- 23 People Arrested In Gwinnett County Online Child Sex Sting
- Woman Left Baby In Hot Car To Go Pay Fine At Court
- Mother Warns About Dangers Of Fentanyl By Posting Picture Of Dying Son
- This Woman’s Burns Shows Essential Oils Can Be Dangerous
- The Popular Trend Of Baby Bed-Sharing Linked To Rising Infant Deaths
- How to Keep Your Kids Entertained During a Long Road Trip
- Mom Who Carried Terminally Ill Baby To Term To Donate Organs, Has Given Birth
- Recall Alert: Frito-Lay Recalls Various Potato Chip Snacks
- Recall Alert: Chicken Soup Products
- Man Arrested For Punching Toddler
Nightly Affirmations Benefit Your Toddler’s Well-Being
In the book, The Help, by Katherine Stockett, the nanny tells the child she helps raise, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important”. She tells her this daily, in an attempt to inoculate the child from the negativity she is surrounded with growing up. This habitual affirmation of self-worth hit home for me as a parent.
It seems like there are so many times as a parent where I have to say, “No.” or “Don’t do that.” or “Clean this up right now!” and it takes a conscious effort to be sure to outweigh the negatives phrases with ones that are positive. I’ve started giving my girls affirmations on a regular basis, hoping that some of the words will sink into their skulls and etch themselves into their brains. I don’t have a standard trio of words like the nanny did, instead, I list a multitude of strengths that I notice about them. I say things like:
“You pay attention.”
“You’re a hard worker.”
“You’re a kind person.”
“You’re a reader.”
“You’re an artist.”
“You share with your friends.”
“You try new things.”
“You can tell when people are being nice, and when they’re not.”
It’s not always the exact same list, but many of the statements above make their way out of my mouth on a regular basis.
I’ve found that the best time to have these affirming talks is during bedtime. After going through our nighttime routine, even if my girls are tired, sometimes they’ll try to extend bedtime. Occasionally, my oldest gets out of bed and tries this tactic:
“Wait, Mama, I have to tell you something”.
“What do you need to tell me?”
“Um…….” and she searches for something to say.
She didn’t need to tell me anything, she just wanted to talk a bit longer. Anything to get out of having to go to sleep right that minute. When I wrap up bedtime with the affirmations, though, I notice a difference. I can feel her body physically relax as I look into her eyes and list some of the positive traits I see in her. She sometimes even makes a little noise that I equate to a cat’s purr, a soothing kind of sound that sort of sounds like a hummed version of someone saying, “Awwww!” that she just can’t help but make because what I’m saying feels good to hear. The other night I was going through the affirmations and I ended with, “I’m proud of you and I love you,” and my daughter said, “Don’t forget the, ‘you notice who is nice!’” I hadn’t listed that one. It was the first time I got confirmation that what I was saying was sinking in.
On those evenings when I give my toddler a list of affirmations, by the time I leave the room she is usually already rolling to her side, bringing her blanket near her face. She’s calm, settled, and she has an easier time going to sleep. I don’t usually hear her say “Mama! I have to tell you something!” The affirmations seem to be good for her confidence, as well as her ability to get to sleep.