42 Positive Affirmations for Kids (Gauranteed to Help ‘Em Feel Happier!)

Wondering if affirmations are appropriate–and effective–for your child, tween, or teen?

The short answer is, yes! Positive affirmations are a simple yet powerful technique that are an absolutely appropriate–even recommended–tool for kids! 

Plus, if you’re able to help your child in the habit of using positive affirmations now, she’ll be able to use them  throughout life! They’re an inner gift that will keep on giving by helping her feel confident, self-reliant, and capable.  

This article will explain what positive affirmations for kids are, how they can help your daughter (or any child), and how to use them.

You’ll also get  an uber long list of ideas for positive affirmations for kids that you can use anytime you need it.  




What Are Positive Affirmations for Kids?

Positive affirmations are phrases your child can say. I often tell parents to think of positive affirmations as a type of mental vitamin that can give kids dose of postive energy and inner strength each day.

Positive affiramtions are designed specifically to help your child lean in to a positive mindset. They’re a powerful way to counter any negative self-talk you think you’re child is enaging in, such as telling themselves their not smart, fast enough, or strong enough.

Using positive affirmations regularly can help kids build confidence, self-esteem, and boost mood. These phrases or statements can become automatic and override the tendency to put oneself down, be fearful, or feel helpless.

When we teach our kids how to speak kindly and encouraginly to themselves, they’re more likely to feel more capable, confident, and comfortable with challenging situations.

Positive affirmations are a type of emotional learning that teaches your child how to build their own self-esteem.


Do Positive Affirmations Really Work for Kids?

Yes! When psychologists reviewed multiple studies on positive affirmations, they uncovered proof that these phrases have the power to: 

  • Boost self-esteem
  • Decrease Stress
  • Improve academic performance
  • Improve mood
  • Strengthen coping skills
  • Build positive body image + protect against disorder eating
  • Increase resilience
  • Increase health-promoting behaviors 

Teaching your child to use positive affirmations is like handing them a way to bounce back from setbacks, stay strong and calm in the face of stress, and feel happier and more confident regardless of changing circumstances.

By learning to practice positive affirmations at a young age, kids can become much more prepared to use them when facing difficulties later in life, says Douglas Bloch, author of Self-Talk for CHild: Teaching Self-Esteem Through Affirmations.


How Do Positive Affirmations for Kids Work?

One way positive affirmations work is by helping kids identify their values–or what’s specifically important to them. 

By identifying what’s important to her, your daughter will be able to broaden her perspective. This can be particularly helpful when she’s presented with outside ideas or information that threaten her self-esteem. 

While anyone can benefit from identifying their values and affirming their abilities, positive affirmations can be particularly powerful for adolescents. That’s because this is naturally a time when identity is forming. 

How do you help a child identify their values? I’ll use an example from my own private practice. 

Thinness, for instance, is valued in our culture. And kids can pick up on this through diet culture at an early age. I’d had multiple preteens struggling with disordered eating tell me they aren’t eating because they want to lose weight. 

When I ask them why, they’ll say “because my friends will like me more” or “I’ll be more popular” or even “I’ll feel more confident.” This is a way they might be pursuing the value reflected in the culture (diet culture) around them.  

However, when we push deeper and ask this same girl how she chooses a friend we see something else. I’ll ask a client to think of her favorite friend, then I’ll ask her to tell me what she likes most about that person. 

Most often it’s “she’s fun to be around” or “she always makes me laugh” or “she’s there for me.” Never has it once been “because she’s thin.” 

This conversation can help a child identify that they value people based on qualities totally unrelated to thinness or looks. And, chances are, their friends aren’t going to like them any more (or less) if they’re skinny. 

Pointing out that they don’t choose friends based on weight but instead on things like how they make them feel can be one technique to help them see the qualities they have inside that they truly value. 

A positive affirmation will remind them of that. (Example, “I’m kind. I’m flexible. I’m adventurous. I’m a hard worker. My friends can count on me.”)


