A Deck Of Cards Changed The Way My Kids And I Approach The Day

A Deck Of Cards Changed The Way My Kids And I Approach The Day

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Scary Mommy and Eye for Ebony/Unsplash

When a close friend asked if I’d check out  a deck of “positive affirmations” cards her friend had been developing, I’ll admit… I was reluctant.

To be honest, when my friend used the phrase “positive affirmations,” I may have even rolled my eyes. I was sure the cards would be over-the-top sappy, too mushy or poetic or inaccessible to be of any use. Well, I was wrong. Very wrong.

This colorful little deck of cards has literally changed the way my kids and I move through our day.

Humphrey Muleba/Unsplash

Here’s a sampling:

“My life is so important. Every breath I take is purposeful.”

“I am courageous. I create boundaries that keep me focused on a positive future.”

“I am proud of all that I have accomplished. The accumulation of my experiences makes me who I am today.”

“I am honest about how I feel. I am comfortable sharing what is important to me with someone I trust.”

“I make plans to succeed. I trust myself to make good choices.”

Healthy Whole Kids

These messages sound simple on the surface, don’t they? Almost obvious. And yet each one carries a subtle but powerful underlying statement that promotes strength, confidence, and autonomy. The point of the cards, according to their website, is to “reinforce our inner dialogue with uplifting messages of positivity and empowerment.”

They definitely do that, and more. The cards have made me stop in my tracks and think about the way I speak to my kids.

“My life is so important. Every breath I take is purposeful.”

I know that every breath my children take is important and purposeful. I don’t really say it though, and since kids tend to think in terms of immediate, superficial needs, even if they occasionally ruminate on their own biology, they don’t often explicitly express that they — that their very breath — has purpose. This message urges them to do just that.

Eye for Ebony/Unsplash

“I am courageous. I create boundaries that keep me focused on a positive future.”

We as parents are expected to enforce healthy boundaries with our children, with the goal that one day they will create boundaries for themselves. This card lays out this expectation in an empowering way that encourages kids to imagine what their future might look like. And it pairs the idea with courage. Because it is courageous to create and enforce your own boundaries.

“I am honest about how I feel. I am comfortable sharing what is important to me with someone I trust.”

As a survivor of sexual abuse, this one really jumped out at me. My mother was my safe place, my “someone I trust,” and I knew I could tell her I was abused and that not only would she believe me, she would protect me. I love the phrasing, “sharing what is important to me,” because the language carries absolutely no victim-blaming or negativity. The “what is important” is left up to the kid. It could be anything, good or bad. Still, with this card, my mind went immediately to preventing abuse and empowering a kid to be honest and speak up when something doesn’t feel right.

Healthy Whole Kids

“I make plans to succeed. I trust myself to make good choices.”

I just could not love this more. It puts the onus on the child, the trust in the child, the process on the child. We can make all the rules we want for our kids and demand they follow them or else, but how much more gratifying would their smart choices be if they had ownership over them? This is everything I want for my kids.

And all of the cards are like this. The messages empower kids to be present, aware, courageous, and to take ownership of their own bodies, thoughts, and dreams for their future. The cards can be used however you see fit, pulling several cards at a time or just one, reading and discussing their messages together or meditating alone with one.

My 9-year-old daughter Mari draws a single card every morning and uses it as her bookmark for the day. She is already a confident and self-motivated kid, and yet, since we’ve started incorporating the cards into our day, I’ve noticed a shift in her dialogue and attitude to be even more positive and confident and empathetic. My son was a little quieter with his reading of the cards, but he asked if he could take a few to a friend he thought could use some uplifting. I’ve adjusted the way I phrase requests to my kids, encouraging them to take responsibility for themselves not simply because I demand it, but because they will feel better about themselves if they do.

I imagine a teacher or principal or coach handing these cards out to kids either as a gift to keep or as something they expect to have returned to pass on to another child, a sort of communal sharing of positivity. I’m not a person to rave about a product, ever — in fact, I’m minimalist to a fault — but I can’t rave enough about these cards. I already know I’ll be buying multiple decks to give as gifts this holiday season.

 

Author received a free sample. All opinions are their own.