Affirm your child and see them grow
Children who are affirmed and grow up with a positive self-image are a joy to us all. When your child struggles with self-confidence or you see their love tank is heading towards empty, affirm their value and identity to fill them up. Try the 20 affirmation Ideas for your kids and see them grow.
In plain terms, to affirm your child is to declare their sense of self and their place in this world. Every single human being has an inbuilt need to be love and affirmed. From a very young age, our children are imitating our behaviours and our words. They are learning certain behaviours from us, the media, their friends and society. The neurological wiring taking place in their brains continues to forge ahead and shape who they are for years to come. That is why it is so important for us, as parents, to speak life and hope into their hearts and minds. I find the passage in Proverbs a powerful reminder of our thought life influencing our actions. It says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” So, we see from this passage that the script our children are listening to in their brains, shapes their view about who they are and their place in this world. A positive self-belief and image will stay with them as they grow up and influence their decision-making.
In my book, Parenting with Courage, I speak about intentional parenting. To be intentional means that we think about things and how we can want to raise our children. We are intentional about the values we wish to cultivate and the manners we expect from our kids. The behavior we hope to see in our children will not just come about without intentionality
Our children will rise to the level of expectation we have of them. Therefore, if you train your children to be kind or to be servant leaders by modeling and training in that area, you can expect them to live out of those principles. It would be wise for you to remember that in those early formative years you are externalizing your family values for your children so that they will hopefully internalize them as they hit their teen years.
Because affirmation is vital to your child’s emotional and mental well-being, I thought to include a few practical ways to help you along
Words are powerful – use them well!
- I love you (say it often and say it in many different ways)
- Acknowledge acts of kindness, such as, “I noticed you shared your sandwich with your friend, that was wonderful.
- Wow! I think you are incredible/brave/wise/beautiful/strong (or any number of appropriate adjectives).
- You are growing up to be a wonderful young man/woman. I notice that… (be specific)
- You sow what you reap…like when we planted tomato seeds, we reaped tomatoes. You have just sown…. And you will reap it too
- I can see you thinking things through before you act. (Be specific here). I don’t think I was able to do that at your age and I admire you for that.
- You stood up for …. That must’ve taken courage
- I know it wasn’t easy to do the right thing. I’m proud of you for….
- I saw you controlled your frustration when you were with ….Well done on displaying great self-control/patience/words.
- Remind your child that you really want them to be themselves and no-one else. Remind them that the world needs them to be who they were created to be and that they are valuable and precious. Reinforce this regularly.
Actions & gifts speak to your child’s heart
- Your actions speak louder than words. Today, I saw you …. Acknowledge and validate their good intentions and heart even when things don’t out as they had hoped.
- Where did you learn to do that? That was great.
- “Hugs make everything better”. (Say that to them as you hug them and remind them through a hug that they are loved).
- Put a note in their lunchbox telling them what you love about them.
- Surprise them with a treat that speaks to their heart just because you love them.
- Celebrate wildly when they make wise decisions.
- Praise them publicly in front of your friends. Thank them publicly as well when they do something kind or well.
- I’ve put a small gift on your bed just because I love you.
- Let’s celebrate…. How about we go out for a milkshake?
- Tell them they are a gift to your family and that you thank God for them.
Sow the seeds of love through affirmation and watch your children blossom and bear the most wonderful fruit as they grow up.