As teachers and therapist of children with emotional and behavior disorders, we often encounter children who lack the skill of using positive self-talk. Like any skill, it needs to be intentionally taught and modeled. Teachers and therapists are in position to be powerful role-models in the lives of children. We can help empower them by using positive self-talk in the classroom. Affirmations, combined with the positive emotions and positive consequences that we attach to them, are a powerful way to help us and our children achieve joyful lives.
It is up to us to provide children with the necessary tools to empower themselves and overcome the negative and often self-limiting thoughts and actions that they encounter ever day. The best example we can give our students is to use social and emotional affirmation statements (self-talk) that reflect self-confidence, caring, and trust. But, in order to be successful, you have to go into every day and session with the mindset that you are going to model positive self-talk for your students and clients. By mindset I mean a class of behaviors and patterns of behavior that are intentionally performed to meet a particular outcome.
If you need some scripts for some affirmations you can model, below are just a few positive social and emotional examples you can model every day. Write them down on a small piece of paper or index card to help remind you. You and your students can modify them to meet your needs:
Good things happen to me.
I am friendly.
I am a good influence on others.
I am kind to others.
I focus on the positive.
I am helpful.
I am a good listener.
I can do it.
I make friends easily.
I play well with others.
Every problem has an answer.
I am loved.
I am a loving boy/girl.
I am beautiful/handsome.
I like myself.
I feel calm and relaxed (especially when child is upset).
I love my life and have lots of fun.
I choose how I feel by the way I think and talk.
I feel happy.
This is a simple and brief description of how a self-talk intervention can be implemented. This is not intended nor shall it be misconstrued as advice or as a comprehensive intervention for a particular child or situation. As always, before engaging in any any major behavior change program you should consult an expert or highly trained professional such as a Licensed Psychologist or Board Certified Behavior Analyst.