n our culture, we put a lot of emphasis on how people look and their body size. Talking to kids about what they think about their body image, food and exercise is no easy task. Yet, our words can affect a person's image of themselves for a lifetime. Over thirty years ago, I spoke with a woman who shared her love/hate relationship with food. She told me it began when she was five years old; a family member frequently called her cubby and pinched her cheeks. She longed for that person to say something affirming and friendly. Those simple encounters were etched in her brain, even into her adult years. Unfortunately, this early memory of her self-image began her rollercoaster diet during her 8th-grade year. Whenever she looked at herself in the mirror, she would hear, "You’re chubby!".

As parents and educators, we can strive to help our children view themselves positively. So, instead of focusing on appearance, let's help them see themselves in a positive light. Here are 25 phrases that can help you do just that:


Evelyn Sullivan, M.Ed.

Director of Early Childhood Education and R.E.A.C.H.

The Power of Affirmation

1 Your honesty is refreshing.

5 You are an incredible teammate.

3 You are so empathetic.

2 Your confidence is admirable.

6 You see the best in others.

4 You are so thoughtful.


7 You are so creative.

8 You are so trustworthy.

9 You have a fantastic memory.

10 Your laugh is contagious.

11 You are so generous with your time.

12 You give the best hugs.

13 You are so organized.

14 You writing is so inspiring.

15 You are always so helpful.

16 You are so funny.

17 You are a talented musician.

18 You are tenderhearted.

19 You are such a good athlete.

20 You are so strong.

21 You are so punctual.

22 You are candid and honest in a respectful way.

23 You are so compassionate.

24 Your optimism is invigorating.

25 You are so brave.

By modeling affirmation to our children and others, we can teach them that self-image is more than a person's physical appearance. Self-image comes from within our hearts. More importantly, the heart is what’s most important to God!

“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”

(1 Samuel 16:7b).

copyright 2022 North American Division of Adventist Education. all rights reserved.