Documented Benefits of Providing Positive Affirmations to Children

Friday, December 30, 2022 by Catherine Gilliland | Support Through Rough Patches

"Research shows us that thoughts have a direct impact on emotions and feelings. Those emotions trigger a corresponding release of chemicals in your brain.  Using positive affirmations may allow students to harness and manipulate the release of chemicals that will serve them in constructive ways." Kristin Tulsian Recognizing the facts presented in this research, parents are wise to cultivate the habit of offering their children regular doses of positive affirmations.

Using brain imaging techniques, researchers specifically identified three main psychological reasons for impact on emotions and feelings.  First, contemplation on things that we value brings personal joy. Secondly, feelings perceived as threatening are moderated by reminders of the attributes of self that are valued. Lastly, as affirmations grow our sense of self-worth, our emotional regulation is also enhanced.

Growth in emotional intelligence and academic performance are also linked to providing positive affirmations to children. Anytime we are prompted from an outside source to draw our attention to something, our reticular activating system grows our natural self-awareness to those same things. Self-awareness never increases in a vacuum, however. In tandem with the cultivation of self-awareness, personal reflection and evaluation also flourish, both of which are building blocks in the development of a positive thought life and self-talk. If these outcomes aren't already beneficial enough, "self-affirmations, also called values-based affirmations, [were] also shown to improve academic performance, narrow the achievement gap, and improve grades." (Tulisan)

The benefit of values-based affirmations doesn't end with measurable gains in emotional and academic intelligence. "Research from a team led by Carnegie Mellon University's David Creswell found that people can boost their ability to solve problems under pressure by using self-affirmation. [T]he first evidence that self-affirmation — the process of identifying and focusing on one's most important values — [self-affirmation] can protect against the damaging effects of stress on problem-solving performance." Benefits of Self-Affirmation - Carnegie Mellon University In short, you can protect your child from the negative effects of stress on problem-solving and reverse the effects of stress on make-or-break auditions, test taking, or their other performance examinations. By focusing on those personal values that are important to them, a student can also learn to neutralize the adverse effects of the stress they feel leading up to and during these types of stressful situations.

Providing positive affirmations to your children on a consistent and frequent basis is a pattern you will never regret. This custom only produces positive outcomes. Affirmations facilitate positive emotional growth. They cultivate the personal habits of self-reflection and all the benefits therein. Your child will experience enhanced academic growth and reduced stress effects which typically accompany stressful examinations and evaluations. You will encounter increased joy knowing you are providing an aspect of intentional, first-rate parenting for your child.