"I am enough."
It's a simple phrase that is hard to say. Think of the last time you felt inadequate, unprepared, or out-of-place. Where were you? What if, in that moment, someone had shown you those three words. How would they have changed your experience? How would they have affected your mood? Your confidence?
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have found that "brief positive self-affirmations" can in fact significantly reduce "the damaging effects of stress on problem-solving performance" in adults.
So, What About Kids?
Anyone who has ever taught a child to read can tell you a thing or two about sight words.
Thing one: kids aren't actually reading when they read sight words. They are seeing combinations of letters and recognizing them as a whole picture (that's why they call them 'sight' words), like we typically do as adults.
Thing two: when a child encounters a sight word amidst a sea of words they have to stop to sound out, their confidence immediately soars.
What if we combine the two: self-affirmation and sight words. Imagine your child waking up in the morning and the first thing they do is read. Right as they open their eyes, they are greeted by a wall decal of familiar, self-affirming words.
Imagine if your child could start and end each day with confidence and courage. Imagine if they could do that with just three words. And imagine if that simple phrase, that is so hard for us adults to say, came naturally to them.
Walls don't have to box our kids in.