As a mother of three wonderful children who are now adults, I reflect on my previous years of motherhood with a myriad of emotions. There are things I wish I could do differently, words I could have chosen better, and actions I wish I could take back. But when I see my children living out their dreams, pursuing their passions, establishing their careers, and even beginning their own families, I breathe a sigh of relief—I must have done a few things right. One of those things is teaching them the power of positive affirmations.
Since my children were small, I spoke life into them and taught them how to speak life into themselves. I taught them that their words hold great power, so they should choose them carefully. I remember helping them to write notes to put on their mirrors and making sure they recited those affirmations every morning before school. I encouraged them to not just read the words on the paper, but to believe and fully embody them. The affirmations came in handy for them even as young children.
For example, my children have been in many situations where they were the only Black child or student in the room. This could be an uncomfortable situation for anyone, let alone a child. However, I advised each of my children to remember their positive affirmations whenever they felt nervous or worried about being brown children in a white world. I also made time to check in and ask how they were doing. I held space for them to speak openly and candidly about their thoughts and feelings, and I shared my own innermost thoughts and feelings with them.
Now Sis, if you are reading this and thinking that I did everything right or was the perfect mother… please think again.I most certainly was not. I distinctly remember a very difficult conversation with one of my children some years back. They came to me and asked, “Mama, why do you always yell so much? You yell at us all the time, and that does not make us feel very good.” I immediately burst into tears. I was under so much pressure, working to grow my brand and business, that I was living in fight or flight mode. Most of the time I don’t think I was even aware of it. Thank God for my children who had the courage to come to me and confront me about the way that I spoke to them.
There’s a saying, “Be mindful of the way you speak to your children; the way you speak to them will become their inner voice.” Although that was one of my most humbling experiences, I am so glad it happened. From that moment forward, I stopped yelling at them. I made a conscious effort to regulate my own emotions before speaking to my children. I would check in with myself and ask: Are you about to say this from a place of love or frustration? Taking a few moments to check in with me before addressing them was a game changer. I could immediately tell a difference in my children and in myself.
We are all working toward something, and it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life. But don’t forget to check in with your babies. Take a second to look them in the eye and ask, “How you doin’?” Listen intently to all they have to say. Be a judgment-free and loving presence for them. After all, they are your heart walking around outside of your body.
Our children are facing unprecedented times and pressures that previous generations could not even begin to fathom. It is more important now than ever to make sure we are regularly checking in with them and prioritizing their mental health. By being a safe space for our children to express their feelings and modeling the behavior we wish to see in them, we can equip them with the necessary tools and resources to be the best version of themselves.
This Mother’s Day, slow down and enjoy being celebrated (because you most definitely deserve it ALL, Sis). Take a moment of gratitude for this motherhood journey—the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Take a moment to reflect on the growth that you have witnessed in your babies—at whatever stage of life they may be in—and be thankful for the positive changes motherhood has made in you as a person. There is no formal training, and once it starts, the ups and downs do not end. Our children see us at our best and our worst, and yet, they still love us unconditionally. What an honor and a special bond we share with these little humans.
Sis, how will you commit to prioritizing your children’s mental health?Leave a Comment
Tammy Lewis says
Amen!! Always speak life over them. I prayed for my grandchildren before I even had them. There is so much power in your words.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Faye Robinson says
What a wonderful testimony to the power of motherhood, I thank God for you telling it just like it is. No its not easy but it is doable. Being the mother of seven and sometimes the mother of twelve, yes I was thrust into the role of being a stepmom also one of who was only 13 months old. And to this day I still have a relationship with them.
Thanks for commenting
I appreciate your comments .
Estrelita Bruce says
I will commit by being intentional of my own self-care and mental wellness. Then, I’m able to give fully of my best self to my daughter!
Nicole Clapp says
Great advice and much needed. Thank you. I still struggle with the balance and frankly am still not prioritizing myself as much as I intend to. This year, this stops. I’m taking the trip. I’m getting the massage. I’m answering the asks and addressing the wants when I have the bandwidth. Gracefully. I’ve done a great job of raising them up to now. ‘The kids are gonna be OK and even better’.
Dr. Michelle says
Thank you! Thank you! For the reminder of what unconditional love looks like… Our children display this at a very early age. We should all take heed to this message and know that we don’t have to do it perfectly but to do it with gentle, kindness, attentiveness, and love.
There are so many great things in our children and their lives to be proud of; I will cling to that as I walk into this Mother’s Day weekend.
