Feed Minds with Positivity
I Believe in Me: A Book of Affirmations
Written and illustrated by Connie Bowen
Words are pretty powerful things. At least I have always believed they are. They can motivate, inspire, build fear and even hope, where there is little to be had.
Maybe what many modern parents are just beginning to come to articulate to themselves, and to their children, is that there is definite connection between our thoughts, and what we come to believe about ourselves.
Eckhart Tolle, and his best seller, “The Power of Now”, is probably the best example of this for the adult reader.
Our thoughts largely determine for good or ill, what we come to believe about ourselves. We unconsciously fashion a sort of inner mantra, that maybe we are not even aware of, and from that mindset of thought, so much flows – what we believe about ourselves, and the wider world.
So, how much more important is it to fashion the best possible inner dialogue of words for kids at an early age? Their course in life, what they believe to be true, and what they believe themselves capable of doing, is determined in part from those early thoughts.
Not only is it important to set those positive thoughts in motion at an early age, but also to build on them with affirmations that continually reinforce good beliefs about themselves and their relationship to people and the world about them.
In that vein, here is a book that can start the process early to share with your young reader. It’s a picture book worth peeking at. It’s called “I Believe in Me: A Book of Affirmations” written and illustrated by Connie Bowen. Ms. Bowen has both written the text and used some cute and colorful pencil drawings to illustrate this book cited by “The Huffington Post” in 2012 in its list of “50 Inspiring Children’s Books with a Positive Message.”
It compiles a host of affirmations such as “I will enjoy new experiences” that you might find helpful to use with your child. And of course, since each child is so unique, you may seek the ones among the 27 that best affirm the parts of your child that need affirming.
For those parents that are opposed to any spiritual input via picture books, the final affirmation of, “God within me is my power,” may be discussed first or eliminated, though from what I see of the world today, a bit of the divine today in children’s lives can do no harm. In fact, quite the opposite is true, but that is a parental and personal decision. There is even a blank section at the back of the book where your child may compose his or her own affirmations with accompanying drawings. Great!
Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the entire nuclear family that supports a child’s world at its formative stages are the subtle senders of these belief systems that make up a child’s thoughts surrounding who he or she is and what they can do in life – or not do.
I have often asked myself the question – What would we do in life if we knew we couldn’t fail? I venture to say fear is a great motivating factor for adults – and kids. Take away that, and replace it with a positive “Can do” perspective, and I believe we would all attempt more, be more loving, more kind, more helpful to others and more understanding of our ourselves and those we come in contact with. The main problem seems to be the “self talk” or inner tape we humans seem to have, and replay over and over. But what if the tape were mostly positive?
Do you remember the black maid Aibileen in the movie,“The Help” based on Kathryn Stockett’s best seller of the same name? Remember her words to little Mae Mobley that she asked the small child to repeat each day while under her care?
“You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.”
After Aibileen is cruelly and unjustly fired from the part maid/part nanny position she holds, and because she mothered Mae Mobley much more than the child’s biological mother, those are also the last words she repeats to the toddler before she leaves.
They are words that may last a lifetime, and affirm young Mae when life does not, because self esteem must start with what you believe about yourself.
Aibileen knew, more than most, that nothing and no one can take it away from you – if it is part of what you believe about yourself.
It’s planting time at our farm. And perhaps with this picture book, and its colorful illustrations and one sentence affirmations for children, you can begin planting the seeds of a confident life in your child. For in the end, children are what they believe about themselves. So why not start affirming the good early on?
We feed our children with organic goodness, and non GMO engineered foods. What are we feeding their minds?
So, let the planting of ideas about ourselves and our children with words from a picture book, begin!