Positive Thinking for Kids: Positive Affirmations and Boosting Self Esteem (2023)

Positive affirmations for kids can be about their self-worth, the things they are good at, and their feelings.

There’s no denying the power of positive thinking. Saying positive affirmations out loud has been linked with tangible mental health benefits such as improving concentration on your goals, shifting negative thought patterns into positive ones and even boosting self-confidence.

But positive affirmations (or positive affirmation quotes) aren’t just beneficial for adults. In fact, positive affirmations for kids can be a powerful tool to help young children prevent negative thinking, improve self-esteem and boost the positive feelings and positive outlook that is so important in life.

This article will explain what positive affirmations are, why they may be beneficial for kids, and how to teach your children to practice positive thinking effectively.

What are positive affirmations for kids?

A positive affirmation is a statement said aloud, either by the child about themselves, or by the parent to the child. Positive affirmations for kids can be about their self-worth, the things they are good at, and their feelings.

Examples include phrases such as “Making mistakes helps me learn” or “I know those bad feelings come and go.”

These positive statements help children navigate their emotions, social interactions and positively influence their self-talk, creating the kind of positive mindset that can help them overcome challenges now and throughout their lives.

Why positive self talk and positive statements are so important for kids

According to Dr. Bethany Cook, a clinical psychologist and author of For What It’s Worth: A Perspective on How to Thrive and Survive Parenting: Ages 0-2, research supports that positive affirmations for kids impact their behavior for the better.

In the same way that children will act “bad” if they are told that they are bad by a parent, children who receive positive affirmations regarding their behavior and self-worth tend to act in a way that reflects these positive affirmations.

Positive affirmations for kids also impact their internal monologue. Instead of beating themselves up, being hard on themselves in social situations or other daily scenarios your child encounters throughout the day, hearing and saying positive affirmations helps kids overcome these negative thoughts and shift to a more positive way of thinking and viewing themselves – even when they’ve had a bad day or encountered a challenging situation. This helps combat negative self-talk by encouraging positive thoughts.

Positive affirmations for kids can also help children learn how to reflect on a situation before reacting harshly or rashly. Instead of blaming themselves or lashing out at others in a situation, they’re able to think and healthily respond to their own emotions critically.

Children can learn and adapt, so starting positive affirmations at an early age can be highly beneficial for kids. Kids who feel empowered to learn and grow thanks to positive thinking are more likely to persevere in difficult situations.

How to get kids to do positive affirmations

You understand what positive affirmations are and why they’re essential for practicing positive thinking, positive self-talk and positive self-image. Now, the only challenge is to encourage your child to participate.

The good news? Positive affirmations don’t have to take a long span of time each day to be effective. Just five minutes each day can go a long way in helping your child boost self-confidence and feel ready to take on the day.

Morning affirmations are a great time to implement positive affirmations for kids since they set the day ahead. However, if your child comes home after a bad day at school, you may want to implement positive affirmations at night to reinforce positive thinking.

Choose two to four affirmations to read with your child, and have your child be involved in the selection process. Ask your child to write the affirmations down, then recite them by looking in the mirror. To make your child feel supported, it’s a good idea to do your affirmations along with them so that it feels like something you’re doing together — not forcing your child to do it alone.

Some children may have difficulty choosing which affirmations they want to say that day — or even which positive affirmations they’d like to begin with. In that case, help guide them toward the affirmations you feel they need to hear most. For example, if your child is having a hard time fitting in at school, affirmations like “I would want to be my friend” or “I don’t have to follow the crowd” can be powerful morning affirmations to start the day with.

Positive affirmations for kids

Positive affirmations for kids don’t need to be long and complicated. Short, simple phrases tend to work best for children. Before getting started, asking your child to come up with a list of their own can help get the process started.

It may be helpful for you as the parent to know what their mind is currently on, which can help you select a list of kids’ positive affirmations moving forward. Here is a list of positive affirmations for kids to get started with.

