One of the most effective ways to help children see the positive sides of themselves is through “I AM” affirmations. I have seen a child go from a blown-out tantrum to attaining a calm state in a matter of 60 seconds. How is this accomplished???? There is nothing magical that I had done. When they are able to connect to their breath and link it to a self affirming characteristic, they create the change within themselves. Here is a very simple way that I have introduced this into my therapeutic yoga classes for “differently-abled” students. Have the students use a balloon breath with an affirmation that they think of, or read off of a card. Here is how it is done:
1.Standing tall like a mountain, inhale your arms out to the side and up over your head.
2.When your hands meet, say, “I AM”
3.As you bring your hands down to your heart in prayer pose, say your affirming word.
If they have difficulty thinking of something positive to say, below is a list to help the positive juices flowing.
4.Another thing I like to add is having them write down one of the affirmations. This is a great way to practice handwriting and becomes more memorable as well as believable when they see the sentence in their own handwriting. I encourage them to keep the sentence where they can see it, or refer to it on occasion throughout the day. Taped to the side of their desk, or folded in their pocket are 2 options that have worked well.
For more activities to share with students, purchase our comprehensive manuals for K-5th grade, and for teens which give you step-by-step prompts as well as all of the science behind these transformative practices.