Affirmation is essential. At 4 years old, my daughter is a sponge. She’s soaking up the world around her and downloading long-lasting thoughts onto her miniature mental hard-drive. At this age, her slate is still clean and impressionable. It is my duty as her mother to help shape her confidence and esteem with sugar and honey before she is influenced by the world’s salt and vinegar. When she needs to travel back to her innermost happy place, my words are the ones that will resonate in her mind. She will repeat my words for a lifetime. Knowing this power I have as a mother, I intentionally feed her verbal love notes and affirmations on a daily basis.
I love your hair. I say this when she wakes up, before I do her hair in the morning. It is important that she knows her natural hair is beautiful, simply as is. Before the twists, curls, or braids. Before the barrettes, pins, or bows. Her hair is stunning and perfect in its natural state, just the way it is.
I love your brown skin. As my daughter grows, she will not always hear these words from people that pass in and out of her life. But for now, I repeat this truth and instill in her what it means to have self-love. It is my honor to help form her identity now and arm her with important tools for a lifetime. If she ever feels insecure in her skin, she will remember my words of affirmation.
I will think about you at work. Although my day may be boggled down with meetings, conference calls, and shuffling from here to there, I want her to know that she always crosses my mind. I tell her that when she is scared, worried, or missing me during school, to simply think of me and know that at that moment I am probably thinking of her too. Knowing that she can always access our virtual bond gives her a self-soothing tool to make it through the day.
I missed you today. When I pick her up from school and she runs into my arms, the first thing I tell her is how much I missed her. As a working mom, the highlight of my day is the reunion with my children. It is important for her to know that even though we are apart, she is still the book-end to my day.
That was a great idea. As a young girl, she must know that her opinion is thoughtful, important and matters. Even when no one is listening except me. It encourages her to think, problem-solve, and feel valued in a room of chatter. When her message gets lost in the sea of louder voices, I will still hear it. She doesn’t know it yet, but these words of affirmation are positioning her into a leader.
You’re a great big sister. As an older sister, she must always know she is her brother’s protector. I repeat this affirmation when she is nice to him, and especially when she is wrong. She needs to know that even through sibling rivalry, she is still his protector and must always be his confidant. The more I tell her how proud I am, the harder she works at loving him.
You’re getting so tall. This may not be obvious on any given day. However, I am conveying something deeper. It means you are growing, you are maturing, you are learning, you are blossoming. And by the way her eyes light up with confidence and pride, I’m pretty sure she receives the message.
That was a beautiful song. Whether she is off-pitch or singing the wrong words, her music is lovely to my ears. I encourage her to be artistic and creative, even in song.
I love the way you laugh. Her laughter warms my soul. To her its just a laugh, but it means the world to me as I reflect on her peace and joy. I tell her these words to let her know I love her light spirit and encourage her to express happiness.
I love you so much. I say this affirmation whether she has good behavior or did something naughty. She needs to know my love is unconditional, it is something in life that will always remain true and consistent. Sometimes I tell her how much I love her when she is least expecting it. She may be tracing her name, or sliding down the slide. Despite where she is in life, my love is always present.