Thank you, Dr. Cheryl for sharing your story and family 💕
Joy Springer says
So true.. had similar experiences and have since learned from them. I praise God for Mothers because them always seem to take the time when they have no time to spare…. Praise God for you and all Mothers! 🙌🏾
Thanks for your comment
April Dorn says
Reaching out more often to ask how are you doing?
Yvette D McGill says
What a beautiful, truthful testimony. There will be some who will read this and say, yeah that’s me. There will be others who feel like I wish this was my story. I pray this testimony reaches millions so it can allow some to pat themselves on the back AND encourage others to do better. I thank GOD I can relate to this story and I thank GOD for your transparency. Keep being GREAT, Dr. Cheryl 😘
Nikki Blakely-Simmons says
I have always spoken life into my child and my bonus children as well. The word says to train them up…and that is a critical component of being a Mother. Thank you for this lovely article. Happy Monday’s Day in advance.
Dr Eric Holmes says
This was so powerful and inspirational. This also gives us the understanding to keep going and to speak life. Dr. Cheryl you are so amazing and always speaking life to everyone and you are such a treasured blessing. Thank you for always inspiring people all over the world. Not only that but anyone who has worked with you like I did our lives has been enriched. I love all you share with Mahogany for others to read and be empowered and encouraged. Thank you always and forever. Dr. E
Ché Houston says
This hit home for me. I did alot of things wrong but I am grateful for my children’s honesty about how I acted when I was frustrated. Thank.you for always being transparent because the truth will always touch the heart.
Celia Walker says
This is wonderful! Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out here trying to get it right!! Peace, Love, Blessings and lots of hugs.
Lashondra Jones says
I have been so busy also and need to schedule a date with each of my children individually and as a group. We have so much fun and I have gotten away from making that time. I needed this reminder!!! Thank you so much
Erica Rudison says
What a way to create our own narrative for our life and empower and equip other generations to come. Speak Life! Great way to go into this Mother’s Day weekend.
VirLinda Stanton says
First by speaking life and positive things to them. Daily I always give them a call and ask, how are they doing. I would ask what are your plans today, have you prayed and told God thank you for allowing you to wake up this day? Then I would pray with them. I would share how special they are and how much I love them unconditionally and that God love them too. That we were created in His image. I’d speak God’s word to them letting them know who they are and Authority that they have over their lives. Now I only have 1 child, but also hepled raise my 2 grandchildren this is why I’m saying they. I didn’t do everything right, but I made sure they knew that they had options and that they could never who and whatever they wanted to be. I began to introduce them to a lot of great things life had to offer, so they wouldn’t settle for anything. We talked about everything and I didn’t hide things. If they had questions I did my best to answer them.
I would always say, that you can do and be whatever you want and desire to be, it is written; Believe.
During that time I didn’t know about affirmations, but when I look back on how I raised them and things I’ve impart into them I was right on point.! Thank God.
We had open communication, so they could talk with me about anything. I made them comfortable and they knew I was there for them and their best interests. Our communication is what helped us. I thank God daily for allowing me to have gain the wisdom and understanding I received in my upbringing, so that I would be able to plant seeds into them. What I’ve learned is that you keep the communication open to your kids and also allow them to express themselves. Listening to your children is the key to helping you navigate your relationship.
Keep God in the midst of everything, having faith, believing it and walking in your faith is most important. Ask God to give you the desires of your heart.
Thank you Cheryl, for sharing and allowing God to use you to help others. 🙏
That quote hit home. I think about my late mother and how I can hear her voice in everything I do. I hear especially when I am correcting my children and sometimes it doesn’t feel good. I commit to checking in with myself more before I yell or correct because I want my voice for them to be loving, but sound.
Dr. G says
Sis! You are an inspiration! Thanks for always speaking life into us mothers! Your coffee mug: “Look at God” says it all! I will continue to speak life to my children and now my grandchildren and watch God work!
Deborrah Phelps says
I will look to speak life into my grandkids.
Kim S. says
What a great message! We spend so much time trying to undo things. What if we started out doing the right things initially? What greater inheritance can we give our children than teaching them to speak life over themselves and believe in their own gifts and abilities? This is how we raise the next generation. Thank you so much Dr Cheryl for this important reminder to add this critical life skill to the many things we teach our kids.
Danette Brown says
This article resonated with me on so many levels as a Mother. There is no book on how to be a mother, but you give them the best you have at that time. As you know better, you do better. Thank you for always sharing openly and genuinely with us. Another awesome article! ❤️
Jocelin T McElderry says
Be mindful of your words, they have so much power!! Start now, you didn’t know what you didn’t know!!! Press towards the mark in spite of what you didn’t know!! Give them the beauty of your now powerful faith filled words!!