At What Age Should I Start Using Positive Affirmations with My Kids? 

It’s never too early to start using positive affirmations. You can use them with toddlers, school age kids, pre-teens, teens, and even college kids. 

In fact, I think the younger you start the better. Older kids (particularly adolescents) might not be as open to your suggestions as a toddler or elementary schooler. If you’re struggling with your adolescent, you can start by correcting any negative comments they say about themselves. 

If you hear your child say, “I’m so stupid” or “I’m so fat” that’s a great time to step in with a reframe. You could say, “I think you’re resourceful and know how to bounce back from a bad grade.” Or, “Actually, your body is resilient!” Or, “Your body is always there for you!” 


Affirmations for Kids (Guaranteed to Help 'Em Feel Great!)

Positive Affirmations, Kids, and Neuroplasticity

The repetitive nature of affirmations leverages neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. Regularly practicing positive affirmations can reshape neural pathways associated with self-perception.

This reshaping of neural pathways can help kids (and adults) combat pathways created by negative thinking, making them weaker or (ideally!) even erasing them all together!


How Can I Teach My kids to Use Positive Affirmations?

  1. Lead By Example. The number one tip I always give moms I work with is this: teach less, do more. In other words, don’t bother explaining what affirmations are or why they work. Instead, make it a point to start talking about yourself in a positive, empowering way. 
  2. Make It Fun (or Funny!) Turn affirmations into a game or a part of your daily routine. Say them together while brushing teeth, driving to school, or before bedtime. Having a sense of humor can help with older kids. Say, you’ve just made a great dinner in a flash, follow up by patting yourself on the back with a “Wow I’m good under pressure!”
  3. Be Consistent. Daily affirmations are significantly more impactful than those said once-in-a-while, according to researcher. 
  4. Be Persistent. Feel like they’re not working? Don’t give up. The more negative thoughts your child has, the more important affirmations will be to them. Negative thoughts or pressures from the outside never stop, so neither should your affirmations. 

 5 Tips for Making Affirmations More Effective

  • Read the Situation. Tailor affirmations to your child’s needs. For instance, if they’re struggling to make friends, an affirmation like “I am a good friend” or “I’m fun to be around” makes more sense than “I’m strong.”
  • Use the Present Tense. Affirmations should be stated as if they are already true, e.g., “I am” instead of “I will be.”
  • Keep It Simple. Short and simple affirmations are easier for kids to remember and repeat.
  • Be Positive. Frame affirmations positively. Instead of “I am not afraid,” say “I am courageous.”
  • Let Them Be Seen. Write affirmations on sticky notes and place them around the house, or have your child post them in their room, around their mirror, or on books or journals they look at regularly.

Why Are Positive Affirmations Extra Important for Girls?

According to a ten-year teen-focused survey from the Centers for Disease Control, 66 percent of girls feel persistently sad, which is nearly double the rate of boys. 

While complimenting our daughters can help boost self-esteem, giving them a tool they can use at all times–even when you’re not there–is even better!

Positive affirmations can combat sadness by helping girls build a strong sense of self-worth, build a positive mindset, and be extra equipped to navigate challenges inherent with being female. Specifically, this mental health tool can help girls:

  • Boost Self-Esteem:  Girls often face societal pressures that can impact their self-esteem. Affirmations like “I am beautiful inside and out” or “I am capable and strong” help girls develop a positive self-image and recognize their unique worth.
  • Encourage Self-Confidence: Positive affirmations reinforce a girl’s belief in her abilities. Statements such as “I can achieve my goals” or “I am smart and capable” instill confidence, encouraging them to take on new challenges and pursue their dreams.
  • Combat Negative Self-Talk: Girls can be particularly vulnerable to negative self-talk, especially during adolescence. Affirmations like “I am enough” or “I am proud of who I am” can counteract these negative thoughts, promoting a healthier and more compassionate inner dialogue.
  • Build Body Confidence: Girls feel intense pressure to conform to unrealistic body ideals and are at increased risk for eating disorders. Incorporating positive body affirmations into daily routines can protect them from those pressures.
  • Promote a Growth Mindset: Teaching girls that their abilities can improve with effort is crucial. Affirmations such as “I learn from my mistakes” or “I grow stronger every day” encourage resilience and a willingness to persevere through difficulties.
  • Boost Emotional Well-Being: Positive affirmations can be a source of comfort and reassurance. Statements like “I am loved and supported” or “I am safe and secure” help girls feel emotionally balanced and less anxious.

