Childhood is an incredibly formative period in which children are forming ideas about who they are, the world around them, and what their place is in the world. What they see, hear, and experience directly affects how they view their environment, themselves, and the way in which they respond to people and circumstances.
We all know that children need tonnes of love and nurturing to grow and thrive, but when external experiences or even minor flaws in parenting modes tend to negatively impact on our children, it is the power of affirmations that has the ability to transform a child’s sense of self or world view and make a dramatic and positive impact on their general well being.
Affirmations are not just a random comment stating that our young ones are capable. They are words of love and power that when repeated become almost like a mantra of ‘can do’. They are like a secret confidence code that a child can use, a code that re-programmes their thoughts about themselves and allows them to glimpse another possibility, to garner hope, to believe that they are capable, and that they have potential.
If a child carries a negative self-belief such as that they aren’t kind because they always seem to annoy others when they’re feeling tired or frustrated, such negative self-beliefs may be completely transformed through the use of affirmations. When a child’s thoughts about themselves change, it only follows, that so too does their behaviour.
As parents, we might look more deeply in order to discover the root cause behind a child’s seemingly negative behaviour, and once we’ve discovered the cause, which usually stems from fears of not being accepted or loved, we can then introduce affirmations that address these core issues.
As parents, our role is to offer not only love and guidance, but support. So when we introduce a specific affirmation in order to heal a part of our child, such as ‘I am loved’ or ‘I am confident’, then it is also up to us to assist in the formation of these new beliefs.
If a child is struggling academically, lacking in social confidence or in general motivation, to be consistently told by a loved one that they can make a change and that they are good at something can prove life changing.
Through making a conscious effort to show our child that they are loved through our words, actions and affections, through offering encouragement and recognition when your child does overcome a fear or display a degree of confidence, we are actively affirming to our children that what they are telling themselves is true.
As parents, we then hold the precious and invaluable opportunity to become living affirmations for our children. This may be done not only through actively affirming our children’s efforts, but also role modelling the use of affirmations for our selves. When we display our own vulnerabilities and our efforts to overcome them, we are showing our children that we too are aspiring to be the best we can be, as well as the importance of cultivating self love and self care. Ultimately, our children then become witness to the incredible potential that exists within all of us to make positive changes within, and without.