Thank You Cheryl Polote-Williamson for this AMAZING reminder!
Tiffany Mayfield says
This is a well written article. Being a mother is such a beautiful blessing. What a beautiful reminder of love, family and affirmations. Thank you for this very special article. It has truly blessed my heart this morning!
Latanya Branch says
This article blessed me, thank you! During this adult transition and becoming an empty nester was difficult; especially after several losses. So, in my grief and burdens, I may not have spoken life into my one and only son. Mistakes were made. But, I am grateful he is such a kind hearted human and blessed because of him and thankful to be his mother.
“Love the mug!”
Paula Lorraine says
What a beautiful and poignant reminder for me as a mother. I could relate to it so well. Thank you for sharing this. I will recommend it to my sister friends for sure! 🎉
Kim Hill says
I adore your girls! They walk in the same grace as their mama! I, too, spoke life and Jesus over my girls. I wasn’t a perfect mama, by any means. But God! Thankful He covers so much with His grace! I love you and Happy Mother’s Day! And give your family a big hug from Mama Kim!
Pamela D. Smith says
Thank you for the reminder that although motherhood is not easy, it is a gift. This article is also a reminder that our children have voices and by taking time to listen to them validates and affirms them.
Adrienne Christian says
Unfortunately, I never got a chance to experience motherhood on my own. However the motherhood experience from my mother was one in a million. She always told me how beautiful and important I was as a child. And she too was very careful of the words that she spoke and also asked my brother and I to let her know when she was speaking harsh. She was very concerned of the way it was relayed to the both of us and how it made us feel. She meant what she said but wanted to make sure the delivery was favorable and not damaging. I miss her so much and the talks we would have. Happy Mothers day to all the mothers.
Towanda Patterson says
This is beautiful!! Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’ve buying Mahogany Cards for years!!
I don’t have any children of my own, but I’m helping raise a nephew and two nieces. This generation is so different from when we grew up. I plan on taken your advice and pour all the positive words, thoughts and actions I can into their lives. Hopefully one day one of them will be write a book or movie.
Tray Kearney says
Great article! Thanks for the reminder that our children see us at our best and at our worst. Thank you for the encouragement. Praying for restoration with one of my sons. This has definitely inspired me and enhanced my hope. 💜💜
Jessica Howard says
What beautiful life teachings, vulnerability and powerful is this article? Thank you Sis!
I’ve been praying over my womb and future children. I was advised by an elder a few years ago that although I don’t have children they’ve watched my Motherly ways with the loved ones of my Family and wanted to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day!
My goal is to lead and leave a legacy of love! Many times growing up I had to find my inner voice and speak positively to myself, something was innate in me and other times I gravitated toward positive women throughout my life!
I aim to firmly plant the seed of positivity in the mindset of my future children!
Dorian Ridley-Curtis says
Awesome article! Yes, we must always uplifted and support our children!! Thank you for the uplifting and encouraging words. The article is an inspiration to all of us, we are our children’s village!! 💜☀️🦋✨
Contessah Irene says
This is a fantastic article! Do as I say, not as I do is a prevalent message in our culture, as is the idea that kids should be seen, not heard. Children frequently lack safe settings where they can express themselves, be curious, be understood, and be properly guided. In many black cultural dynamics, in particular, parenting is rigid. Given that how parents treat (talk to) their children is the cornerstone of their knowledge of communication, community, confidence, and contribution, I especially liked how you described your intentional ways with your kids to prepare them for their future.
I can attest that you did a fantastic job because I personally watched how you interact with your adult children and grandchildren. The biggest shining fruits are actually evident in the lives they lead: their successes, their confidence, their independence, their understanding that failure is not fatal but merely a footstool, and your mutual support for one another. More importantly, love is unequivocally the structure, defense, and covering of your entire family.
Furthermore, you approach everyone you meet with the same heart and mindset, speak life to them, and urge them to do the same. Your kids were not the only ones affected. For many other people’s young and old children, you continue to do that.
May God truly continue to reign in your life, because you are not stingy in spreading the surplus!
Debra J Jones says
Great article for Mother’s Day, life and death is in the power of the tongue.
Genette Howard says
Thank you for this inspiring and honest article.
I’m the mother of 6 daughters, ages 27 to 16. I’m incredibly grateful that they are all flourishing — some of it because of me and some despite me.
I certainly wasn’t perfect in my mothering. I’m thinking about writing a short book on what I would do differently as a mother to help young moms.
But I did get some things right and I can see the fruit. I stay focused on that.
I’ve been following your work and your words and I’m blessed by them.
Your spirit is sweet and pure.
