How to Use Positive Affirmations for Kids for Better Wellbeing (2024)

You may not think that daily mantras can make much of a difference but using positive affirmations for children can be life-changing!

By using daily positive affirmations for kids you can help to develop a growth mindset and improve their attitude. Positive thinking quotes are a powerful social-emotional learning tool that can have a profound impact on mental health and wellbeing.

As important as it is for parents to encourage, love and support their children, it is just as important that children learn to create happy emotions within themselves by having a positive outlook. It is very empowering for a child to create feelings of self-worth through positive thinking, so it is much harder for people to tear them down.

As our children learn behaviors and wire their brain, daily positive affirmations are very effective in nurturing emotional wellbeing in childhood. Affirming positive messages are like acts of kindness and love towards themselves that build self-esteem and self-belief which will stay with them throughout their life.


We all develop our belief systems about ourselves and the world around us from our environment. Our family and friends, role models, television, magazines, and advertising can either be nurturing or damaging. It is essential that we learn to take control of our beliefs and the younger that we learn, the easier it is. It can be as simple as affirming the positive outlook and beliefs that we would like to grow up with. Negative beliefs can impact our lives greatly and can be hard to shift as we grow older.

Affirmations are a powerful and holistic way of building a positive mind and happy children. Nurturing their authentic self and helping them to enjoy the magic of childhood.

Table of Contents

What are Positive Affirmations?

How Do Affirmations Work?

The Science Behind Affirmations

What We Think About Ourselves is How We Develop

Why are Positive Affirmations for Children Important?

FREE Kindness Affirmations Coloring Pages to Download

How to Explain Affirmations to a Child

How to Teach Positive Affirmations to Children

Introducing Positive Self-Talk

Examples of Empowering Affirmations for Children

Repeating Affirmations

Helpful Tips

Young Children

What are Positive Affirmations?

Affirmations are positive phrases or statements that you say to yourself to challenge unhelpful or negative thoughts. You may choose to use them to motivate yourself, encourage positive changes or boost your self-esteem. If you often find yourself getting caught up in negative self-talk, affirming phrases can be used to assist you. You can train your brain to think in a more positive and beneficial way to promote wellbeing.

Put simply, anaffirmation is to affirm to oneself. Positive words that are absorbed by the mind to create your belief system.

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SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

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How Do Affirmations Work?

Once affirmations are learned, they work by coming to mind when a belief is challenged.

If you tell yourself"I am wonderful just the way I am", but you are told you are stupid, the affirmation will be recalled to remind you of your belief. Instead, you will think, "I’m not stupid, I am wonderful!”

Without a positive belief, you may take on the one you just heard and start to believe that you are stupid. The more you repeat positive or negative phrases, the stronger it becomes.

It is important that we learn to take control of our belief systems and the younger that we learn, the easier it is. It can be as simple as affirming the positive beliefs that we would like to grow up with. Negative beliefs can impact our lives greatly and can be hard to shift as we grow older.

Affirmations are a powerful and holistic way of building apositive mind and happier children. Nurturing their authentic self and helping them to enjoy the magic of childhood.

The Science Behind Affirmations

One of the key psychological theories is ‘self-affirmations theory’ (Steele 1988). There are studies that show that we can maintain our self-esteem and integrity by telling ourselves – affirming, positive thoughts. The development of this theory has led to neuroscientific research, aimed at seeing changes in the brain when we say affirmations. There is MRI evidence that shows certain neural pathways are increased in the prefrontal cortex when people practice self-affirmations.

Science also notes the effect they have on your mood and feelings. They are a simple tool that can literally turn around your habitual negative thoughts. Replacing them with positive thoughts can assist you with self-regulation, self-worth, self-awareness, and self-confidence.

Saying positive phrases to yourself can also help you move through tricky situations. “I can do this!”

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Our study suggests that self-affirmation may be effective at boosting performance in academic tasks requiring associative processing and creativity, particularly for students who experience stress on such tasks. Thus, our findings identify a potential mechanism by which a self-affirmation intervention at the beginning of a school term can improve at-risk students’ academic achievement.

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What We Think About Ourselves is How We Develop

If we feel we are worthless, we will behave like we are worthless. If we believe that we are special and loved, we will behave like we are special and loved.

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This is why affirmations are so important to help children develop positive foundations on which to grow. Once they have matured, it is hard to change those foundations.

Morning affirmations for kids provide the opportunity to learn to look at themselves in the mirror. This is the most effective way to say them and learning to do this as a child makes it much easier to do. Many of us find it quite confronting to look ourselves in the eyes, let alone say “I love you” as we do.

Why are Positive Affirmations for Children Important?

This leads to the next benefit of positive dailyaffirmations. They teach us positive self-talk, to speak to ourselves with kindness. As we grow, we can develop a habit of criticising ourselves, harming our own self-confidence and lowering our resilience.

Children must learn positive self-talk from a young age to prevent self-criticism. Self-confidence affirmations can help build a strong and positive belief system that is created from within.

As bullying is such a huge issue that many children face at some time, self-confidence is the very thing that will help them deal from these situations. Keeping a positive mind is essential. This can be really difficult when children are dealing with anti-social behavior. By developing positive mental pathways, children are more resilient and self-assured, coping much better than if they had a low self-esteem.

Many children who bully lack confidence, feel a need to belittle others to make themselves feel better and more in control. Children with a positive self-image feel less inclined to bully others. Uniting a class with a quick two-minute affirmation at the start of a school day could make the world of difference to troubled children.

FREE Kindness Affirmations Coloring Pages to Download

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Creating an inner confidence as children can shape our whole life. Every aspect of our life is affected by our self-confidence. It affects our ability to learn and participate at school, socially, creatively, our relationships, achieving our goals and dreams, and most importantly our standards. With little self-confidence, we often lower our standards or ‘settle’ for what we believe is achievable.