What Are Examples of Powerful Positive Affirmations for Kids?

Here’s a list of my favorite affirmations for kids, listed in order of area that they might be struggling with. These are intentionally very simple affirmations; the easier they are to remember, the more likely your child will be able to practice them. 

Academics/Sports/STEM Projects/Extracurricular Activities

  • I can be anything I want to be
  • I learn from my mistakes
  • My mistakes are what make me better 
  • If I fall, I can always get back up
  • Everyday is a fresh start!
  • I keep working even when things are hard. 
  • I can do hard things.
  • I can solve tough problems
  • I believe in myself and my abilities.
  • I can accomplish anything I set my mind to
  • I have good ideas
  • I am creative
  • It’s okay not to know everything

Relationships/Friendships/Social Situations

  • I am a good friend
  • I am creative and unique
  • I am unique 
  • I like myself just as I am
  • I am loved and valued by …. 
  • My differences make me special
  • I’m grateful for my friends
  • I can forgive
  • I can see past differences
  • I know relationships have ups and downs
  • I am valued
  • I deserve respect
  • Everyone makes mistakes
  • I am thoughtful
  • I am kind and loving

Self-Esteem/Stress/Anxiety

  • I am loved
  • I am kind
  • I am brave
  • I trust myself
  • This feeling is only temporary
  • I’m more than just my feelings
  • I will always do my best
  • I have everything I need right now
  • I am unique
  • When I set out to do something, I am capable of doing it
  • I believe in myself
  • I’m strong and brave
  • Everything will be okay 
  • I am honest
  • I am proud of myself 
  • I am proud of who I am 
  • I am proud of where I come from 
  • I’m brave and fearless
  • I am strong inside and out
  • I am proud of who I am becoming
  • I deserve happiness and success
  • I am enough just the way I am

Body Image

If body image is something your daughter is struggling with, you can find more affirmations to help here.

  • My body is smart enough to tell me what it needs
  • My legs are strong enough to take me wherever I want to go
  • I’m learning to love my body more and more
  • My body is changing, and that’s okay
  • My body always heals quickly
  • My value is in all I do, not how I look
  • My body is getting bigger, and that’s okay
  • My body is growing exactly as it should be
  • I am healthy
  • I’m a good eater

Positive Affirmations for Kids pdf (Parent Cheatsheet)

Get a list of easy-to-use affirmations (above) that you can print anduse to help your child feel better about themselves everyday!

Can positive affirmations help with my daughter’s body image?

Absolutely! In fact, many eating disorder dietitians, body image coaches, and therapists use them in our pratices. You don’t need a professional to use thse to help her start feeling better about her body, however! You can use this article on positive body affirmations to learn how to get her started right now!

Can positive affirmations help with my daughter’s anxiety?

While affirmations aren’t a cure-all for anxiety, they can very likely be a big help. Research shows that positive affirmations have the power to lessen worry, which often in overdrive for those of us with anxiety. Another study shows that affirmations can help strengthen our feelings of self-worth, which mean it could help girls who are feeling anxious and threatened by social pressures. (Say, for example, that come from images on social media.) 

How do I make positive affirmations a part of our daily routine?

Double up on another activity you do daily with your child, such as reading books before bed, brushing teeth, or walking to school. When my clients are learning new things, chaining it together with another we-always-do-this habit works!

How often do kids need to use positive affirmations?

There’s no exact cadence or number of times per day or week; however, doing them at least once a day is a good start! The more consistent you are, the more they will become part of your child’s automatic thinking.

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