One of the best parts of having teens and tweens is that you can still get away with doing positive affirmations with them. Dare I say, they actually like them? In private, of course. As many parents can agree, affirmations are a powerful tool that is desperately needed today with this group of growing middle schoolers.
It’s no surprise that with the surge in use of social media and media in general amongst even the youngest of our children, self-esteem and other negative mental health qualities have plummeted. So much, in fact that our Surgeon General had to issue a statement emphasizing this detriment to our kids (and ourselves).
Overall, our kids’ self-worth and ability to demonstrate resilience have declined since the introduction of social media. So, it’s time we do something about that inside our homes.
As an educator and mom of two, I’ve seen affirmations work wonders for kids. If I’m being honest, they were a little reluctant at first because they can be seen as a little cheesy. But over a brief amount of time, kids begin to repeat these mantras to themselves in times when they need it. Think of it like planting a seed. Eventually, something will cultivate, and you’ll see them use it.
With my own middle schooler, we don’t recite our positive thoughts before bed or anything “cringy” like that. Instead, I choose one affirmation per week or so and simply place it different areas for my tween to see. Yes, I still glide one into his lunchbox so he can give it a quick peak while his friends aren’t looking. I also tape it onto his bathroom mirror and leave it with his bowl of cereal in the morning. Sometimes the chosen affirmations stick, and sometimes they’re a little lackluster. That’s okay. The point is that some of this positive self-talk will eventually work its magic inside our kids’ psyche and they’ll start to believe in themselves more.
15 Affirmations for your middle schooler
1. I can do hard things.
Thanks, Glennon Doyle. This famous mantra made by the best-selling author has really clicked into the minds of millions. Getting middle schoolers (and let’s be honest, ourselves) to believe that they can do hard things is crucial. As humans, our kids are going to have setbacks and obstacles, so learning how to overcome them is vital to their growth and well-being.
2. I am enough.
This one is simple and to the point but it’s vital our kids understand this positive mindset—they are enough, regardless of their triumphs and failures.
3. I believe in myself.
Sure, it’s great if our middle schoolers know they have their parents, teachers, and coaches believing in them, but what’s better is that they have that intrinsic belief in themselves. This way, when it comes to a new challenge, they’re up for it.
4. I am proud of myself.
Similar to the last sentiment, that intrinsic motivation is much more important than getting accolades from outsiders. Middle schoolers should get used to celebrating both minor and major victories as they build their self-confidence.
5. My body can do so much.
This one is imperative with tweens because it’s crucial to focus on what their bodies can do rather than what they look like. Let’s celebrate strength, rest, and all accomplishments our body helps us do instead of appearance.
6. I am brave.
This classic affirmation will give middle schoolers the positive energy they need to get through anything—big and small. From communicating with a friend who they’re in a tiff with to a change of schools, knowing that they’re brave can get them through obstacles.
7. I control my thoughts and responses.
Tweens need to know they’re in control. Sure, sometimes it may feel that life simply happens to them, but how they respond is up to them. Positive statements like this one will help them remember this truth.
8. I trust my intuition.
Wow. I wish someone had whispered this one into my ear when I was a middle schooler. Getting kids to learn to trust themselves is a vital part of growing up—and being human.
9. I deserve friends who love me for me.
If I’m being honest, this one might get a few eye rolls at first, but middle schoolers need to learn that having friends who love them unconditionally and not because they seem cool, is much more important. Friendships should make people feel good. Period.
10. I honor my emotions.
All emotions are worthy of acknowledgment, even the messy ones. Tweens need to understand that all emotions are simply part of being human, and they all have a place and time. No emotion is forever and the quicker they realize this, the easier their life will feel.
11. My mind and body are worthy of rest.
This affirmation is essential for middle schoolers because this is the time their schedules begin to grow fuller. Therefore, it’s vital they learn that resting is equally as important as all the work they do and carve out time to do just that.
12. It’s okay to set boundaries.
Setting boundaries is something that oftentimes doesn’t feel that great because we feel like we are letting others down. But if middle schoolers can grow accustomed to this feeling of discomfort, they’ll get used to honoring themselves.
13. I am an overcomer.
All of life’s victories should be celebrated. When a tween overcomes the anxiety of giving a speech in class, gets over a painful breakup, or even simply learns about what it means to fail and get back up, hurdling over these obstacles should be noticed.
14. I visualize my success.
Goals are one thing, but getting middle schoolers to truly envision themselves accomplishing a goal is where the magic happens. So, getting them used to this idea will set them up for success.
15. I am empathetic and show empathy.
Positive phrases for oneself are great, but it’s also important to have our tweens look outside of themselves and learn to truly see people. Empathy will carry them a long way in life.
Parenting middle schoolers can be a bumpy road—and not just in youth sports. Between navigating friendship drama, peer pressure and trying to fit in, and all the physical changes that occur during this time, middle schoolers are experiencing a lot. (And so are we, the parents!) That’s why we recommend Middle School: Safety Goggles Advised by Jessica Speer. This book covers all the nitty-gritty of middle school life from crushes and crushes to gossip and grades (and everything in between).
Parenting teens and tweens is hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. Here are some other posts parents found useful.
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