"He was so proud to use his pencils every day," she said. "It made me smile because he would pick the pencil depending on the assignment we were doing."
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 1, 2022. It has since been updated.
Everyone needs a bit of encouragement now and then. Especially on those days when life knocks you down, a positive affirmation or act of kindness from the right person could prove powerful enough to help you pick yourself back up. While this is true for all irrespective of age, one mom knew that it is particularly impactful for children and came up with a simple hack to offer support and words of encouragement to her son while he's at school. Amanda Cox was working as a teacher at Fehl-Price Elementary in Beaumont, Texas, when she spotted the loving mom's efforts to brighten her son's day.
Giving your children positive affirmations about themselves can help contribute to their growth mindset and help them form who they believe they can be. ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/ixmUnbhpbq— Action for Children (@actnforchildren) May 27, 2020
"Today, I was running low on pencils so I asked all of my kids to pull out any of my pencils that they had in their desks," Cox wrote on Facebook, according to Good Morning America. "I had one student ask me if he could keep his pencils that his mom gave him for school. Of course, I said yes. He then said, 'Well, I guess I’ll give you a few so my classmates can have them too.' I thought nothing of it and took the pencils that he handed me. When I was sharpening them, I noticed writing on a few of them. I then realized that my student’s mother took the time to write on his pencils. I asked him if he would mind showing me the rest of them. What I read melted my heart."
Students always ask for pencils...how would students be affected if we wrote little things like this on the pencils they borrowed? Thx Amanda Cox for sharing... #LoveConquersAll #LivesAreAtStake pic.twitter.com/7BeJYaKLx3— Dr. Gregory Gardner (@thatmancanteach) July 27, 2019
- You are so talented.
- This will be a great year.
- You are creative.
- You are phenomenal.
- Never give up.
- You can do this.
- You are knowledgeable.
- You are a math whiz.
- You are intelligent.
- Proud of you every day.
- I love you.
- You have a brilliant mind.
- You are wonderful.
- You are a problem solver.
- Follow your dreams.
- You are perfect.
- I am proud of you.
- You will change the world.
- You are amazing.
- You are the best.
- You are important.
"This probably took his mom a few minutes to do yet it lit up his whole day at school. He wasn't embarrassed that his mom wrote on his pencils. Thanks to his mom, he was reminded of his self-worth and wanted to share the same feeling with his classmates," Cox wrote. "THESE are the things that we should be reminding our kids (both parents AND teachers). Imagine the look on a child's face when they are reminded that they are important, talented, loved, knowledgeable, and so much more. Help them know that someone believes in them and is proud of them in everything they do. Even if you think it is cheesy or you don't have enough time or that you will have little impact, remember that you may be the only one telling and reminding them these things and EVERY kid needs to know their value. This is why I teach."
This is what we need to instill in every child!! Are you speaking positive, life-giving affirmations over the children in your life. Heck, yourself? Some of us need to reject the lies we were told about who we couldn’t be and what we could never do! #truth https://t.co/rQYwXNKEnB— Taifa Smith Butler (@TaifaButler) October 10, 2019
Cox's Facebook post quickly went viral as many praised the mom's simple pencil gesture. "There were thousands of people tagging teachers and family members to do this for their child and/or students and sharing ideas that they have done that are similar to this, such as writing on their child’s napkin in their lunch box," she said. Cox revealed that the student was quite proud of his special pencils and used them throughout the year. "He was so proud to use his pencils every day," she said. "It made me smile because he would pick the pencil depending on the assignment we were doing. He would pull out the, 'You are a math whiz' pencil on his math assignments and his 'You can do this' pencil during quizzes or tests."
"I am proud of who you are"— Action for Children (@actnforchildren) February 14, 2021
What are some of the positive affirmations you give to your little ones?
Giving your children positive affirmations about themselves can help contribute to their growth mindset and help them form who they believe they can be. pic.twitter.com/soAijpiHqD
"To hear, or in this case, read a message from their parent daily that says, 'you are talented, intelligent, wonderful, amazing' and 'I love you, I’m proud of you, you have a brilliant mind,' reminds them of their value and self-worth," she added. "I hope that more children will have these pencils or some type of positive daily message for the upcoming school year. I know I will definitely be writing on the pencils in my classroom this year."