A mum battling mental health issues has created affirmation cards to help children feel more positive.
Amel El Achkar from Crowthorne launched self-affirmation cards Kind Words for Kids to help youngsters develop a positive attitude.
The 36-year-old has suffered with anxiety and depression since she was a child after being bullied at school.
She realised that saying phrases such as ‘I am strong’, ‘I am adventurous’ can create a positive difference mentally which has in turn helped her own children feel happier about themselves.
She said: “I developed these affirmation cards to equip children with the language and structure to talk about their experiences in a positive way. I found this gives them the confidence to better deal with day-to-day situations. It also encourages a positive attitude and to always look for the positive in themselves and others.
“Positive mental health has always been a struggle for me. It is only very recently that more people have started to open up publicly and talk about their experiences, from celebrities to friends on social media.”
The positive affirmation cards launched in December 2019 and the first production run of 250 packs sold out within three weeks.
Dr Lucy Hughes, a clinical psychologist from Mantle Psychology, said: “As a child clinical psychologist these cards are a welcome addition to my professional toolkit.
“I have already had positive feedback about the cards from families I have worked with.”
The mother-of-two says she practices self-affirmation with her son Youssef (8) and Leila (5) and noticed a “huge improvement” in their moods.
When her children have a stressful day at school, instead of saying ‘how was your day?’, she’ll ask ‘who was kind to you today?’ so it makes her children think more positively.
She added: “Mental health starts in childhood. We need to be constantly filling our children with positive ideas and thoughts about themselves because today’s world is harsh and will break them down.
“Filling them with positive thoughts about themselves and others is like a security blanket or protective shield that will protect them from the negative images, stereotypes and pressures of the world.”
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