In the book “A Perfectly Messed Up Story”, the main character uses a lot of negative self-talk. All that talk doesn’t help him get back up on his feet, in fact, it makes him feel a whole lot worse.


Take another children’s book – the classic “The Little Engine that Could.” In this story, the little engine is determined to get that the train full of toys over the mountain. The mantra that is repeated over and over is, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”


The little blue engine is exercising powerful positive self-talk. Chanting a personal mantra can help when we feel stuck. Have kids think of something that will help them power through a challenge. Maybe it’s the train’s line, “I think I can.” Maybe it’s, “I am strong. I am powerful.” or “I can do it. I can do it.”


A child who has a personal mantra can use it when he’s taking a test, or right before a track meet, or anytime he might need extra strength to persevere.

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