Everyday, I wake Ayo up with big kisses and a high-five. I usually have her oatmeal prepared and on the table waiting for her to enjoy breakfast. From the moment she wakes up, until the time she goes to bed, I affirm her worth, or what I like to call, her inner awesomeness. I'm constantly affirming she's beautiful, intelligent, forgiving, loved, and safe. Since she was an infant I would hold her in my arms and affirm these same things. It is almost reminiscent to Viola Davis’ nanny character in "The Help," as she spoke to the young girl she cared for: "You is smart. You is intelligent...” I find it ironic that even though Ayo doesn't verbally talk much, she understands her self-worth and embraces it. So that means every time she does something right, she claps, like legit claps and says "Yay!" in glee. I've always told her when she feels good about something give yourself some praise, acknowledge your hard work and affirm your inner awesomeness. I'm a firm believer that self-worth starts at home, and positive role models are needed for them to mirror.
Here are some tips and tricks to get your (child)ren to believe in their inner awesomeness:
· Mirror work - Stand in front of a mirror and repeat affirmations. I mostly have us affirm "I Am...," awesome - safe -loved - beautiful -etc. You can create your own affirmations; sky's the limit.
· Never miss an opportunity to pour into your child. Create spaces that allow them to feel good about their hard work. Give high-fives, encourage them to clap and rejoice, and be an advocate for their mental health.
· Create vision boards together. Ayo's two-years-old but it's never too early to fill their lives with purpose. Even if the page is filled with Big Bird and scraps of paper, allow them to see it everyday by putting it up on their wall. They should see this board to fill them with happy thoughts, and keep them on track to be the best versions of themselves.
· If possible, paint a chalkboard wall in your child's room. (Or buy a chalkboard.) Not only is it fun for your kid to draw photos, this gives you the opportunity to write positive affirmations they can see daily. I change Ayo's wall once a week or more. If nothing else, she knows she's awesome.