Children need confidence to thrive. As they grow and develop new skills, believing in themselves and their ability to learn is crucial.
Affirmations are a simple and effective way to boost confidence in children. Studies link affirmations to a whole host of health benefits too, from lowered stress to improved outlook on life. Research at Stanford found that affirmations can even foster a sense of belonging in school.
Read on to discover more about confidence affirmations, and learn 25 powerful phrases to create a positive and healthy foundation for your child.
What Are Affirmations?
Simply put, affirmations are statements that encourage and motivate. They can come from others (“You are capable of great things”) or from ourselves (“I can do anything I set out to accomplish”).
Self-affirmations are especially empowering for children. Children can generate their own positive emotions rather than relying on others to boost their self-esteem. Think of self-affirmations as acts of love children can send to themselves throughout the day — and in especially tricky moments.
How Do Affirmations Work?
As with any skill, self-confidence affirmations take consistent practise. Psychologist Ronald Alexander, PhD, recommends repeating affirmations three times a day for several minutes. Adding them to your child’s morning or bedtime routine can help maintain the habit.
While affirmations are typically stated aloud, it’s natural for your child to feel uncomfortable at first. Instead, they can choose to:
- Write out confidence affirmations in a journal or notebook
- Make silent affirmations using their inner voice
- Create a vision board with self-confidence images and quotes
Alexander explains that affirmations work because the brain does not distinguish between reality and fantasy. The same neuroplasticity that lets us get engrossed in a film or book allows us to believe our affirmations are already coming true.
25 Self-Confidence Affirmations
Using confidence affirmations that are both simple and empowering is key, so check out the list we’ve cultivated below. Your child can choose one or two that resonate, or use ours as a springboard to create their own!
1. I Can Do Hard Things
The ability to face and overcome obstacles is crucial to self-confidence and developing a growth mindset. This affirmation reminds children they can tackle whatever comes their way.
2. Mistakes Help Me Learn
3. I Can Try New Things
Most children are hesitant to try (and possibly fail) at something new or unfamiliar. Your child can recall all the many “firsts” they have experienced, and feel confident to try the next new thing.
4. I Speak With Kindness
5. I Was Born To Learn
Growth mindset means recognizing that everyone can grow and develop. No one is born knowing how to walk, write, or do most anything. But with time and effort, anyone can learn.
6. I Try Different Strategies Until I Get It
7. My Brain Is a Muscle — It Gets Stronger With Practise
Just as muscles strengthen from being challenged, the brain grows from struggle. The more we practise and work hard, the greater our growth.
8. I Am Always Growing and Learning
For the child who often feels “stuck” or struggles to learn new things, reminders that growth and development are always happening can be particularly powerful.
9. I Am Grateful For Who I Am
Gratitude requires shifting to a new perspective — from seeing what’s wrong to seeing what’s right. This affirmation is a reminder to focus on what’s going well, and for your child to notice the strengths and abilities they already have.
10. I Choose to Focus On What I Can Control
When things go wrong, it’s crucial for your child to focus on the aspects they can control: their words, reactions, and behaviour. Affirming they can choose what to focus on reduces anxiety about the things they cannot change.
11. I Am Brave
Children often think of brave as the opposite of scared. But bravery only exists when your child is scared — and faces it! Affirmations about being brave in the face of worries and obstacles will help even the most anxious of children move forward with confidence.
12. I Can Ask For Help When I Need It
Far from a weakness, asking for help when needed is an effective (and brave) practise. While it’s important to also try things on our own, knowing there are others to support us in difficult moments is a confidence booster.
13. I Can Feel All My Feelings
Feelings aren’t good or bad, they just are. When children allow themselves to feel and experience whatever arises, they gain confidence in their ability to handle every emotion.
14. I Have Creative Ideas
Creativity can take many forms — from writing and art to thinking and problem-solving. When children see their ideas as creative, they gain freedom to explore and try new things.
15. I Am Resilient
Resilience means bouncing back from challenges big and small. Affirming that children have the power to pick themselves up and start again is a confidence builder.
16. I Am A Helper
17. I Believe In My Dreams
Growth mindset means having big dreams and reaching for goals. This affirmation reminds children to believe in the power of their minds, and have the confidence to make their dreams a reality through hard work.
18. I Have Everything I Need To Make Today a Great Day
Many children engage in negative thinking. When one scenario goes wrong, it sets the stage for a bad day. This affirmation prompts your child to remember that any day can be turned around with a positive attitude.
19. I Am Grateful For Another Day To Make a Difference
Opportunities to make a difference are limited only by our imagination. From a daily good deed, like setting the table, to starting a community garden, each morning presents a new opportunity for your child to make a positive difference in the world.
20. I Follow My Heart
Listening to their heart is critical to a child’s confidence. This affirmation reminds them to tune in and be mindful of their inner voice — wherever it leads.
21. I Am a Good Friend
In order to make a good friend, children must be a good friend. This affirmation supports your child in developing the qualities they’d like to see in others, and is especially useful for those with social anxiety or trouble making friends.
22. I Get Better Every Single Day
Each day, we build on the effort and learning of previous days. Each day, we grow from our mistakes and hard work.
23. Today I Will Face My Fears
When we hide from worries and fears, they only get stronger. Affirmations about facing what frightens us — from a math test to a playdate — help us regain control.
24. I Choose To Compare Myself To Myself
Comparing themselves to others is normal for children. But it often leads to feeling “less than” and lacking in confidence. This affirmation notes the difference between being THE best and being THEIR best.
25. I Am Enough
It’s common for children (and adults) to feel they are lacking in some way. When we declare that we are enough exactly as we are, amazing things happen — self-acceptance, self-love, and the confidence to soar.
Affirmations are one of the best tools for boosting your child’s self-confidence and establishing their growth mindset. Encourage your child to pick one or two of our simple and effective affirmations, and repeat them daily. These affirmations for confidence will improve your child’s outlook, help them manage big emotions, and believe in the power of their dreams.
Don’t forget to check out our Affirmation Cards (PDF)! This collection of beautiful printable illustrations is filled with uplifting messages to encourage and inspire your child to live with resilience and a positive attitude.