Inside: There’s huge benefit to using children’s affirmation cards if done with a few important concepts in mind. But, there are a three big mistakes I notice. Post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Affirmation cards for kids seem to be all the rage these days.
Just use a few affirmations and that will fix everything…right?
The “experts” say…
Overnight your child’s negative self-talk with disappear. It’s “science.”
(👇👇👇 Insert photo of perfectly happy children on the beach 🙃🙃🙃)
Well, not so fast.
There’s a HUGE benefit to using children’s affirmation cards if done with a few important concepts in mind.
BUT…there are a three big mistakes I notice when using affirmations with toddlers, preschoolers or school-age kids.
On This Page…
Here’s what to look for when choosing daily affirmations for kids.
1. The affirmation chosen should always come from the child.
All kids are born with every possible inner strength. It’s only a matter of helping the child see it in themselves through observation. This allows the child the chance to prove to themselves that they have a particular quality.
So if you pick an affirmation that says “I am brave” – the child can say it one gazillion times until their face turns a shiny rainbow color – and the child still will not believe they are brave until they SEE it through their own observation.
Allow the child to choose the affirmation they want to work on, and the child will start to look for proof all on their own.
Without you nagging or reminding them to say the affirmation, kids will look for the validation needed to prove the affirmation true. 🙌
2. Allow the child to work on one affirmation for as long as he or she wants.
Kids set up challenges all the time to help themselves develop life skills.
When a child constantly wants things he cannot have….you may have a child wanting to learn to cope better with disappointment.
When a child frequently falls into tears over things that normally would not upset them….you may have a child working on emotional self-control.
When a child seeks out impossible things…you may have a child working on problem-solving and creativity when faced with the impossible.
Kids know exactly the life skills they need to build.
So when a child chooses an affirmation, it’s important to allow the child to work on building that skill for as long as they desire. Kids know what they need.
Imposing timelines such as “one affirmation per day” is supporting a cultural idea more than following the child’s lead of where he or she needs to go.
3. Affirm the affirmation for the child ONLY when you SEE it through observation.
Praise is about what we think and what we like. Acknowledgement is about the child. Children accept praise only if they already agree.
If children have a different opinion of themselves, praise can break trust.
Here’s a quick example:
If I praise my daughter for being smart or pretty and she doesn’t already believe it, she may either think I’m just being nice and won’t be able to trust me to tell her the truth, or she will think I don’t understand her. In both cases, she will begin to believe that in order to be accepted she must be something she is not. The feelings of pressure or resentment, or giving up will result.
When you SEE bravery and you tell a child, “You were scared of the dark. You held your stuffy to stay calm. That shows you’re brave,” you affirm your child in a way they can identify with it.
It becomes who they are and their future actions are based on it.
This is the critical piece of affirmations for kids working well.
31 Most-Loved Affirmation Cards for Kids – Full List
1. I am brave.
2. I am courageous.
3. I get along well with others.
4. I make friends easily.
5. I am full of energy.
6. I keep trying.
7. I can become whatever I want to be.
8. I am imaginative.
9. I believe in myself.
10. I am a problem-solver.
11. I am in control of my emotions.
12. I enjoy playing.
13. I can trust my heart.
14. I have unique gifts and talents.
15. I learn from challenges.
16. I make healthy choices for my body.
17. I get stronger each day.
18. I know how to calm myself down.
19. I know how to focus.
20. I am responsible.
21. I am persistent.
22. I listen to my body and my heart.
23. I am loved.
24. I can do hard things.
25. I make thoughtful choices.
26. I have interesting ideas.
27. I set the right level of challenge for myself.
28. I am important to my family.
29. I am patient.
30. I am helpful.
31. I am attentive.
Your Step-by-Step Guide for Getting Started with Affirmations for Kids
1. Grab your set of kid affirmations here OR have your make your own.
2. Print and cut. I use HP instant Ink for some insanely cheap printing ($5 for 100 pages!) and I often cut using this handy paper cutter to get it done in about 2.5 minutes. Although, scissors work just fine too!
3. Look at the affirmations with your child together. Talk about what each might mean to someone.
4. Allow your child to chose one affirmation they would like to look at and say each day.
5. Allow your child to show you where they want to put it. Encourage them to place it in an area they will see often.
6. Each time your child sees the affirmation, encourage them to say it aloud.
7. Specifically watch and notice your child’s behavior for this characteristic and affirm it through observation as often as you can.
8. Encourage your child to choose a new affirmation when they are ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
Affirmations are positive statements that help connect kids to their inner greatness. All kids are born with every possible inner strength..it’s only a matter of affirming it.
When kids are working to boost their self-esteem (aren’t we all?), affirmation cards help the child recognize and seek out their strengths. It also helps the parent know what the child is working to affirm. The parent can then look for it though observation in the child’s behavior and then affirm it.
A set of affirmation cards is incredibly helpful in allowing the child to see possibilities and then chose one that stands out to them.
An affirmation card is something the child can easily hold (my preference is about 4×6 inches; similar to a photograph) and contains the positive characteristic – in drawing or writing – that the child would like to affirm for themselves.
It’s super easy. Check out our simple step-by-step guide above!
Find your set of Printable Affirmations for Kids here.
Print this free printable!
This post comes with a free printable to give you an easy step-by-step guide to raise independent kids. Plus, remember what independent skills are age-appropriate for your kids!
Here’s a sneak peek…
Download Your Free Printable
- Download the checklist. You’ll get the printable, plus join my weekly parenting newsletter!
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.
- Place it on your refrigerator. Use it as a quick reference to keep parenting simple!
Want more on parenting?
- 47+ Encouraging Phrases for Kids That’ll Boost Their Confidence
- 31 Best Printable Affirmation Cards for Kids
- Why Pillow Talks With Kids Are Every Parents “Secret Weapon”
- How to Respond When Your Child Is Afraid to Sleep Alone
- 13 Habits That Raise Well Adjusted Kids
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My grandson was a straight A perfectionist kid in school. He was such a great kid! My husband and I adored him, and loved having him stay with us weekends and holidays!
He attempted suicide over a bullying incident his first year in middle school. Both of our families attended counseling so we could visit him while he was locked down for treatment. (I eventually received individual counseling for my own childhood issues.) My grandson refused to take the meds for his depression, saying they made feel sick. He said he was fine. He promised he’d always come and talk to us when he had problems. When he received his first semester college grades, he committed suicide at the age of 18.
Your email story about your son not doing well on a test just brought it all back to mind.
Tiffany @ Foxy Fit Apparel
Seriously love this idea! I’ve used affirmations myself various times in my adult life (probably should be doing it all the time…) and each time I’ve used them it’s made a huge difference in my psyche. Definitely a game changer. I think it’s so important for kids to have positive affirmation from parents, but believing in themselves is even better. Thanks for the ideas!
thanks for the great ideas.