I had the privilege a few years back to speak and share my book, I’m Proud to Be Natural Me! with a pre-K class in Chicago. It was extra special that day because my daughter came with me and I used to be the teacher assistant in that classroom. I had an activity planned that I had never tried before, but I felt it was inspired.
I had my daughter write three affirmations on the dry erase board: “I love you,” “I believe in you,” and “I am proud of you.” I sat in the big wooden teacher’s chair, and the children encircled me on the rug sitting cross-legged. Then, I told them our activity.
I pulled out my hot pink, zebra print mirror with a handle and told them they each would hold the mirror and look at themselves as we all (teachers and volunteers included) said these affirmations to them!
I have never seen such an instant transformation, than as I watched each child’s face as they heard a room full of their classmates say these words to them. Some sat and smiled at themselves, while others beamed as they said the affirmations, too.
At 3, 4, and 5 years old, these children knew the value of those words. They felt an instant shift from hearing words that they knew I told the class to say. I didn’t even matter to them to know for sure that they meant it. It was one of my most powerful talks.
Imagine how powerful those words are when they come from your lips. If you don’t think they are, imagine hearing your own parent, guardian, grandparent or that coach who was hard on you saying these words. These affirmations are some of the most healing words a child can hear at any age. So many adults are still waiting to hear these words.
Don’t withhold them. Don’t only tie them to an achievement. Don’t wait ’til it’s too late. Love them for who they are. Believe in them for the potential you know is there. Be proud of the qualities you see in them that are valuable. Look beyond their imperfections and affirm them.
We’ll never get the best out of them by telling them what they’re not. We’ll only see more of what frustrates us as we continue to express our disappointment. We must positively affirm our children, and a great place to start is….
“I love you.” “I believe in you.” “I am proud of you.”
Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist
Author of I’m Proud to Be Natural Me!
Creator/Instructor of Healing our Families: Healing the Parent-Child Relationship
I’m Proud to Be Natural Me! teaches children to embrace their natural beauty.
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Healing Our Families: Healing the Parent-Child Relationship is an online communication course for parents. In 6 lectures, I teach you how to interact with your child in ways the cultivate a closer relationship. Work at your pace on your time.
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