This past weekend, I was at a local store, and I over heard a family’s conversation.  The mother, was belittling the children mentioning everything they had done wrong that morning, while the father followed up her comments with “kids I don’t understand why you always sulk!”  As I was checking out and walking out of the store, I wondered how often these children heard positive affirmations.   I wondered what these children’s potential could be?

Affirmations are positive statements about who we are and what our potential is.   These help us feel good about ourselves, and focus on what we want.   When children (or teens or adults) hear words of encouragement, they learn to respect themselves.  When individuals hear words of criticism and blame, they learn to feel worthless. Positive affirmations can help children (and adults) in developing healthy self esteem.  Affirmations can also  help strengthen the relationship between loved ones.

Here are some positive examples of affirmations that you, can tell your loved one to encourage them, and lift their self esteem.  (Hint: They are all YOU statements. You are lifting them up!)

  • When they mention a suggestion or alternative option to plans:
    • You have good ideas
    • You are creative
  • When they are helping a sibling or doing an act of kindness such as opening a door for someone:
    • You like to help others
    • You are kind
  • When they have completed a task you instructed them to do:
    • You followed directions
    • You listened well
  • When they could have thrown a fit, but didn’t.
    • You knew just how to stay calm
  • When they have completed their homework or a difficult task:
    • You worked hard on ______
    • You didn’t give up
    • You are a fast learner
  • When they have gone to the dentist/doctor/etc
    • You are brave
  • Other ones that can be mentioned at the spur of the moment:
    • You are special and unique
    • You are natural in _______
    • You are loved
    • You get better at _____ everyday
As I said above, here are just some examples.  The possibilities are endless.How often do you point out your child’s (or spouse’s) positive qualities?   My challenge to you, is to find one or two positive affirmations that you can give your loved ones each day.

Have fun!


Jennie Wilson is a child and adolescent therapist. She holds the credentials of a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor