that they are capable of coping with the challenges they do face. Furthermore, self-esteem affirmations can give your little one the positive thoughts and confidence they need to overcome challenges, rather than avoid them.
- Use statements your child can understand – Finally, you should use age-appropriate affirmations for your child. You can simplify affirmations for younger children, or use more detailed ones for older kids. Use terminology and concepts that they can easily grasp and visualize for themselves.
How Can You Teach Your Child Affirmations?
Teaching children affirmations doesn’t have to be difficult—especially if you keep the affirmations as simple as possible. Consider learning more about affirmation cards for kids and why they're important. You can also help your little one develop a practice of daily self-affirmations by:2
- Saying the affirmations out loud together
- Having older children keep an affirmation journal
- Letting your child write or draw about the meaning of their affirmations
- Setting aside a few minutes each day to practice their affirmations
Another excellent way to help your child understand the meaning of positive affirmations is to use stories and examples. For example, for the affirmation I can try new things, you could read a story or talk about an example where someone tried something new. When your child sees how someone else uses this positive statement to do something new, they might feel more confident about trying it themselves.
Whichever method you choose, remember to have fun with it. You want your daily affirmations to be a positive experience that help boost your child’s confidence and emotional well-being.
Grow Healthy, Confident Kids with Slumberkins
Sharing positive affirmations with your little one can have some pretty significant benefits to their social-emotional well-being. By encouraging them to build positive beliefs about themselves, their abilities, and their worth, you can help set them up with long-lasting confidence.
If you need a little support in encouraging a positive self image for your child, look no further. At Slumberkins, we’re dedicated to providing tools for parents and caregivers to help their children develop positive social-emotional skills.
Our products include books on self-acceptance, affirmations, and adorable creature characters and snugglers that your kids will adore. Check out our site today to learn more about how Slumberkins can help your kids grow.
Moore, Catherine. "Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind It?" Positive Psychology. 4 March, 2019. https://positivepsychology.com/daily-affirmations/
Rohm Nulsen, Charise. "10 Positive Affirmations for Kids + How to Use Them." Family Education. Updated 23 April, 2022. https://www.familyeducation.com/kids/positive-affirmations-for-kids
Jacobson, Rae. "Teaching Kids About Boundaries." Child Mind Institute. https://childmind.org/article/teaching-kids-boundaries-empathy/
- Cascio, Christopher N et al. “Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation.” Social cognitive and affective neuroscience vol. 11,4 (2016): 621-9. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv136
- Hellige, Liza et al. "Mindfulness for
School-Age Children." UI Extension. https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W1038.pdf
Loos, Katie. "How Affirmations Can Support Your Child's Learning." US News. 30 June, 2021. https://www.usnews.com/education/k12/articles/affirmations-for-kids-how-parents-can-support-their-childs-learning
Garey, Jullian. "Teaching Kids How to Deal With Conflict." Childs Mind Institute. https://childmind.org/article/teaching-kids-how-to-deal-with-conflict/
- Boynton, Emily. "How to Practice Positive Affirmations — and Why They Work." Right as Rain. 15 September, 2021. https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/mind/well-being/positive-affirmations