Be Kind: Daily Affirmations for Kids

A video circulated a while ago with a dad and his daughter doing their daily affirmations. It was heartwarming and empowering and all those things that make viral videos happen. Never one to pass up an opportunity to improve my parenting, and faced with a son who was having a rough time in pre-K, I shamelessly stole the concept. We started small and simple and have added and subtracted as needed. Just this morning my son wiggled and giggled and hugged me so tight when I told him we could eliminate his daily “I will not scream; I will not throw things” because he had definitely gotten a handle on both of those. My daughter added “I will ask to use the potty” this month and, frustratingly, that one is probably here for a while.

Some mornings I do these with the kids. Some mornings my husband does. Sometimes it’s a connecting moment sitting face-to-face before we head out the door and ending with a hug. Sometimes it’s a semi-rushed recitation from the back seat of the car as we turn the corner to school. But even if we are pulling up to drop off, “I am awesome” ALWAYS gets a resounding, “YOU. ARE. AWESOME!” (and includes a little singing if I can get away with it).

These daily repetitions remind my kids how they are expected to behave. But they also remind them they are valuable and loved. As time has gone on, we’ve been able to ask our kids, “Hey, was that kind?” and see them redirect themselves to a better solution. We just say the short single sentence every day, but we follow it up when we have time to talk. Dinner conversation often includes questions like, “What did you do today that was kind?” When I am talking to one child and the other interrupts I may remind him/her that “it’s not respectful to interrupt. Please wait your turn.” When one of them gets in trouble at school for pushing a friend and insists it’s because his/her friend did or said something inexcusably mean, a gentle “but did you use your words or your hands to tell them you were hurt?” is usually all it takes. Both kids have been able to come up with concrete examples of what those little sentences mean in practice.  

These work for us. They take as little as 30 seconds, and each kid gets to do his/hers individually. If you’re thinking about adding some affirmations to your morning, here are a few tips:

  1. Make them positive statements with actions kids can do. Instead of, “I won’t be mean,” we use “I will be kind.”
  2. Keep the list short. We have ranged from six to nine affirmations, and nine was hard for everyone to remember and seemed to get muddled along the way.
  3. End on a positive note. Let your children start the day knowing that you think they are the best thing since sliced bread and they will probably try to live up to that.

I am kind.

I will help my friend when he/she is hurt. I will not laugh at my friend when he/she is embarrassed. I will try to put others first. I will take care of my pets.

I am respectful.

I will do what my teachers ask me to do. I will listen to my mom and dad the first time. I will not hurt my friends, even in play.

I will ask my teachers for help.

If I don’t know how to do something, I will do my best and then ask for help with it. I will go to my teacher when there is a situation I can’t handle.

I will use my words instead of my hands.

Hitting is never the answer, even when my friends are being really mean. When my sister takes my favorite LEGO, I will ask for it back or ask an adult for help instead of grabbing it. When my brother pushes in front of me, I will tell him how I feel instead of pushing him down.

I am the best little girl/boy in the whole wide world.

I am loved. My best is always enough. A bad day yesterday doesn’t mean I can’t have a great day today.

I am awesome.

Everyone is awesome! Everyone is cool when you’re part of the team! (Or something like that.)

The twins with my daughter’s kindergarten teacher who helps remind them to be kind.


Shanti is the product of recovering hippie parents. She’s a lifelong Texan, born in El Paso, with stops in Lubbock and Austin for college, before settling in San Antonio. She met her husband when she was 18. They both married and divorced other people before they realized it was meant to be. She now owns a firm with her partner in crime and together they practice family law in San Antonio and the surrounding area. Her husband works for a multi-national company making sure the cold stuff stays cold at your local HEB. They are raising twin tornadoes affectionately known as the Aliens, along with a rotating menagerie of dogs and cats. In her free time, she is involved in local nonprofits, runs, and serves proudly on the Broad Board.