How to Affirm Children: 4 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Affirming your child will send her the message that she is a blessing in your life.


“I can’t do it! I’m just stupid,” your preschooler cries as he struggles to tie his shoe laces once again. You know that he obviously isn’t stupid, and he really wants to tie his shoe laces just like Daddy does. This is where affirmation comes in. Affirmation is the act of making positive statements. These positive statements will help ease your child's mind in the face of frustration. Family counselors Les and Leslie Parrott explain that affirmation provides the praise and approval that children seek. Affirming your toddler or preschooler can give him extra confidence to face the world when challenges arise.

Steps

  1. 1
    “The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance," advise parents to use gentle and affectionate touches when seeking their children's attention. Get down on your child’s level and look her in the eyes as you hold her hand, lay a hand gently on her shoulder or clasp her in a warm embrace. This form of affirmation — the touch — will send your child the message that you love and accept her unconditionally.
  2. 2
    Praise your child for something she has done or for some specific quality that she possesses. Specific praise is meaningful and increases your child’s ability to believe in herself, the Parrotts explain. You might say, “I’m so proud of the way you shared your cookies with your sister,” or Wow! You did an awesome job cleaning your room.” If you don’t have a specific accomplishment in mind, you might say, “I’m such a lucky mom to have a child like you. You brighten my day.” Be sincere and completely truthful with your words.
  3. 3
    Demonstrate to your child that you understand her value. Spend time with her during a busy day and set time aside to tell her how valuable she is to you. Conversely, ignoring her or giving her only limited access to you says you value other things over her. Take time to snuggle and read to her several times a week. Include her in your daily activities. Speak in loving and meaningful ways, and verbalize her worth: “I love you so much. My life would-would be so sad without you.
  4. 4
    Acknowledge your child's abilities and successes. Cheer him on when he plays t-ball. Tell him he will succeed when he becomes frustrated with his efforts and then help him brainstorm ways to accomplish that success. Proudly display his trophies or his crafts. Brag about him and allow him to overhear you. Provide tangible rewards for successes when you feel it’s appropriate, such as buying him the goldfish he wants when he proves he can be trusted to feed and water the dog.

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