Using Affirmations to Build Competence

Using Affirmations to Building Competence26452837 - boy holding a broom

We know the power of affirming our children for the things they do. Parents and teachers know behavior that is recognized by an important adult is often repeated. In fact, research tells us that children need many positive words each day to grow into healthy adults. Along with those affirmations,  children need to hear clearly stated expectations.  It’s not enough to reinforce their confidence, we need to facilitate their competence as well.

In order for children to become competent, they have to have work that is meaningful.  At home or in the community, children know when they make a real contribution to the work of others.

Engage them in meaningful work like raking the leaves or matching socks in the laundry or holding the door when you bring in the groceries. This helps them  develop a sense of belonging and a real understanding of how people work within a community to change the world for the better.

  • As you strive to affirm your children, connect these affirmations to acts of kindness, hard work, or perseverance.  “I really appreciate you putting your clothes in the hamper.” or “That was kind of you to hold the door for Grandma.”
  • Use praise to value effort, rather than just accomplishment. “You are working really hard on your block tower.” or “You worked really hard cleaning up the legos.”
  • Help your child affirm others for their efforts as well. “Let’s tell your sister what a great job she did at soccer today.” or “Let’s thank Grandpa for building us a birdhouse.”

Positive messages such as these will resonate with your child in a profound way.  Soon you will hear your child say “I’m a really good lego-picker-upper” or “My mommy says I’m the best laundry helper she’s ever had.”  You are building, self-esteem, self-worth, confidence and competence–all with just your everyday affirmations.  Well done!!




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