From the time we were born, our human brains have functioned as sponges. Soaking and absorbing so much information daily that we end up consuming loads of content. Which means we may not always be taking in what is best for us.
Studies are proving time and time again that how we feel is directly related to our hormonal response. Hormones act like chemical messengers in the body that tell our brain how it's operating. Therefore, what we think, and ultimately how we feel always becomes our reality.
Affirmations can help us get unstuck. Most kids (and adults) are functioning from a trained, and often unconscious pattern of behaviour. Hearing a new way to approach a topic can help rewire our brains and will then allow a different emotional response to take place. It is helpful to know that there is always another way that can support a new direction.
I have used affirmations my whole life but not in the way that most have learnt to use them. Quite often, people will use them as a way to 'get' something. When they don't gain the desired result, they think it didn't work. However, affirmations for me, provide a new perspective. I use them as a guide to imagine a situation that I am struggling with and see it in a new light.
Here's the thing. We use affirmations in our every day lives. Definitions of affirmations are 'the action or process of affirming something' or 'emotional support or encouragement'. If we are affirming negative aspects of our lives, which we all do daily, then we are using these statements. Our mental and emotional health is reliant on how we speak to ourselves.
For example, if I am struggling with something that I am working on, seeing it in a new perspective can help me work through it, and I can come out the other side feeling happier. I catch the negative thought and reframe it. It doesn't mean we will stop having negative thoughts, and it just means we can learn the skill to redirect these affirmations and change it to something more supportive and in line with what we are wanting.
Affirmations for Kids
Children that are between reading age (7) and pre-teens are often more open to learning about affirmations. Their brain structure at these ages are still developing and therefore, as they begin to learn about the world around them, using affirmations are always a great place to start. Knowing what thoughts can best serve them will go a long way to creating a happier and healthy mindset as they get older. A great way to integrate them with kids is to have discussions around different affirmations. Maybe talk through your experience or show them how they can apply it to their lives. Reading them with children that are just beginning to learn is helpful too.
Affirmations for Teens
Depending on your home environment, some teens will be on board with this idea or not at all. My approach is always to have respect for everyone, so meeting a teen where they are at is essential. Their brain development is at a stage where you need evidence to back up what you're saying. It is because of their critical thinking and independence are starting to kick in, so it's best to teach them about the brain and why choosing better statements are better for them.
Affirmations in Everyday Life
Keep in mind, children don't always do what you say, but they repeat what they see you do. When you follow through on any action, they can see and trust that it works. Making self-discovery a regular part of your life will encourage them too. They're already picking up on what you do now so having a more positive influence will help them grow healthier habits. You can put them up in the bathrooms, around the house or on bedside tables.
Affirmations in Learning
Most kids enter the school system and immediately get grouped by their skill level. They are often not taught about how their brain, why some people learn differently to them, or how they can improve their mindset to be able to learn with more ease. All of us are born with the potential to do well. Our ability to do so is our belief in ourselves, how interested we are in a subject, and how well we develop our sense of self. Affirmations for learning can help all these aspects. By showing a way of talking to ourselves and how that helps us progress. A change of perspective is sometimes all we need.
You can buy our Learning Minds Card Deck over in our shop. We have designed these to support learning difficulties or working through harder times. They will help kids and teens build more resilience and grow a healthy mindset to support who they are.