If a simple sentence could change the trajectory of your child’s day, would you share it? This is the power of an affirmation, or sequence of words meant to empower.
Mornings can feel frantic, leading us to get impatient, and dropping off our kids with everyone (including moms) feeling less than ready for the day (cue the mom guilt!). But our mental health contributor psychologist Dr. Reon Baird-Feldman says that a single affirmation can spark big changes in your child: “These are statements of intention which can help them to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, help to increase their focus and boost their self-confidence.”
This isn’t just something Dr. Baird-Feldman suggests as a professional, but a method she depends on with her own two daughters, ages 8 and 6.
Reinforcement is key, she adds: “It’s helpful to repeat the mantra throughout an hour, day, or week to engrain the affirmation into their minds.” Interestingly, she says that repetition actually creates new pathways in the brain, a sort of rewiring of one’s thoughts. All of this effort instills a sort of self-love and resilience: “The intention is to help kids know that they are capable of coping with challenges and deserving of good,” says Dr. Baird-Feldman.
Here are Dr. Baird-Feldman’s top 5 favorite mantras she suggests moms use to send their kids to school ready to take on the day:
I am brave.
This is a reminder that kids can try new things. They can be creative and do positive things, even if they are sad or afraid.
Today will be a good day.
Entering a new day with a positive frame of mind typically leads to positive beliefs in oneself.
I will be kind to myself.
Kids benefit from a reminder that they should be kind to themselves, especially if they make a mistake or are feeling angry.
I’ve got this!
Being reminded that they are allowed to be confident often creates confidence, sets positive intentions, and builds goals and dreams.
I can do hard things.
We all benefit from encouragement when faced with a challenge. Identifying something as hard also allows your child to accept it and move past it. Even if success isn’t attained, it’s important that kids know that they can still try things they envision to be hard.
To learn more about Dr. Reon Baird-Feldman, follow her Instagram @reonbairdfeldman