Many continued blessings to you, your family, and your business.
Pastor Genette Howard
Stevie Swain says
This was an impactful message as parents do need to be mindful of what they are planting in the minds of their children. My children are all Grown so I consistently speak positively to my Grandchildren with encouragement.
Cynthia Andrews says
I love this article. It also reminds me of how motherhood is not perfect we can learn from our children. It is so important to stay connected, involved and open to converse about whatever is on their minds. Thank you for sharing your journey and congratulations on the results of your motherhood, leadership and guidance. Celebrate!!! 🎊
Brenda Eikner-Jones says
Thank you so much for this timely commentary. It is very appropriate as we celebrate Mothers on this weekend. Keep up the good work and enjoy your day my Sister. 🌸💚🌸
Alaina Pinkney says
Although I’m not a mother yet, I know this feeling of sometimes not realizing that you’re not speaking life over your spouse when you’re stressed or running on empty. This was such a great read! Definitely in the season of slowing down to feel life, give life and spread life to everyone around me. Happy Mothers Day Dr. Cheryl!
Janis Barnes says
I’m grateful to God for my four children and my niece as nephew that I helped to raise . I pour into them the importance of having a relationship with the Lord as well as taking care of mental health. Therapy is important to mental health.
Cheryl Williamson is a blessing with sharing her story and the importance of taking care of your mental health.
Thanks, for your words of encouragement and peace. I too have spoken life to my children and now Grandchildren, When they were young. I even created a family mission statement that was posted and read daily for guidance, speaking of their greatness and bright future. but today as I read your articles the heart pain is real and the tears are falling. I am a mother of 4. For six months my oldest daughter has decided to remove herself from the family, and all communication has stopped, except for her sister. Yes, I have prayed, called, apologized for anything that I may have done willing or unbeknown to me, asked what can i do. I have inquired from her sister without involving her. I just wish that if it was something that I have done or not done that she would not hurt the others in the family, we are a small family and her absence is felt deeply. I am not giving up on reconciliation but honoring her decision. Thank you for this space of freedom to share a mother’s heart. May you all have a beautiful Mother’s Day.
Arlene Green says
So true! How we speak to our children is so important and so easy to forget with the challenges of life. Thank you for sharing and Happy Mother’s Day!
The main way I prioritize my children’s mental health is by disconnecting from everyone else to give them my full attention. If they’re overwhelmed, I offer to take a walk or car ride to either talk about whatever is on their mind or walk/ride in silence. The important thing for me is for them to know that they have a present mother and that as long as there is breath in my body, I will always be there for them.
Michael Allen says
Every since the very first day that I encountered this phenomenally gifted soul my life has evolved, transformed and literally is becoming increasingly the affirmed life I dreamed of, and now know how to manifest through the power of positive proclamations and affirmation. I am eternally blessed beyond human comprehension for this I am endearing to continue to serve, and support Soul Movement all my living days. May ALMIGHTY GOD forever keep you in HIS loving arms, and fill your life with HIS Joy! Love you Dr. Cheryl
I can relate to this story. As a teen mother of 2, I wasn’t sure if I would get it right. I yelled at my children a lot because of my own frustrations. When I was 23 I decided to get counseling. My children were 6 and 7. I realized that in order to maintain their mental health I had to manage mine own. I remember writing an apology letter and placing it under their pillows in the middle of the night. As they made their beds the next morning, they found the letters, read them and came to room and gave me a big hug. I burst into tears. That moment made a difference in the trajectory of our lives.
Love this! Although I don’t have children of my own yet, I hope to instill in them all of the things you mentioned & really be a safe space for them. Happy Mother’s Day to you!
Renee Silmon says
Oh this is so good and timely. I will take the ‘me’ moment to analyze self before speaking to and or responding to my children. The part of ‘they are your heart outside of your body’ immediately changed my mindset and heart posture. ♥️🙌🏾 I must be intentional and ensure my asking of their day and checking their mental health comes from a place of quiet and peace so I can receive and respond how God leads. They deserve it and I know there’s healing for me there as well.
