Use the exact words if you want to. Or use words that give the exact same meaning. Just remember to present the affirmations as offerings and suggestions. Affirmations are prompts and guides, not obligations or “shoulds.” Keep in mind that people learn more from your facial expression and tone of voice than from words. If you say loving words and your face is angry or doubting, children tend to believe the emotional affect rather than the words.
You can trust your intuition to help you decide what to do.
Structure — Stage 5
DIGGING DEEPER: more suggestions.
Keep your affirmations positive with no ifs, buts, whens, or other limitations. “I love you when you are good” is conditional and depends on whether or not you please me. “I love you, and I care for you willingly” is positive and unconditional.
Suggestions from users:
- Try rewriting the affirmations. That helped us understand them, and my kids helped me put them into their words.
- Sometimes I say them to myself and then try to act that way.
- If my teenagers resist the exact words, I say, “That is my wish for you. How would you say it in your words?”
- People have reported, “I find some of the words stilted, so I try to internalize the intent and feelings behind the words and just let them flow out.”
- They can be rewritten for a specific purpose. For an example, see Diane Wagendahl’s Affirmations Educators Can Offer Parents and Caregivers.