Many children don’t have the tools to regulate their emotions, but learning how to practice positive self-talk can help them deal with many challenges.
The lesson and worksheet below will help your students identify examples of positive self-talk and how to use these in situations when they arise. And as a bonus, this is a great activity to uncover and gain insights about how your students think.
Prompt: Say “today we’re going to practice using positive thinking skills. Who knows what self-talk means?”
Self-talk means: the act or practice of talking to oneself either aloud or silently. Think of it as that little voice you hear inside your head.
What we think to ourselves when something makes us feel bad or upset can really hurt us more or make us feel better. For example, if you found out you weren’t invited to a friend’s birthday party how would that make you feel? We have the power to help ourselves feel better by using positive self-talk. For example, the next time something like that happens, say to yourself “it’s OK, I know I’m a great friend and I’ll get invited to other parties.”
Hand out worksheet: On this worksheet, you’ll see a list of positive self-talk phrases on one side and on the other side are different feelings. Take your time to read each of those feelings. Then draw a line to the positive phrase you can tell yourself. Everyone may do this a little differently and that’s OK. Let’s do one together: “When I feel nervous”….I can say to myself….”I can get through anything.”
Bonus Activity: This lesson can be extended by layering on other questions about situations that are discussed throughout this activity such as:
- “What can you learn from that situation?”
- “What can you do differently next time?”
- “What can you tell yourself to help yourself feel better?”
By continuing the discussion around real-life scenarios that have brought up feelings and negative self-talk, we can help the students practice ways they can turn the situation around.