Momma Minutes

One Minute to a Mentally Healthier Child

By: Lyndsay Crews

My 4-year old daughter looked into the mirror. She then turned to me and said, “My eyebrows are too big. I don’t like them.” Her comment didn’t completely surprise me because she caught me tweezing my eyebrows the other day. It was the way she degraded herself that really surprised me. She said it in the same way I pull at my love handles with disgust. I recalled a counselor once telling me it was possible to reroute the neuron pathways in your brain. So, I tried it out. Why not? I asked her to repeat 5 positive comments about herself out loud. (It’s to replace the 1 negative comment she said, but I didn’t tell her that part.) It worked!! I know she’s 4, but I haven’t heard her degrade any part of her body since then.  I call it 5 Ups.


Rules for 5 Ups:

  1. You give your child 5 positive comments for every 1 negative comment they say about themselves. Bonus points for making them repeat after you.
  2. If you catch your child saying something negative about themselves, say 5 Ups immediately and genuinely.
  3. Try to avoid saying anything negative about ourselves or others, especially physically degrading. Even if it seems harmless, it can be harmful.
  4. Try to avoid complimenting physical attributes of your child…go for their character traits.


  • You are sweet.
  • You are funny.
  • You’re a good sister because you take care of your little brother.
  • I like it when you sing.
  • You have a kind heart.
  • You are good at sharing your blocks.
  • You are smart.


Honesty time: I totally thought I invented this concept…but I didn’t. Here are some research articles that deflated my invention ego.


If you have any tricks that have worked for you, leave them in the comments.