Just a few positive words spoken to ourselves each day can, amazingly, make such a difference to our whole body, our mind, our heart and physically too. There is much research on how the heart and mind are wired to communicate and how a happy and positive mind can improve overall health.

Make today the day that you try affirmations for children's health. Helping them to shine with confidence as the unique individuals that they are.

How to Explain Affirmations to a Child

If you're looking for an affirmations definition for kids, try the following:

Positive affirmations are like magic words that we say to ourselves to make us feel happy, confident, and strong. It's like giving ourselves a friendly pep talk to remind us how amazing we are!

For example, when you wake up in the morning, you can look in the mirror and say, 'I am awesome!' or 'I am brave!' These words help you start your day feeling really good about yourself.

And if you ever feel worried or scared about something, you can say, 'I am strong,' or 'I can do this!' That way, you'll feel more confident and ready to face challenges.

Positive affirmations are like little secret spells that make you feel happier and believe in yourself. So, whenever you need a boost of positivity, just remember to say your special words, and you'll see how wonderful they can make you feel!"

How to Teach Positive Affirmations to Children

Positive phrases can be implemented into your daily routines very easily and only take a few minutes each day. They can also be used as a quick and easy brain-break when you need to help children settle and regain focus during a task that requires them to pay attention for long periods of time.

Introducing Positive Self-Talk

It is a good idea to talk to your children about how to use an affirm so they understand what they are for and how they work. Keep it fun and encouraging.

“Affirmations teach you new and positive ways of thinking. They can help you believe in yourself, feel happy and help you to feel better when you are angry or sad. Let’s try them and see what we think!”

"Affirmations encourage kind and happy ways of thinking, you will remember them when you need them most."

Another way to introduce them is to place positiveaffirmation cardsfor kids around the house in areas that they will see them. Just reading the words will help them affirm positive beliefs. On the mirror in the bathroom is a great spot or on the breakfast table.

It will also help if you were to lead by example and read the affirmations as well. You may like to do repeat your positive messages together. You may find that this allows you the chance to discuss emotions or issues that they may be experiencing, opening doors for conversation. Working together on improving your thoughts may just have you shine together.

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Examples of Empowering Affirmations for Children

A daily affirmation for kids may be just a few simple words, but they can pack a powerful punch if used consistently. Parents and teachers can use positive affirmation cards or print positive messages on post-it notes to help their children develop a positive mindset and outlook. Here is a list of affirmations for positive self-talk sticky notes:

  • I am perfect just the way I am.
  • I am enough.
  • I am an amazing person.
  • It's okay to make mistakes.
  • I am happy.
  • I forgive people.
  • I forgive myself.
  • I use kind words to express my feelings.
  • I treat others the way I like to be treated.
  • I learn from my mistakes.
  • I am grateful for all that I have.
  • I can do a lot more than I think.
  • I believe in myself.
  • I am a kind and caring person.
  • I can make a difference.
  • I always do my best.
  • I look at the bright side of life.
  • Kindness is my superpower.
  • I am good at lots of things.
  • I stand up for what I believe in.
  • I deserve to be happy.
  • Today is a great day.

Looking in the Mirror

One of the most valuable lessons affirmations offer, is being comfortable looking at yourself in the mirror and learning positive self-talk (talking to yourself with kindness and positivity). Many of us find it hard to look at our reflection without being critical, judgmental, or negative about ourselves.

Affirmations are the most powerful when we say the words to ourselves whilst looking into a mirror. These positive words are literally building our own self-belief. Young children introduced to this concept feel more comfortable and far less confronted looking at themselves in the mirror. If you find that your children feel it is difficult to look in the mirror to say them, it is best not to push them. Self-affirming phrases are still very effective by just reading the words aloud to yourself. Children that are visually impaired will use this technique.

Repeating Affirmations

Affirmations are more effective when repeated and it's best to repeat self-affirming words 3 times, saying the words louder and with more confidence each time. This helps affirm the belief. You may like to work on one affirmation a day or one a week, depending on how confident your child is with each one. If they seem to struggle with a particular one you may like to continue working on that one longer.

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Helpful Tips

You could also take a little time to discuss the affirmation and how your child feels about it. Perhaps even write a long list of their qualities to help boost their confidence and help them to recognize their values. Some children may prefer to work on the affirmationson their own and this is ok too.

It is important to show respect for your child and their feelings and not to push them too hard if they're feeling uncomfortable. Self-affirmation should always be introduced in a fun and exciting way. Use them to help children to learn about the benefits of positive mental health and be the best that they can by nurturing happy and positive feelings.

Affirmation cards should never be used for punishment, in time out, or in relation to any bad behavior. As they are such a wonderful tool, it is important not to bring a negative tone to them.

Young Children

Children using affirmations under the age of 5 or 6 when they're not yet reading can be read the words by their parents for them to repeat. This works very well and affirmations used at this age create strong and healthy foundation.

DISCLAIMER: This post may include affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale from these links helps me provide tips and freebies for parents and teachers.

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AUTHOR: Roxanne Wilkins - Nurture Cards
Roxycreated Nurture Cards in 2009 after her own personal and family struggles with her young children. As she saw other young children suffering with low self-confidence, bullying, negative self-image, anxiety, effects of divorce or unhappy family dynamics, she wanted to create a tool to help them through these tough times.

Nurture Cards are used worldwide by children, counsellors, therapists, primary teachers, early childhood centres, disability services and much more. I also have other resources for improving sleep and self-esteem.
Follow Nurture Cards on Instagram

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How to Use Positive Affirmations for Kids for Better Wellbeing (2024)


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