Positive affirmations for kids to boost confidence

I am perfect the way I am

I am strong and confident

I am smart

I am always growing

It’s okay not to be good at everything

I am always growing and learning

Anything is possible

I give off positive energy

I get back up when I fall

I have inner strength

I am a leader

I’ve got this

I will not give up

I have inner strength

Today is my day

Positive affirmations for kids to learn boundaries

If I’m uncomfortable, I’m allowed to say no

It’s okay to say no

It’s my body; I’m the boss of it

I respect the boundaries of others

It’s okay to set boundaries

I can ask for help if someone is being unsafe

I can only control myself, not others

If I feel unsafe, I do not need to stay

I can be kind and firm with my words

I can take alone time when I need it

I can take positive action when someone upsets me

It’s okay to speak up if someone else is treating another person poorly

I know right from wrong

I can let others know what feels good to me

It’s okay to stand up for myself

Positive affirmations for kids to teach self-love

I like who I am

I do my best every day

My voice matters

I am loved by the people in my life

I am special and unique

I am an awesome person

Giving my best is enough

I don’t know everything, and that’s okay

I can try again if I make a mistake

I get better every day

I am special and unique

I’m proud of myself and who I am

I am here for a reason

I think kind thoughts about myself

I have unique talents to share with others

Positive affirmations for kids that teach kindness

I can be kind even when it feels hard to do

I can bring joy to others around me

I can learn how others feel and think

I can show myself kindness the same way I show my friends kindness

I show others I care through my words and actions

I will make the world a better place

Including others is an act of kindness

I am a good friend who is kind and considerate

I can put myself in other people’s shoes

I can respect others opinions, even if they are different than mine

I love making new friends

I am willing to learn from my friends

I can do kind things without being asked

Acts of kindness are contagious

Being kind is being brave

Positive affirmations for kids that teach motivation

It’s okay to take a break when I feel overwhelmed

I can do hard things

I can choose to think positively when things are hard

I am working on myself

My possibilities are endless

I am building my future

I’m going to push through this

I’ve got this

I set the goals that I want to achieve

I can be a leader

I know when to push myself and when to rest

I am a hard worker

When things are hard, I can take the first step

I will take deep breaths if things get tough

Hard things make me better

Positive affirmations for kids that teach inner strength

My strengths are special and unique

I am prepared to succeed

My possibilities are endless

I strive to do my best every day

I love to explore new activities

I am beautiful inside and out

I love my body

I’m here to make a difference in the world

Today, I will walk through my fears

I am strong and determined

Today is going to be my day

I’m enough to do my best

I stand up for what I believe in

All of my problems have solutions

I am capable of more than I know

Positive affirmations for kids that teach resilience

Challenges help me grow and learn

It’s okay to ask for help when I feel overwhelmed

I am not ashamed to cry

I can cheer myself up when I’m down

I can recognize my shortcomings

I know everything will work out and be okay

When I’ve done something I regret, I take responsibility

When I fall, I get back up and try again

I find small things to be grateful for every day

Making mistakes teaches me how to grow

I will have a great day no matter what

If I don’t get it right the first time, I can try again

Hard things can make me better

I can overcome my fears

I can improve each day

Positive affirmations for kids about friendship

Sharing with others feels good

I can ask questions and listen to make new friends

I don’t compare myself to others

It’s okay not to be friends with everyone

I can be myself around my true friends

Including others is kind and feels good

I choose good friends

My friends know I am honest and dependable

I show my friends they’re important through my words and actions

I talk through disagreements with friends in a kind way

I treat others the way I want to be treated

I keep the commitments I make to my friends

I surround myself with positive people

I am loved for who I am

I don’t have to follow the crowd


It is powerful to teach kids positive affirmations that they can use to cultivate a positive self-image, be a good friend, build self-confidence, and avoid negative self-talk. It helps children tackle day-to-day challenges, learn self-growth and establish healthy boundaries.

If you’re unsure of how to get started, consider these questions to ask kids, or start spending time with positive affirmation quotes of your own before sharing with your children.


Are you building a force of positivity in your child’s mind?


