When her daughter started to talk, Neffiteria Acker of Atlanta, Georgia, taught her to look into a mirror and say something positive about herself.
These daily affirmations became a wonderful way for them to bond while building self-esteem. Both mother and daughter enjoyed the ritual so much that Neffiteria introduced the concept to her classroom of fourth-graders.
Neffiteria teaches math and science at Gideons Elementary School, but her students are getting a lot more than just book-learning in her class. Every morning, she has her kids line up in front of a full-length mirror and say something positive about themselves.
“I am smart!” shouts one. “I’m a good person,” says another. Students can choose some pre-written words on an index card if they’re stuck, but most of them have no trouble finding something wonderful to say about themselves each day!
With the novel coronavirus pandemic taking a toll on kids emotionally and mentally, Neffiteria believes her daily affirmations are more helpful now than ever before.
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“The best part about doing the affirmations is the feeling after I say them,” the teacher explained. “And the feeling I see my students feel or that they express after they do them. Their attitude is better, their self-confidence is lifted, and we have a better day.”
Neffiteria has seen a marked increase in her students’ confidence levels since she started the daily affirmations. Studies show that children learn how to talk to themselves by observing the way adults, like teachers and parents, speak to them.
Teaching them to announce their best qualities boosts their mood and reduces bad behavior throughout the day. Not only that, but encouraging children to “develop thinking patterns that focus on the positive, even in difficult circumstances” also helps them cope with stressors more easily.
Neffiteria said her students adore doing these daily affirmations, so she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. Sometimes her kids even ask to do extra affirmations after class!
She’s making a difference in these kids’ lives in such a simple, sweet way. We hope more teachers follow this trend of teaching self-love and acceptance at an early age.
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