Positive Affirmations for Children and Teenagers with Cancer

Positive Affirmations for Children on a Healing Journey

By Danea Horn, Certified Professional Coach and Positivity Expert

Healing from cancer is a journey through a variety of emotions. Sometimes there are feelings of hope, while at other times stressful feelings of fear, anger and sadness are experienced. All emotions are natural and not to be denied. However, negative emotions can contribute to physiological stress that is experienced during diagnosis and treatment. Affirmations are a free, easy, positive way to assist children in steering their thoughts toward healing and their emotions toward peace, thereby reducing stress and boosting the immune system.

What are Affirmations?

Each day we speak to ourselves inside of our minds, narrating our life as we go. Based on our beliefs, expectations and backgrounds what we tell ourselves can be positive or negative. Positive self-talk produces positive emotions and negative self-talk produces negative emotions. Affirmations are an intentional form of self-talk aimed at instilling positive messages. They are one or two sentence positive statements spoken to ourselves with repetition. Affirmations typically begin with statement such as:

First Person:

  • I am… “I am loving.”
  • I create… “I create peace in the world.”
  • I know… “I know that I am healing.”
  • I can… “I can be brave and strong.”
  • I follow… “I follow my heart.”
  • I trust… “I trust that the doctors are healing me.”
  • I am grateful… “I am grateful for the care I receive.”

Third Person:

  • The doctors… “The doctors are cancer warriors.”
  • My family… “My family loves and supports me.”
  • My friends… “My friends are fun.”

Introducing Affirmations to Children

Affirmations are a great way to begin an uplifting conversation with a child. When introducing your child to affirmations, intend to keep the discussion lighthearted and fun. Use questions and games to write affirmations with your child and instill a positive attitude. For example:

  • “When I say “love” (or peace, or happiness, or silly,…), what does that make you think of?”
  • “How would you finish this sentence using the word “joy,” “I know…”?
  • Make up a song about their favorite positive word.
  • Make a list of things they are grateful for each day.
  • Put ten positive words in a hat. Take turns drawing out a word and making an affirmation with it.
  • Before bed each night, say an affirmation together out loud three times.
  • Do an art project about healing, peace, love, or fun.

The more often you say an affirmation, the stronger your emotion and focus toward that reality becomes. Encourage your child to say affirmations at least three times each day, and anytime you notice they need a positivity boost. These can be especially helpful before medical tests and treatments.

The Importance of Truth

It is vital that the affirmations used are believed to be true. If saying an affirmation makes you think, “That is never going to happen.” or “I don’t think so.” than the affirmation is ineffective. The goal when using affirmations is to feel the positive emotion your statement is directed toward. For instance, the affirmation: “I am healed.” may be hard to believe while you are still in treatment for cancer; however, the affirmation: “I have the potential to heal.” would be able to produce positive comforting emotions.

When an affirmation rings as true, it becomes a powerful motivator that helps you or your child move forward with courage and optimism. By repeating statements of truth, you are reminded of your resources and capacity to face challenges.

The Five Keys to Effective Affirmations

When contemplating using an affirmation or writing your own, use these five keys to check the power of the affirmation for you or your child. Not every affirmation will have the same effect on every person. The affirmation needs to gel with the individual’s current view of the world.

(1) Keep it in Present Tense. Change comes from being in the present moment. When we contemplate the past or the future, we are not looking at reality as it is before us. Statements about the past can create feelings of regret or sadness. Statements about the future may generate feelings of uncertainty. Affirmations in present tense help us feel positive now.

(2) Use Your Voice. Re-write affirmations to sound like something you would say to yourself or if writing them for a child, like something they would say. Hearing statements in our own tone and language style makes them more believable and easier for us to feel them as truth.

(3)Short and Sweet. The most important aspect of affirmations is that they are used frequently. The more concise and easy to remember an affirmation is, the greater the likelihood you will remember to say it.

(4) Be Literal. I met a woman years ago who began using the affirmation, “I earn more money.” Her income doubled, but her workload also dramatically increased. She had not consciously intended to put in more time at work, but she “earned” it. Think about each word in an affirmation as if it was to come true.

(5) Keep it Positive. A positive affirmation and negative statement can have the same end meaning; however, they will generate very different feelings. For example, “I am not as sick.” Creates a focus on the word “sick” which generates a pessimistic feeling. Saying, “I am healing more each day.” puts the focus on “healing” and feelings of trust.

The Gift of a Positive Attitude

As a child born with health challenges, I have spent my life on a path toward healing. I can confidently say that the most impactful gift I was ever given was the positivity my parents instilled in me. Their openness and acceptance of the reality we faced assisted me in finding purpose in my struggles. I honestly believe that my body is still divine despite my imperfections. That perspective prompted me to care for my health and seek healing. I continue to experience the best possible medical outcomes given the point at which I began.

Sample Affirmations for Children

On Healing:

  • The treatments I follow are helping my body to heal.
  • I am becoming healthier each and every day.
  • I am patient with my body and my mind.
  • I trust that I am guided toward the doctors and treatments that will restore my health.
  • My body knows how to get better.
  • Each of my cells is happy and healing.
  • I am thankful for my toes, feet, ankles, legs, knees, …head, hair.
  • I am thankful for my doctors and nurses.
  • I am the best at healing.
  • I heal easily.
  • I take good care of myself.
  • I have the potential to heal completely.
  • The medicine I take knows exactly what to do in my body to help me get better.

On Positivity:

  • I am loved.
  • I am cared for.
  • I am brave.
  • I enjoy life.
  • I am good.
  • Love is above me, below me, around me, within me.
  • I shine bright with excitement.
  • Good things are on their way to me.
  • I am grateful for_____________________. (Make a list as long as possible.)
  • I am good at _________________. (Make a list as long as possible.)
  • I love my _________________. (Make a list as long as possible.)
  • I invite peace into my heart.
  • Happy thoughts fill my mind.
  • When I smile, my heart smiles.

**Encourage children to say affirmations while smiling. It does wonders for shifting emotions.**

To learn more about the power of affirmations, visit my website:

www.CreativeAffirmations.com. The website has a variety of articles on positive thinking, gratitude and affirmations with a special section dedicated toward children. There you will find craft ideas and book recommendations to incorporate affirmations into a child’s life. You can also sign up to receive a free set of affirmation cards to put up around your home or place of healing.