“The way that we talk to our children becomes their inner voice” ~ Peggy O’Mara

Positive affirmations are associated with many benefits: they can increase children’s creativity, confidence, self-esteem, and self-compassion and have also been found to lead to emotional well-being. However, teaching children to adopt positive affirmations has its fair share of challenges. As one study suggests, teaching your child to use positive affirmations cannot work if those affirmations are unrealistic. In other words, if your son is convinced that he is a poor runner, asking him to utter a positive mantra such as “I am a fast runner” won’t work. When you think about it, this makes sense.

Trying positive affirmations with kids is also tricky because children respond better to specific and explanatory affirmations. “I am a fast runner because I practice for 10 minutes every day”. “I am kind because I share my toys” rather than “I am kind”. Problem is, making affirmations conditional means that if your daughter ever refuses to share her toys, then that logically makes her “unkind”.

An alternative approach to promote your child’s self-esteem is to foster a positive affirmation environment in your home by focusing on words that build him/her up.

The words you speak to your children can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Your children can carry these words with them throughout their lives. Indeed, just as wounds inflicted in childhood can have consequences that last beyond the childhood years, positive words can have a positive impact extending well into adulthood.

100 things every kid needs to hear to develop a positive self-image

  1. I love you
  2. I love you just the way you are
  3. I’m here
  4. I’ll always be here
  5. I’m so proud of you
  6. I was so proud of you when you (…)
  7. You make me laugh
  8. It’s okay
  9. It’s not a big deal
  10. It doesn’t matter
  11. What do you need?
  12. I’m listening
  13. Let’s talk about it
  14. Let me think about it
  15. I’m sorry
  16. I was wrong
  17. These things happen
  18. I know you didn’t mean to
  19. I forgive you
  20. Forgive me
  21. I believe in you
  22. I need your help
  23. I need a hug
  24. I love your hugs
  25. Do you need a hug?
  26. Don’t give up
  27. I know you’ll make it
  28. You’re such a kind sister/brother
  29. You are so great with (…)
  30. You’ll make a great (…)
  31. You’ll be great
  32. I know you’re going to be awesome
  33. You have what it takes
  34. You’re going to nail it
  35. I’ll help you
  36. What do you want me to help you with?
  37. You can try again tomorrow
  38. What can I do?
  39. Let’s do this together
  40. We’re in this together
  41. I understand
  42. I’ll go with whatever you decide
  43. Help me understand
  44. You can be anything you want to be
  45. Let’s hang out
  46. I think you’re so cool
  47. I’m glad you’re here
  48. You’re fun to be around
  49. Can you show me what to do?
  50. You tell the most interesting stories
  51. There’s only one you in the entire world
  52. You mean the world to me
  53. Yes!
  54. I know you’ll make the right decision
  55. It’s your decision
  56. We’ll find the solution
  57. What do you want to do?
  58. What do you think?
  59. We’ll try out your suggestion
  60. You always have such great ideas
  61. You have such great memory
  62. I know you did your best
  63. You are my sunshine!
  64. You are good enough
  65. You don’t have to be perfect
  66. You don’t have to be like your friends/sisters/classmates
  67. Thanks for trying
  68. Thanks for being such a great kid
  69. You can stop if you want to
  70. You can ask me anything
  71. I’ll try my best
  72. I like seeing you happy
  73. You are my greatest priority
  74. You were right
  75. That’s a great question
  76. I don’t know
  77. I like hanging out with you
  78. You have such an interesting way of (…)
  79. Wow! How did you think of that?
  80. Come with me.
  81. I enjoy your company.
  82. You make me smile
  83. You’ve got the best smile ever
  84. You’re gorgeous
  85. Yes, you can!
  86. It’s okay to fail
  87. It will get better
  88. I miss you/I’ll miss you/I missed you
  89. It will be okay
  90. You are where you belong
  91. You look great
  92. It’s great how you always defend your opinions
  93. I respect you
  94. You deserve respect
  95. You always finish first!
  96. I know you’ll achieve great things!
  97. We’re lucky to have you
  98. We wouldn’t be the same without you
  99. I was thinking about that time you (…)
  100. I was telling (…) how funny/interesting/kind/thoughtful you are