As parents, we understand that we play a unique and important role in our children’s lives. We are responsible for raising the next generation and creating our personal and family legacy. What we sometimes forget is just how critical our child’s role is in our lives. We are often reminded how much we are expected to teach our youngins before they grow up and fly away, leaving the safety net of our home. But do not overlook or undermine that we as parents also have an enormous amount to learn and gain from them as well!
Becoming a parent is a life-changing event. We will never and can never be the same after having a child. However, how we change and what we become is largely, albeit not entirely, up to us. We cannot control all of the life experiences we endure as a parent, but our reactions to these events in our lives are what gradually mold and shape us. Emotions happen, but feelings are fed. Our choice to face is whether we grow and blossom into the adult that we are proud of and destined to be or morph into a lesser version of ourselves where we are overwhelmed, unhappy, and insecure.
Our parenting journey takes many turns, approaches roadblocks, and has countless peaks and valleys. We may ultimately determine our fate based on our:
- Willingness to get curious and discover things about our child, their behavior, and ourselves and our responses.
- Openness to change our parenting approach as we go along.
- Interest in pursuing progress and an intention to flourish in all aspects of our lives, not just in our parenting.
- Finding joy and contentment in our parenting.
- Words we tell ourselves and what we come to believe as truths about who we are and who our children are.
The Benefits of Parenting Affirmations
Affirmations in parenting are a trusted method we might use to challenge our negative thoughts and parenting choices. Affirmations are more than just positive thinking. They can rewire our brain so that we do things differently over time.1 Positive thinking affects our conscious mind, the realm of effect, while affirmations reach our subconscious mind, the realm of cause. When we use affirmations, we are more likely to live in alignment with what we have declared about ourselves – we are motivated to keep behavior consistent with the beliefs we hold about ourselves.
There is no right or wrong way of practicing affirmations. Try not to overthink it. Pick brief statements consistent with your core values and represent your ideal self as a parent. Choose two or three to start with and write them down. Put them where you can see them daily or speak them out loud throughout your day.
It can be powerful to speak your affirmation aloud in front of your child in the moments when you need the reminder and role modeling what it looks like to be proactive and do the work in bettering ourselves. Mentally or verbally, speak your affirmation and connect it to a specific picture in your mind. Let your body feel what it feels like as a truthful statement, and smile—smiling as you practice your affirmation signals your body to connect the truth to your heart’s inner wisdom.
Parenting Affirmations to Try
Below are some Parenting Affirmations you may consider incorporating:
- I have the exact qualities of a parent that my child needs.
- Less is not only enough; it’s perfect.
- Let their feelings be.
- I accept my child fully and lovingly, exactly as they are.
- “No” is a very healthy word.
- Welcome the resistance while holding the boundary.
- I can only control my reaction.
- They aren’t giving me a hard time. They are having a hard time.
- All feelings are allowed; some behaviors need to be limited.
- Play is enough.
- My love for my child is imperfectly perfect.
- I am exactly who my children need.
- The joy is in the journey.
- Less is more; simple is best.
- Boredom is the time between space and ideas.
- Let it play itself out.
- I do what I can.
- This moment will not last forever.
- I will let go of how I think today should go and accept how it imperfectly happens.
- I watch my child with wonder.
- My child is my perfect teacher; I learn and grow.
- My child will learn the value of _____ by watching me.
- I don’t have to be perfect to be a good parent.
- Forget balance — prioritize and let go.
- I am doing my best, and that’s the best I can do.
- I am a good example for my child.
- Breathe and go slow.
- Today I am thankful for _____.
There is No Perfect Parent
Dr. Kimberley Swales, a parenting, marriage, relationship, and life coach who earned her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Communication with a concentration in counseling, offers us a wonderful reminder: “So many parents are fixated on being the ‘perfect’ parent. There is no perfect parent. Instead, focus on your small wins as a parent each day or week. Remind yourself of what you are doing well and how you want to parent in the future. Relying on these positive affirmations will help you grow and develop into the parent you want to be.”
There is no better way to start your journey with your child than to be mindful and intentional from day one. In addition to these parenting affirmations, there are great confidence-boosting affirmations to tell your child, affirmations to use during your pregnancy, affirmations during birth, and affirmations you can use during postpartum.
Whether you’re overwhelmed and exhausted in the newborn period, trying to remain calm during your toddler’s tantrums, hoping to handle recurrent challenges you face differently, questioning your decisions, or facing your fears and anxieties . . . affirmations can help reduce your stress level, harbor gratitude and allow you to feel more joy, and help you gain confidence in yourself and your parenting.
Be gentle and patient, and offer yourself grace. Dr. Swales encourages us, “When you make a mistake as a parent (and we all will), simply ask yourself, ‘How might I do this differently next time?’ And then move on. Remind yourself of your parenting wins. Focus on the strengths you bring to parenting. Speak kindly to yourself as you parent your children.”