Looking for ways to encourage and uplift yourself AND your little one? Read on for recommended books, parenting tips and all things affirmation
I was December-2020-years-old when I realized the power of affirming yourself.
What’s an affirmation? Well, there are a few definitions but, for the sake of this text, it’s “something that is affirmed; a statement or proposition that is declared to be true.” An affirmation can be a statement or a quote. A saying or a phrase. Usually, it’s a form of text that uplifts and/or reassures you. It can be applied to any aspect of your life that needs the reassurance. For me, it was my self confidence: You see, the path to success can be difficult. In the pursuit, it’s easy to focus on all the things that AREN’T happening (yet.). At times, I felt like a failure and I would get really down about myself. So, in an effort to build myself (back) up I started turning to self help books. One of which was Becca Anderson’s “Bad Ass Affirmations” which was gifted to me by my Mother in Law.
(I recommend this book to literally every woman who needs an extra boost of confidence and morale. It has amazing stories and quotes from the Women who have paved the way before us: Marilyn Monroe, Michelle Obama, Harriet Tubman and Beyonce are just a few names that come to mind. As if to say: if SHE can do it, you can do it , too! Girl, get yo’ self one):
In this book, there are spaces dubbed “affirmation stations” which are intended for you to take a break from the text and focus on the affirmation put before you. The idea here is to reiterate the words as many times as possible until you start to believe them. It’s like, saying the words speaks them into existence and they become your reality. I recommend saying them out loud (10 pts for Gryffindor if you say them in the mirror ::smirk::) I will say, I felt a little silly at first but, since nothing else was working for me up until this point, I figured: why the hell not.
AND O.M.G. IT WORKED!
Before I knew it, it became a ritual! A daily habit! Now, whenever I start my day, I recite a custom made list of affirmations to myself and it’s been giving me quite the boost of self esteem.
But before I got to the point where I was saying them to myself, I pondered: “I wonder if there are any insecurities my child struggles with”. After all, she’s a girl just as I was a girl. And, as a girl, I recall being quite insecure. I can’t tell you if my insecurities stem all the way from early childhood, but, by the time I left middle school I had such low self esteem that at one point I developed an eating disorder. Also, just because it wasn’t MY experience shouldn’t imply that it wouldn’t be someone else’s. With this heavy on my mind, I took my 7 year old daughter and asked her a rather difficult question: “Do you have any insecurities?”
This was a tough pill to swallow. After all, as a parent you take that on: “Oh no! My child feels bad about themselves. Is it my fault? Is it something I did? Did I do something wrong? How can I do better?” I know, at least for me, I hate knowing that my child is feeling negative or bad about anything. Let alone herself. My first instinct is “how can I make this go away?“. The reality is: sometimes, you can’t. At least not on your own. Ultimately, it’s up to them to decide.
But, you can certainly help.
Affirming them is one way to do that.
After I explained to her what it meant to be insecure, she answered that sometimes she gets down about herself when it comes to her schoolwork. She said that, when she’s called on during her Zoom sessions in school (we opted for remote learning for this school year), she often feels shy or scared.
“THIS CAN GO ON NO LONGER!” I thought to myself, and with all the intensity of this guy right here,:
I taught my daughter about affirmations. I told her we would create an “affirmation station” somewhere she could easily access it (we ultimately decided on the first page of her notebook) and, anytime she was feeling down about herself, she was to turn to this page and say the words out.loud. We customized it with some of her favorite anime characters (just look at Ochaco’s adorable smile ^_^), wrote it in bright and vibrant colored sharpees for aesthetic, and customized her affirmations so that they spoke specifically to her and her insecurities. We opted for
“You got this!“,
“You can do it“,
and my favorite: “You are smart and capable” which was HI KEY giving me Viola Davis vibes:
And with that, I sent my daughter off to continue her day of learning. And you know what? She actually followed suit.
Delilah told me that she was called on during class that very afternoon. She said before she spoke, she took a deep breath, turned to her affirmation page, and said the words out loud just as I instructed. After she was done, it gave her the confidence she needed to speak up during Zoom class and, in a nice, clear and booming voice, she gave the answer her teacher was looking for.
I was so proud. You go, Delilah.
When raising a daughter, I feel like building self-esteem is of the utmost importance; it can avoid so many future issues like having her seek fulfillment through external sources which, of course, will never fill the voids of insecurities. Self esteem is internal and, if we start building them up early, they’ll have the necessary tools they need to carry themselves throughout their teen/adult lives. I recommend affirming all of your little ones, but girls especially. Depending on the severity of the case, affirmations may be used when necessary or reiterated daily. In Delilah’s situation, considering that she was just feeling down about one specific instance, I told her to use it when she needed to. But for me? I do it everyday. And remember, when choosing your affirmations, be sure to:
- Customize them to adhere specifically to YOUR goals and/or insecurities (most of mine deal with beauty, business and self esteem)
- Have as many of them as you need, and, say them as many times as you need in order to convince yourself they’re true (most effective when said out loud)
- Keep them in a place that’s easily accessible and/or viewed (I use a new one everyday as the wallpaper on my phone’s locked screen)
Let’s build up our princes and princesses, young! After all, they’ll be Kings & Queens one day 🙂
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