Thank you for sharing and being so transparent. This has definitely blessed me and will be a blessing to my children. Thank you Sis and Happy blessed Mother’s Day! 🌷💗🌷💗
Rita Taylor says
I love affirmations I simply love speaking positiveness into my children. I know it makes a difference when they repeat it, and it becomes a part of them, and it not only shows in our home in our church, but it shows in their workplace when they grow as they have grown up, and it shows in their daily lives, so I love that really quick 15 years ago we walked into a Denny’s and we saw this beautiful little baby. He was with a 17 year-old boya 15 year old girl in 17 a girl and a grandmother. We complemented the baby and they brought the baby to our table at the time. My husband was a pastor so we asked them to come to our church and they did, needless to say they joined our church. A few months later the baby was two months old. They called us for prayer for the baby because he had broken his legs some kind of way. We were praying for the baby over the phone and then the parents called me back. They said that Cps was taking the baby. They did not know this but years before my husband and I were foster parents so I said as always I always speak up and say things that my husband be like oh my God!! I said that we were foster parents and maybe we can just hold the baby at our church so that you guys can still still see the baby since we didn’t know what had happened at that time. CPS came and checked out our home and Cps placed the baby with us with us as family placement. They called us a few weeks later, and told us that we were not to let the mother see the baby because they were were charging her with breaking his leg. It was his femur bone. They said that he could not have fallen off of a three story building and received a break that he had received so we followed the instructions of Cps of course and they had given the mother and the dad some classes to take so they can get the baby back. They did not comply, so they terminated the parents rights. I asked Cps what’s gonna happen to the baby by this time he was a little over a year old they said that he would just go back into the system. We had fallen in love with him by then, so I just said we would just adopt him I was 40 years old and of course my kids were like oh my goodness I had five biological kids at the time and I said I would just start all over so I did I start it all over with the baby I mean baby bed waking up the middle of the night now as well over 40 years old I mean I was like 43 to 44 so we started all over. It was a joy to have. I have enjoyed him every moment of his life. He has been a joy. He’s made my husband and I young and I appreciate that he is now 15 years old. He’s in high school he’s in a a prep class when he graduates he’ll have his associates degree and I’m telling you God took us to that Dennys so that we can meet our baby and in meeting our baby it gave us life and I appreciate that so my husband tell me when I want to find a Denny’s don’t you look around or touch any babies don’t even compliment any babies, but I think God will have us in places that were not supposed to be to receive the a blessing!!!
What a great read! Thank you for the reminder to always speak words of affirmations to our children. I am often reminded to affirm myself and do, but I now realize that I need to be affirming my greatest creations more often. I will be gifting them both with Dr. Cheryl’s amazing book Affirmed. Thank you for this much needed read.
K Cruse says
This truly blessed me. As time went on in my life, I felt like I did a horrible job as a mother. I was wrapped up in my own pain, that I couldn’t see the pain that my children were going through. I lost my oldest son to suicide when he was 23. Depression took him away from us. My oldest daughter became ill with an unknown disease at the time. My youngest daughter who just wanted to feel loved is a unmarried mother of 3 and with children again. My youngest son is going through an ugly divorce. Where did I go wrong. I see other mothers who pour/ed into their children, which is something I never did. I prayed with them daily, but never poured into them. They also grew up in a very small all white community. Only brown skinned children in the whole school at the time. So much pain 💔. If I could get back those years, I pray I would have done things differently. Reading your story helps me to see that God can give me a second chance with my children and now with my grandchildren. Since I never started pouring, it never too late to begin. Thank you
Marilyn Green says
Great article and reminder about my children and how I work to stay relevant in their lives. I reach out often via a group text and we laugh and talk. I love my children and I love who they have become in spite of pain, problems, trials and tribulations.
C. Dixon says
Thank you for this reminder. Great nuggets to move us all to make family a priority especially our children because they are watching our every move!
Amy Hampton says
Absolutely such a poignant, timeless and inspiring tribute to motherhood. Pouring into your children is the most important and sacred gift to their lives. The legacy of your fruit is worth everything!
Elva Cruse says
I’m an 80 yr old mother & grandmother and reading your beautiful words of wisdom let me know there is so much more to learn.
Karla Osayi says
This is such a good story thank you for sharing in raising my children I always believed in them and I let them know that but I had to learn to have patience on the journey thank God I made it through and now I pass the wisdom on to them and others.
Stefanie Batiste says
Dr. Cheryl is truly an AMAZING woman!!!❤️
Al Kerr says
She really is
Regina G Mixon says
This is such an awesome lesson and/or reminder of the importance of speaking life into our children and being present for them. Such a great example of things you have done Cheryl. Our children have enough outside negative forces to contend with. We must be present, be their biggest cheerleader and supporter. Again, great article!
Al Kerr says
This put a huge smile on my face and also reminded me of the power of our words!!!!
Beverly Brooks says
Thanks for sharing your story…it definitely is great advice for every mother and it really made me stop and think….you’re never to old to get great advice on all levels….an old mother learning new advice…..
Kiara Tolliver says
Thank you for sharing your story. May I also say thank you for your continuous support as a Mother would. You are God sent.