I Am Possible

“I am fabulous.” “I am awesome.” “I am good at solving problems.” “I can do anything.” “I am strong.” How often do you say this to yourselves? Yes, you may have your good friend telling you this, but do you do this for yourself? If you answer yes, then it is impressive. But if not, please start doing this. 

The statements mentioned earlier are called affirmations. In other words, they mean “the action or process of affirming something.” It means statements reflecting positive energies with a focus and an end goal of achieving something. Affirmations are also linked to emotional wellness; to be an emotionally thriving adult, we must first be emotionally healthy as children. Gentle affirmations are not toxic. They are simple ways to remind ourselves we are going well. We can do it, a subtle way to boost our inner self – a moral boost to our confidence.

Children are the most affected in this competitive world and changing social fabric. Thanks to stress and pressure from adults and external surroundings, children subconsciously become shock absorbers of all negativity and negative emotions. As a result, children end up mimicking their caregiver’s and family members’ behaviours, little knowing how to deal with them. 

For instance, if kids see adults screaming at each other or going into silent mode, there is a high tendency for they will start doing the same. Likewise, if adults suffer from self-esteem and confidence issues and do not know how to cope, how do you think children will learn to manage? Whatever family structure the kids belong to – single parent, nuclear families, co-parenting families, or joint families, all are affected synonymous. 

So, how can we help our children grow in a healthy environment? How do we boost ourselves emotionally and pass on similar positive energy to our children? In other words: how do we self-empower? Adults do so by journaling, writing affirmations, self-care, quality sleep, physical activity, avoiding alcohol and caffeine in the evening, cutting chords with toxic people, etc. The tips mentioned above can be taught to children as well. They can be taught simple ways of expressing themselves and encouraging positivity.   

So, when can children start writing affirmations? Do we have any age/time limits to create positive affirmations? You guessed it right, as early as they began learning to write. 

quick tips for children to write affirmations

1. Request them to think about dreams/beliefs they want to include in their life. You can tell them to say it to themselves aloud. Most importantly, believe in them while saying.

2. Once you know what you want, start writing the messages in complete sentences.

3. Jot statements in the present tense with an active voice – "I am enjoying a stress-free vacation" or "I am building my blueprint the way I want it to be."

4. Use positive words in statements. Avoid using negative tones like expressing doubts in the comments you are writing – "I wish," "Not sure if it will happen," or even future statements like "I will do XYZ" or "I will start believing XYZ."

5. Keep telling them "Never indulge in self-shaming. Be proud of who you are." 

6. If writing differs from what your child likes, try asking them to draw on the mirror with their fingers or even draw anything they want to achieve on a piece of paper. 

7. If writing or drawing also doesn't interest your child, suggest the child orally frame affirmations, sing them aloud daily, and dance to their composed tunes.

8. Have you heard of a money box or a piggy bank? Make one colossal piggy bank of a cardboard box where affirmations (small one-liners) can be written on chits of paper/cardboard and dropped in as and when they write. They will be like currency. Every week, they can open it and re-read whatever they wrote. It can be one affirmation per day.

Children can read these statements daily when they begin their day. Another thing is you can continue to add to this list. Affirmations change with various milestones; hence, the child can be encouraged to form the statements minus grammatical corrections/any editing by an adult. After many years, these very statements will become beautiful memories for a child after turning an adult.

If your children are too young to write, you can write/frame the statements for them. Take their suggestions when you write them. You can use colourful sticky notes (with small messages) pinned on the refrigerator/soft boards/cupboards and all places where they are likely to see them. The more they read them, the more the positivity absorbed by them. As they say, children are akin to a sponge. They will absorb all that they are exposed to. So why not surround them with positive messages? Of course, it doesn’t mean you overprotect them with toxic positivity – avoiding reinforcing unrealistic beliefs. These positive messages must be realistic and achievable. They will keep them grounded and help them develop a healthy emotional relationship with themselves and others.

10 Reasons Why

affirmations are suitable for children

1. Builds self-confidence – As children, these statements mean a lot and help them take up challenges to do things they consider problematic. Since they are framing it themselves, it is an "extra edge" feeling for their self-esteem.

2. Helps handle big emotions – Affirmations can help children label their feelings better and cope with them.

3. Improves focus – Children can create goals for themselves by writing them down. It isn't only enough to list them. Affirmations can be framed so that the child knows they need to achieve the goal at any cost, and the only way is improved concentration.

4. Ability to resolve conflicts – Whenever they have a problem, these affirmations will come of help. They will find new methods to decide issues vis a vis running away from them.

5. Encourages positive self-talkEach time they hear a criticism, they will remember the affirmations, which will trigger inner positive conversations. This will help reaffirm their own beliefs.

6. Energizes the mind during classes – For students, these positive statements or phrases can be recalled at any point of time in the day, especially in school. It will help them re-focus on the subject they are learning, especially if it is difficult to master.

7. Helps in team motivation – Children can use affirmations to boost each other's spirits before beginning their group presentations and even use them effectively during the activity. 

8. Resolves body image issues – In almost every school, children tend to body shame others – some subtly, some directly. Children get badly affected by listening to such conversations. Affirmations help resolve body image issues and restore self-esteem.

9. Setting new challenges – While learning to do a new task or activity, positive phrases are a powerful tool to reinforce confidence to do new things they haven't done earlier.

10.  Self-Esteem matters – As a tool, these statements instill a feeling of accomplishing a task – big or small. That feeling remains for a lifetime. 

Leaving you with my favourite line – “Nothing is Impossible. The word itself says I’m Possible.”

Follow Priya Rajendran

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