Posted Pamela Young on 10/23/2014 |Wellness Tips
Girls receive many messages from media, peers and other influencers—and many of them do nothing to build confidence. What if your girl could strengthen her own voice against the chatter? Here’s an activity that can help the girl in your world learn to be a positive voice for herself. (Hint: It also works for grown ups.)
1. Write “I am strong because…” on a slip of paper, and have your girl complete the statement by filling in the blank. If she needs a little help, explore some possibilities with her, and let her choose what she feels is best. It can be a small thing or a big thing, but it should be specific to her. Often, the more specific, the better.
2. Do a call and response with the statement she writes. Read it out loud to her, “You are strong because (reason),” and have her read it back, “I am strong because (reason).” You can do this once or several times to build momentum. It’s important for her to hear you voice her statement and also to hear herself say it aloud. This also helps grease the wheels for the next step.
3. For the next 12 days, have your girl say her strength statement out loud to herself every morning. Consistency matters at this point, so, if necessary, think of creative ways to help her follow through. Does she have a specific morning routine? Post the slip on a mirror she uses to get ready for school or put it on her breakfast plate. Does she like games? Make it a challenge that when she wakes up, she has to say it before her feet touch the floor for good luck. You could even agree to do the call and response together each morning.
4. At the end of the 12 days, commemorate and congratulate. Post the slip of paper somewhere special or put it into a box you’ve decorated with the word truth to remind her of the exercise and her affirmation. Be sure to congratulate her on practicing a healthy habit of celebrating her strength. Even if she didn’t hit the mark every morning, it’s important to recognize her effort.
5. If the practice goes well (or even if it could use a little more work), try it again with a new statement—perhaps “I am brave because” or “I am smart because.” You’ll not only help your girl build a habit of daily affirmation, but also start to embrace those affirmations as part of her identity.
And here’s a bonus! If you create a truth box where your girl can store her statements, it won’t take long before she has someplace to go to remind herself of her strength and confidence when she needs it. Not just because the slips of paper say so, but also because they prompt memories of how she felt during the affirmations, as well as her accomplishment of completing these exercises.