If Mindfulness is Good for Us, How Good Must It Be For Our Kids too?
Mindfulness. The state of being conscious or aware of something. Also defined as being a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
I'm trying to remember when I first became aware of this being a thing. I know that calling Mindfulness that has helped people like my husband become open to the ideas of meditation and affirmations, especially when combined with reports like this one on the medical benefits of such things. At some point, my husband's doctor recommended a mindfulness course because of the positive effects it can have on blood pressure and stress. My husband is British and not terribly interested in self-development in general, and woo-woo new-age stuff in particular. But when his doctor said to give it a try as a possible alternative to a lifetime on blood pressure medication, he was happy enough to give it a try.
So if it is good for us to incorporate mindfulness, meditation, and even affirmations into our already stress-filled adult work days, what is it like for kids to learn these techniques, decades earlier than many Americans do? If becoming mindful at 38 or 45 can help reduce stress and potentially prolong life, what must it be like to start it at ten or five or even three-years-old?
I recently met two young mothers of young children who are trying to help families find out what a lifetime of mindfulness looks like for children. Anna Lozano and Lindy Sood first met before having children, and both were already entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurship brings people into this world of personal development and mindset work and growth. So both of our journeys started years ago, but when we both became parents it became important to bring this into our homes to fuel our little ones with love and positive self-talk,” said Anna as we zoomed on the first day of their Kickstarter Fundraising campaign.
In particular, they are interested in how positive affirmations affect self-esteem, confidence, and future success in life. In recent years there has been more research into the direct effects of positive affirmations as well as the potential drawbacks. This article from NYMag looks at what brain scans can tell us about what happens when people use positive affirmations. The main issue brought up against affirmations is that when an affirmation is opposed to a deeply held negative belief, the mind may immediately push back with thoughts of why that affirmation isn’t true.
However, with children who have not yet had a lifetime of rejections, negative self-talk, and struggles, this push back effect may not yet be so ingrained. Also, the NYMag article shows through the brain scan study that there are very positive immediate reactions to people using positive affirmations when those negative push back thoughts do not occur.
So what is Love Powered Littles? Co-founder Lindy says that it is “A beautiful box that will radically transform your family. Love Powered Littles are not your typical affirmation cards. It is an affirmation card deck for parents to use with their children. But it’s so much more than just the product itself. We are really creating a movement.”
The movement we want to create helps instill in our children the habits of positive self-talk, confidence, mindfulness, and self-love. In a world feels that more divided, angry and hateful than ever, teaching the next generation how to approach other human beings with the calm sense of love and empathy that comes from being focused and centered in themselves just might be a radical act.
To hear my entire conversation with Anna and Lindy and to learn more about Love Powered Littles, click here.