Are positive affirmations effective in boosting self-esteem? ›

A 2018 study indicates that affirming yourself can help you cope with uncertainty and improve your self-worth. These positive thoughts can lead to action and success, showing they can work. Positive affirmations are more effective when they're future-oriented rather than thinking about the past.

Do positive affirmations work for kids? ›

Positive affirmations helps kids to gain confidence, contributes to a growth mindset, and helps kids to truly believe in themselves. Kids need to hear what makes them special and strong over and over again.

What are strong affirmations for kids? ›

Positive affirmations for kids about self-esteem

I am important and special. I can be a positive leader to others. I am proud of myself and my accomplishments. Mistakes help me learn and grow.

How do you teach positive affirmations to children? ›

You can do this by looking into your children's eyes daily or weekly and affirming them with positive statements like “you're amazing” and “you're loved so much.” Try to also concentrate on your children's unique strengths and personality traits instead of what they do or what you expect.

What promotes positive self-esteem? ›

Give yourself a challenge

But people with healthy self-esteem do not let these feelings stop them trying new things or taking on challenges. Set yourself a goal, such as joining an exercise class or going to a social occasion. Achieving your goals will help to increase your self-esteem.

When should I start affirmations with my child? ›

Self-talk typically begins around the age of three when children start to learn words and express themselves with language. So this is the perfect time to start self affirmations for kids. Establishing habits and routines around speech will also help them grow and develop more quickly.

Why are affirmation cards good for kids? ›

The affirmations cards have a special focus on kindness - not only to themselves but to others around them. Research shows mindful kids are more likely to be focused, calm and have the ability to create their own happiness, which are all essential parts of your child's wellbeing and development.

What is an affirmation child development? ›

Developmental affirmations are positive messages that you give to another person or yourself. The affirmation messages give hope and direction by helping us care for others and ourselves.

What are the 3 P of affirmations? ›

Some suggest following the 3 P's rule: present tense, personal, and positive. This means that we want the affirmations: 1) to be couched as if they were already happening; 2) to relate to us meaningfully; and 3) to be aspirational.

What is the mantra for happiness for kids? ›

The Yogic/Sanskrit mantra used is "Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu," which translates into "May all beings be happy and free." The mantra is discussed and taught in an easy and accessible manner for children of all ages.

What are positive affirmations for ADHD? ›

Examples of positive affirmations for ADHD

My attention span is getting stronger with each breath. I am good enough. ADHD allows me to be creative. I am loved.

What are the affirmations for learning and growth? ›

Positive Affirmations for Students

I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I strive to do my best. The more I learn, the more I can accomplish. I embrace challenges because they make me stronger.

Where do you start positive affirmations? ›

Start your short positive affirmation with the words, “I am…” “I can…” or “I will…” followed by a present tense statement, says Bathgate. It's best to keep it simple so the statement is something you can easily remember and turn to when you're stressed or need motivation.

What is self talk for kids? ›

Self-talk is speaking to oneself either inside the head (covertly) or out loud (overtly). It involves statements that are made to oneself rather than to others, usually for self-regulation rather than communication.

Do positive affirmations build confidence? ›

Self-affirmations can help improve that perception, a potentially more tangible way to improve confidence. Self-affirmations looking toward the future were previously associated with improved self-processing including positive valuation, or seeing yourself in a more positive light.

How useful are positive affirmations? ›

Positive affirmations, though, help you disrupt negative thinking habits and build a new route in your brain for positive thoughts. Eventually, positive thought patterns appear, and your good thoughts affect your actions. This could help you learn new skills, succeed at work, or improve relationships.

Why are positive affirmations effective? ›

Positive affirmations are specific statements which help you overcome negative thoughts. They encourage you to visualize and believe a statement to make positive changes in your life. Affirmations are phrases that you repeat to yourself to change your subconscious thoughts.

What are 4 benefits of using affirmations? ›

They can be said aloud or to yourself. These statements are usually intended to help shift thinking from negative to positive, motivate an action, reduce stress, persevere through difficult times, and increase self-confidence and well-being. “Affirmations help build and improve your self-esteem.


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