So often, as adults, we want kids and teens to behave in certain ways. We want kids to take responsibility for their actions and own up when they make a mistake. We want them to make positive choices from the start. We want them to take risks, learn, and grow. We want them to feel empowered and use their voice to make a positive impact in our communities.
All of these things sound great, but they all start with one thing: mindset. In order to be at their best, kids and teens need to develop a more positive mindset about themselves and what they can accomplish. This is just one small component to social emotional learning as a whole, but it’s a great place to start.
The original idea for this actually started with just a small Instagram post, but I learned quickly how important this topic was to other educators.
Kids and teens are constantly getting messages from friends, social media, television, and beyond. Unfortunately, those messages are not always the most positive ones.
As an educator, I believe it is part of our responsibility to help shape the minds of kids and young adults for the better. That means helping them develop a more positive voice, use positive self-talk on a regular basis, and improve their confidence.
Since that Instagram post, I have thought about more statements that all kids and teens should believe and added them to a longer list.
There are many different ways you can use these statements to help kids and teens rethink their thinking about themselves. Here are just a few:
- List or read one statement each day. Discuss it and ask kids to share their thoughts.
- Have kids make their own lists to reread when they need.
- Use the topic to introduce positive affirmations.
- Cut out slips with the positive statements. Have kids randomly pick one to read aloud.
- Have students list out their statements and believes to create a class bulletin board filled with positive thoughts and ideas.
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Here are 20+ things all kids and teens (and yes, even adults) should believe about themselves:
- I can do difficult things with hard work and perseverance.
- I am enough and a work in progress all at the same time.
- It’s okay to mess up sometimes, as long as I learn and grow.
- I will have touch days sometimes, and I can get past them.
- How others treat me is a reflection of them, not how I treat others is a reflection of me.
- I can help and be helped.
- I should take responsibility for my actions in good times and in tough ones.
- Every day I can have a fresh start.
- My feelings matter.
- I am free to make my own choices.
- It’s okay to embrace my emotions, no matter what they are.
- I am unique and don’t need to compare myself to anyone to feel happy.
- My quirks are wonderful; they make me who I am.
- I have the power to make my dreams come true.
- Things won’t always go the way I planned, but I will cope and be okay in the end.
- It’s okay to cry sometimes.
- I can say “no” when I’m uncomfortable with something.
- My voice matters.
- I am loved.
- Taking care of myself is important.
- Stepping outside my comfort zone helps me grow.
- Even when I know about about something, there is still more to learn.
- I am proud of my accomplishments.
- I am growing into the best version of me.
What statements would you add? Let me know. I’d love to add to the list!
Christine VanDenover says
I love the 20+ things. Thank you for those. We need to be able to bring our kids hope in these times. Do you have any specific help for them to see that this is just one period of their time and not forever?
Thanks for the compliment! I’m glad these are helpful. No, I don’t have anything specific about covid, but I think it’s a great point to stress that. Maybe finding some quotes about how we go through temporary things would be helpful. That might be a place to start!