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Growth mindset affirmation for kids

By Sarah Earles, MS, LPC, NCC | August 18, 2023 

Self-talk affects functioning. It affects confidence, hope, faith, and so much more. In kids, self-talk affects willingness and readiness to learn, and social presentation. One way to encourage positive self-talk in kids is to practice affirmations that align with growth mindset.
What is an affirmation? An affirmation is a positive statement, usually with the first-person “I” as the subject (Goldman, 2022). The purpose of affirmation is to reduce negative thoughts that can negatively impact performance (Mind Tools Content Team, n.d.). Affirmations can also reduce fixed mindset, or the idea that things cannot change (Farnam Street, n.d.). Affirmations, therefore, align with a growth mindset.
What is growth mindset? Perseverance towards a goal characterizes growth mindset (Farnam Street, n.d.). Growth mindset is the perspective that things can change, and that people can always continue to learn. Growth mindset embraces challenges, seeing them as motivation for acquiring more skills (Morin, n.d.). Growth mindset is fluid, rather than static.

What are some examples of growth mindset affirmations for kids? Most growth mindset affirmations start with “I am,” or another present tense verb to keep the focus on the time at hand (Positive Words Research, n.d.). The words that follow should be unconditional truth, rather than a condition of the present, however (Positively Present, n.d.). The words that follow should be positive, so as to promote the helpful thinking (Butler, 2020). Affirmations can be phrases like any of the following:

I can work hard.

I can solve problems.

I am learning.

I am on the right track.

I believe in myself.

It’s okay to make mistakes.

I am practicing.

I am improving.

I am trying.

I can try.

I am determined.

I can figure this out.

I am working on this.

(Mathers, 2021; Proud To Be Primary, n.d.)

Summary: Will growth affirmations cure all ills? Certainly not! They can help train the brain to think more positively, however. They can help train the brain to grow. Growth is necessary if kids are to move on from their present state and into a more whole, healed, happy, and grown-up state.

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Self-talk affects functioning. It affects confidence, hope, faith, and so much more. In kids, self-talk affects willingness and readiness to learn, and social presentation. One way to encourage positive self-talk in kids is to practice affirmations that align with growth mindset.
What is an affirmation? An affirmation is a positive statement, usually with the first-person “I” as the subject (Goldman, 2022). The purpose of affirmation is to reduce negative thoughts that can negatively impact performance (Mind Tools Content Team, n.d.). Affirmations can also reduce fixed mindset, or the idea that things cannot change (Farnam Street, n.d.). Affirmations, therefore, align with a growth mindset.
What is growth mindset? Perseverance towards a goal characterizes growth mindset (Farnam Street, n.d.). Growth mindset is the perspective that things can change, and that people can always continue to learn. Growth mindset embraces challenges, seeing them as motivation for acquiring more skills (Morin, n.d.). Growth mindset is fluid, rather than static.

What are some examples of growth mindset affirmations for kids? Most growth mindset affirmations start with “I am,” or another present tense verb to keep the focus on the time at hand (Positive Words Research, n.d.). The words that follow should be unconditional truth, rather than a condition of the present, however (Positively Present, n.d.). The words that follow should be positive, so as to promote the helpful thinking (Butler, 2020). Affirmations can be phrases like any of the following:

I can work hard.

I can solve problems.

I am learning.

I am on the right track.

I believe in myself.

It’s okay to make mistakes.

I am practicing.

I am improving.

I am trying.

I can try.

I am determined.

I can figure this out.

I am working on this.

(Mathers, 2021; Proud To Be Primary, n.d.)

Summary: Will growth affirmations cure all ills? Certainly not! They can help train the brain to think more positively, however. They can help train the brain to grow. Growth is necessary if kids are to move on from their present state and into a more whole, healed, happy, and grown-up state.

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References

Butler, K. (2020, July 20). I AM: The two most powerful words on earth. Power of Positivity. https://www.powerofpositivity.com/i-am-affirmation-statements/

Farnam Street (n.d.). Carol Dweck: A summary of growth and fixed mindsets. https://fs.blog/carol-dweck-mindset/.

Goldman, R. (2022, November 4). Affirmations: What they are, health benefits, and getting started. Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/what-are-affirmations/#definition

Mathers, C. (2021, November 16). 30 growth mindset phrases to encourage children. Develop Good Habits. https://www.developgoodhabits.com/growth-mindset-phrases/

Mind Tools Content Team. Using affirmation. Mind Tools. https://www.mindtools.com/air49f4/using-affirmations

Morin, A. (n.d.). What is growth mindset? Understood. https://www.understood.org/en/articles/growth-mindset

Positively Present. (n.d.). The power of “I AM” + How to harness it. https://positivelypresent.com/2017/06/i-am.html

Positive Words Research. (n.d.). I AM affirmations list – I AM words – I AM statements. https://positivewordsresearch.com/i-am/

Proud To Be Primary. 50 encouraging growth mindset quotes to introduce in the classroom. https://proudtobeprimary.com/growth-mindset-quotes/

References

Butler, K. (2020, July 20). I AM: The two most powerful words on earth. Power of Positivity. https://www.powerofpositivity. com/i-am-affirmation-statements/

Farnam Street (n.d.). Carol Dweck: A summary of growth and fixed mindsets. https://fs.blog/carol-dweck-mindset/.

Goldman, R. (2022, November 4). Affirmations: What they are, health benefits, and getting started. Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/ emotional-health/what-are-affirmations/#definition

Mathers, C. (2021, November 16). 30 growth mindset phrases to encourage children. Develop Good Habits. https://www.developgoodhabits. com/growth-mindset-phrases/

Mind Tools Content Team. Using affirmation. Mind Tools. https://www.mindtools.com /air49f4/using-affirmations

Morin, A. (n.d.). What is growth mindset? Understood. https://www. understood.org/en/articles/growth-mindset

Positively Present. (n.d.). The power of “I AM” + How to harness it. https://positivelypresent.com/2017 /06/i-am.html

Positive Words Research. (n.d.). I AM affirmations list – I AM words – I AM statements. https://positivewordsresearch. com/i-am/

Proud To Be Primary. 50 encouraging growth mindset quotes to introduce in the classroom. https://proudtobeprimary.com/ growth-mindset-quotes/

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