Suggestions for Using Affirmations

We love affirmations. They're confidence-building statements with a positive essence. They make us feel good. In our Arts & Dreams affirmation paintings workshop, we explain what an affirmation is, then each child creates their own affirmation painting.

For older kids (like us), the concept of an affirmation can be understood more deeply. The spirituality inherent in affirmations is described in a book we recently came across. These wonderful excerpts about using affirmations are from Nurturing Spirituality in Children by Peggy Joy Jenkins, Ph.D.

Affirmations are positive statements about who we are and what we can become or experience. Almost anything we really want to change about ourselves can be changed by using positive declarations or affirmations. The change is in our belief about ourselves.

The most important affirmations for children are those that build their self-esteem. Self-esteem is the foundation of joyful, successful lives. Many parents and teachers teach their small children to use the magic words "I like myself." Such words foster friendliness and cooperation because we must first like ourselves in order to like others. Encourage the children to use these magic words three times when they wake up and when they're about to go to sleep in order to counteract the bombardment of put-downs from self and others that they may experience throughout the day.

Older children can use "I feel warm and loving toward myself" or "I love myself totally and completely." The "self" referred to is the Higher Self, and these words mean that the children are affirming the Spirit within them.

The more joyous the emotion you attach to the affirmation, the more effective the affirmation will be. Feelings, both negative and positive, have formative power.