At what point do we quit talking to ourselves in a positive tone? Spend a little bit of time coloring with a young child and listen to their self talk or the questions they ask you. Frequently, my three year old will scribble all over a coloring page then show it to me and say “Isn’t my picture so pretty, mommy?” She asks that question already knowing that she thinks her work is pretty, she just wants me to see that it’s pretty too.
Somewhere along the way we change that tone to “Did I do a good job?” “Does my hair look okay this way?” - always looking for affirming responses from another human being. I am SO guilty of this, but now that I have kids of my own I have become oh so cautious about the way I phrase things because I very badly want them to talk positively about themselves.
Before the start of a new school year, we always spend an evening creating new ‘I AM’ posters. They become a collage of pictures and words that they feel best describe themselves. Sometimes it takes some nudging to get them going, but usually with five minutes or so they are filling up those posters with all the things they think they are good at. I always love seeing what they come up with because their posters often point to things I hadn’t picked up on!
Our new thing is to create a smaller version of the poster though - something a little smaller that they can tuck in their pocket, locker or backpack. We stash them where ever we might see them throughout the day when we need a little reminder of how awesome we are. And because I want you to know how awesome you are, here is a simple printable. We use index cards and I have been known to tape them to my bathroom mirror - we all know that lighting and those big mirrors can make us say some mean things sometimes. Right click on the image and save to download and print as many as you need!