Our thoughts, or self-talk, affect our mood, behavior and attitude about ourselves and about life around us. It is important for us, as adults, to help our kids learn about self-talk and how to identify when they are thinking negatively or positively.
Positive self-talk is necessary for anyone to feel and be successful in their efforts. If you consciously take time develop awareness of the way you talk to yourself, you have the power to transform your “conversations” with yourself into positive and productive words of affirmation.
One way to help children develop words of positive affirmation within themselves is to tie the word or phrase to something tangible. They will be able to physically see this “token” of gratitude for themselves and repeat that inner dialogue to themselves throughout the day.
Each day, my students would come to school and choose a “love bracelet” from the basket. Each beaded bracelet was made of its own unique color, representing its own unique meaning. Orange stands for “I am healthy.” Purple stands for “I am a good friend.” Turquoise stands for “I can do hard things.” And so on through the rainbow. Sometimes, they would even choose a bracelet which had all of the colors on one band! Next to the basket of bracelets is a color guide to the affirmation.
This simple part of our morning routine with choosing a bracelet allowed for students to start their day with a choice of how they will view themselves today.
At the end of the day, we would always close out with a meeting. I would ask if anyone wanted to share an action reflected by their bracelet choice. They would offer scenarios such as, “I was a good friend today when I helped clean up the water spilled out of Jake’s water bottle.” and “I worked really hard to finish building my prototype today, even though it kept breaking.” Sharing aloud furthered the affirmation.
I enjoyed reading Kamal Chopra’s thesis of the Impact of Positive Self-Talk which included links to even more great scholarly articles on the topic!