Inside: Most children struggle with self-doubt and fear when it comes to what other’s may think about them. These positive affirmations for kids who start using negative self-talk will help them better understand how their attitude plays a major role in their mindset.
Most days it’s an extreme battle to get 12-year-olds to focus for more than 5 minutes or wrap up social-hour when you’re teaching a new concept. They’re 100% natural, social beings.
But last week, said 12-year-olds threw me for a loop, and I was shocked.
After 2 weeks of research and creation, the students had to present a project…to the whole class.
With very few exceptions, I had to randomly call on students to present. No one wanted to stand in front of their peers and share their ideas. They morphed into the shyest kids on the planet.
I had never seen some of these kids completely and utterly speechless.
And Then Came Their Words
The students one-by-one slowly sauntered to the front of the room to face their peers and me. First, I broke the ice by reminding them of the order in which to present their project.
With trembling hands and crackling voices, their first words were usually, “My project is awful.”
Or “I can’t draw.”
Or “I didn’t know what to do.”
Their natural, social abilities were thrown out the window and negative self-talk took over.
And I just sat there with pen in hand, absolutely stunned.
What happened to Little Suzy’s sense of humor or Little Johnny’s constant telling of his favorite scary movie plot? Since when were they afraid to talk to their peers?
Here’s What They’re Really Saying
For most people, public-speaking is at the top of their list of scariest activities ever. Probably up there with getting a root canal.
No one likes to feel unprepared, inadequate, or powerless in front of the people whom they feel may judge them the most.
What my students were really saying behind those negative words:
I’m afraid I might fail.
I’m upset I didn’t put forth my best effort.
I’m scared to look stupid in front of my friends.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like public-speaking nor the idea of getting a root canal. I don’t like to feel uncomfortable.
Which means we have to psyche our kids up when they’re feeling a little unnerved.
So what can you do in that moment when you hear your child start the negative self-talk?
Help them turn around their statements.
Positive Affirmations for Kids When They Feel Inadequate or Powerless
Positive affirmations for kids can be just the right ticket to teach them how their talk can affect their attitude. “I can…” statements are an easy place to start.
I learned very quickly after the first few students that their negative words towards themselves were hindering their presentations.
Shoulders slumped and eyes downward were the tell-tell signs of a lack of courage or stress.
Putting a stop to it right away, I guided the students to select a few “I can” statements to speak positively about their project and presentation.
Here are a few I used:
“This feeling isn’t comfortable, but I can handle it.”
“I can feel anxious and still deal with this situation.”
“Take a breath. Just breathe. I can do this.”
The transformation was amazing in most of them. They stood a little taller with shoulders back and a much more relaxed demeanor.
I’d give them a big smile and ask them to continue. Then, of course, we’d always applaud for our classmates.
Attitude is everything.
“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one”
You can also turn quotes into positive affirmations for kids. This quote above would turn into this:
“I can adopt the right attitude to change my negative stress into a positive one.”
Download Your Free Printable Affirmation Cards
Want 16 more printable affirmation cards to help your child conquer stress and become a better version of himself or herself?
- Click the button below to grab your free affirmation cards, plus join my newsletter!
- Print out the cards. Cardstock is best but any white paper will do.
- Cut apart the cards. Scissors will do the trick, but I prefer a paper trimmer for straighter and quicker cutting.
- Set your kids up to practice using the cards when they’re feeling stressed or even use them daily.
If your child struggles with their inner critic, they may have a fixed mindset when it comes to learning to deal with stress. Find more tried-and-true tricks to help them cope with stress here:
- How to Reduce Your Stress in as Little as 5 Minutes
- Why Wonder and Awe Need to Be in Your Life Every Day
Have you found any positive affirmations for kids who resort to negative self-talk? Share in a comment below!