Being a teenager can be one of the most challenging experiences in life. Positive affirmations can help a teen keep the focus on what is true and desired in life instead of all of the distractions and questions that a teen will face. Self-talk and positive affirmations can influence a teen's entire sense of self, and can contribute to a healthy attitude and prosocial behaviors, according to Sander Thomaes of the Department of Psychology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
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Daily Affirmation List
Help your teen with her positive affirmations. One way to do this is ask her to write one positive statement about herself each day for a year. These can be affirmations about any aspect of himself she likes or that she’s learning to like, such as, “I like my smile; I am determined; I am a caring friend; I listen well; I am learning about myself; I like myself.” Other very helpful positive affirmations are: “I set achievable goals, I honor my feelings, I am kind to others and they are kind to me, I let criticism roll off my back, I learn from challenges.” Your teen can invite friends to participate and support one another with affirmations.
Test the research by Thomaes that indicates positive affirmations can help your teen develop a "stronger sense of who they are." Help your teen write as many positive traits as you can about himself, such as “I listen to others when they talk to let them know I care,” or “I study regularly to learn and get the grades I want,” or “I take care of my space and belongings at home,” or “I look forward to the future.” Ask your teen to take a few moments to write about each trait. And then ask him to think about these traits. What does that trait say about you? Are you strong, calm, caring, considerate, funny? How does it benefit your life? Are you able to be alone without feeling lonely or do you have many friends you feel supported by?
Morning, Evening, or In the Mirror
Help your teen create affirmations that are meaningful to him such as, "I speak respectfully to myself and others," and "I am open and ready to learn," "I shine my light from the inside out," "I am pleasant to be around," or "I like all parts of myself," and "I accept and appreciate even the parts of myself that others may not like." Keep them in the present tense and make sure they feel right. Revise as necessary. Ask your teen to say them in the morning as he wakes up, and then right before bed, or in the mirror. It's okay if it feels funny at first; with practice, he will get used to talking kindly to himself.
visualization. According to Annie Desantis of Inspired Parenting Tips, creative visualization can enhance the experience of using affirmations. As you say a statement to yourself, close your eyes and imagine how that affirmation can be true. For example, when helping creating visualizations for your teen, if you are saying to yourself "I am a powerful person," that brings bring to mind how you are powerful in positive ways in your life. The trick then is to focus deeply on how good that feels. Help your teen notice what he looks like, feels like, or sounds like in the visualization, and ask him to take a picture with his senses to access when he feels stressed or when you want to focus your energy in a positive way.