Why would we need positive affirmations for kids?
I read something recently that said, “my therapist told me kids are resilient, and I asked my therapist ‘then why are so many adults in therapy?’”
I cannot tell you how many adults I know who will tell me with a straight face that they had messed up childhoods but they’re just fine today as adults.
As they drink to excess, struggle with weight issues and food issues, have migraines regularly, snap at their own kids, and repeat the cycle.
I am not judging them. We are all doing the best we can with what we have.
What I am doing is observing and discerning.
Yes. Children are resilient in that they can snap out of something and move forward. It is a survival mechanism we all have in us, and it is strongest in children whose nervous systems have not been overwhelmed for decades by too many survival situations.
But even small traumas affect us, they affect our bodies, and they affect our lives.
Holistic psychiatrist Dr. Ellen Vora talks about this very issue in her book The Anatomy of Anxiety.
We are all always either hurting or healing.
And most of us will be healing for the rest of our lives.
If every child had two loving, healing parents in the home, we could change the world in a generation.
Loving, Healing Parents
Look, I am far, far, far from perfect.
Sure, my kids think I’m a superhero (witch), but they’re still young. Give them time.
I have experienced trauma in my life, most of it when I was a child, but some as I grew into adulthood as well, more than many, less than most.
I was fortunate in terms of motherhood in that I started late. I was in my thirties when I had my oldest daughter and closer to forty when I had my second girl.
So I had confronted many of my demons by the time they arrived.
I also chose my husband well, and we had many years together before we had kids.
So we had sown a lot of wild oats, dealt with all those early relationship issues, and were happily going about our lives when the girls came along and highlighted our human experience.
But having children brings up demons you did not know you had. It pushes you to the brink of your patience, of your tolerance, of your worry, of your belief systems, and more.
I discovered a lot about myself in those first five years that my oldest was developing, and one of the things that hit me hardest and clearest was how much she emulated me, whether she wanted to or not.
Kids can’t help it. When they’re little, they become their parents.
They walk like us, talk like us, use our expressions, and adopt our behaviors.
The first time my 3 year old said “What the f*@k?” on repeat in the grocery store line while my own mother was visiting was an experience I will never forget.
I still laugh about it to this day.
My mother is still mortified.
The point is we’re never going to get it all right.
But we can work overtime to be loving and healing.
So that they can grow up loving and not having to heal from quite so much.
Affirmations for Kids: Loving
Love is tricky for a lot of people because we do a lot of things we say we do in the name of love.
The suicide bombers who took down the twin towers were acting out of “love.”
Parents hit their children as a form of discipline and call it “love.”
An abusive husband will beat his wife and then cry about how much he “loves” her.
So what is love?
Well, I like to use Love with a capital L.
Love is what we experience in our greatest moments of joy, abundance, freedom, exhilaration, and even when we hold space for others to feel their feelings, have their own experiences, and be their own people.
Even our kids.
I remember I called myself an atheist for years because I was staunchly opposed to the definition of God so many religions had.
I have always believed in a higher power, but I rejected all concepts of some judgmental, vengeful god playing favorites up in the heavens with his flowing white beard and robes.
It wasn’t until I heard psychologist Jordan Peterson say that we all believe in a god, it is just a matter of which god we are praying to, that I accepted the god I believe in, I firmly declared myself the witch I had always known I was, and let the chips fall where they may.
I am a better person for it now.
And certainly a better mother.
But how to define God?
Like, how to define Love?
Then it clicked for me.
Oh! God is Love.
No, not like God feels love or God loves you.
Like, literally, God is Love.
If you listen to Abraham Hicks describe Source Energy, their name for God, it becomes so clear.
Pure, loving, accepting, neutral, nonjudgmental, infinite, wise, Love.
Always guiding us towards our higher selves, always leading us toward our best possible outcomes, and loving us unconditionally every time we ignore it, fail, fall, and rise again, pissed off and dirty.
And at our best as parents, that’s what we can be.
We can emulate God the way our children emulate us.
We will fail.
But we will also rise and rise again.
Affirmations for Kids: Healing
As to healing, depending on your childhood, your adult experiences, and how much you surrender to your higher power, you may be healing for the rest of your life.
You may have a lot to overcome.
And that’s okay.
You just have to acknowledge as a parent that you are healing, that you want to heal, and that you are actively working to break the cycles you were born into for the sake of your children.
I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I lie in bed at night and marvel at how happy and well developed our children are in comparison to our own childhoods.
How they will not grow up having to wonder when the other shoe will drop, if they will be hit by someone who “loves” them, if their worlds will fall apart with people yelling and screaming.
We are not exceptional people. We mess up. We live messy lives.
But we love each other, we respect each other, and when we are triggered (all the time!) we don’t take it out on our kids.
We are healing.
And when we snap, lose our tempers, forget ourselves with the kids, we acknowledge it and apologize.
When we can step out of identifying as healing and into identifying as growing, we know we have made a huge leap forward.
Affirmations for Kids: Your Voice Is Their Voice
Back to how our children emulate us, realize that their inner voices as children are our voices.
They hear our words in their heads. They listen to the way we talk to them, the way we talk to others, the way we talk about others and them, and the way we talk to ourselves.
And they internalize all of those voices and parse through it to find their own inner voice.
A great way to help our children’s well-being is to be mindful of what we say.
Language matters. Voice matters. After all, we are constantly casting spells with our words.
So, if we want our children to have positive thoughts, a positive mindset, practice positive thinking, and make positive statements, it is upon us to speak in positive phrases and practice our own positive self-talk. We must embrace growth mindset ourselves as the parents.
Begin with the powerful tool of turning your language into lessons.
I am always growing.
I am doing better.
I am learning.
I am listening.
I am love.
I am strong, smart, and capable.
I am healthy.
I treat my body like a temple.
I deserve only love.
I deserve the best.
All of these daily affirmations become the inner voices of young children, they are good listeners, they live in the present tense, and they will act on them.
Our goal as growing parents is to smash each one of the destructive cycles we were born into, to recognize negative self-talk, and to introduce new ways and new things to our kids.
We can create for them a positive self-image in a positive way, with positive words from a young age, so their mental health does not suffer.
They will grow up then with a positive attitude from the very first time the venture forward into the world with a positive outlook, they can draw on their own inner strength and have a great day and a fresh start every day.
Our belief system, based in love, can become a massive part of their daily routine and their thought patterns.
How’s that for healing?