Lilly-Ella is my 11-year-old daughter, she is almost 12, and in my opinion, she is the kindest, wisest, oldest head on young shoulders you would ever come across.
After my son, her brother, Elliot died it had such a heart-breaking effect on her. As a parent we want to do whatever we can to protect our children, its natural to hold their hand as they walk through life, to pick them up when they fall, to teach, guide and encourage. If someone hurts your child it’s also quite normal to want to rearrange the face of the f**ker who dared to be so audacious. Obviously as we mature, rearranging faces and collecting ‘molars’ for your trophy necklace is kind of frowned upon since cavemen evolved so maybe try the more diplomatic approach first!
Shielding our children is as natural as breathing, but when it comes to protecting our children from their own mindset and emotions, that’s a whole new territory often unpredictable and can escalate fast.
Children struggle when grief and bereavement become their reality and that’s generally because they are not mentally mature enough to understand or deal with the emotion that comes with death, especially when it’s a close relative like a parent or sibling. Children are led to believe that people only die when they are old, so when they are faced with sudden deaths of people that are not drawing their pensions and walking with a zimmerframe it leads to confusion, anger and anxiety.
My daughter experienced high levels of anxiety that disrupted her life and hindered her childhood for about two years.
She became irrationally scared of fire. House fires mainly and we had no idea where this stemmed from. We had never had a fire but she was scared that the house would burn while we slept and we would all be burnt to death, or worse she would survive and everyone else would perish. This then rolled out into obsessive behaviours to turn off lights and switches ALL of the time. Like the television, the washing machine, phone chargers, hairdryers anything that was plugged in would have to be switched off and plug removed ALWAYS. She used to say it was to prevent the fire from coming. Countless times she would turn off the freezer and I would find melted ice cream and floppy chicken.
She wouldn’t have sleepovers and rarely went on playdates because she didn’t want to be away from her family incase something happened to us, she soon found it harder and harder to fall asleep at night without working herself up in to a frenzy about the house burning and her family dying. We even got her a fire extinguisher which helped a little, but it soon became apparent that I couldn’t help her and that we were in need of professional help as her anxiety increased.
At the tender age of just 8 years old she was counselled and had a course of child therapy that helped her through this difficult and testing time. Its so hard to accept that sometimes we as parents are not always the best people to help and support our children.
I was grieving and fighting my own emotional battle and just didn’t have the tools, strength or the ability to help her. Fast forward to 2018 and she turns 12 in September and whilst we are on top of the anxiety and have methods in place to help alleviate the worries when they flood in, she is still a huge worrier but it’s now on a more manageable level and is less disruptive to her life.
I was asked by Heather Rose of ‘Mindset and Me’, to review some affirmation cards that she and her son Isaac have designed for children and after chatting with her about them I thought it would be a wonderful tool for Lilly-Ella to use, she, like many other pre-pubescent girls often feels not good enough, not pretty enough, not clever enough and I think that’s a society thing. Sadly, we live in a world of photoshopped perfection creating an unrealistic perception of what we should adhere to. I want to give her the confidence within her own mindset to know that she is everything she needs to be, and that her own competition should be with herself and only herself. I want her mindset to be powerful enough to defend her against her paralyzing inner voice that creeps up and tells her from time to time that she’s not good enough. I want to empower the fuck out of her so she is strong and in control of her own emotions.
ABOUT THE CARDS.
For £7.99 you get 10 glossy cards with different affirmations on.
The logo is representative of what Mindset and Me are all about, a hand drawn rainbow designed and drawn by Heathers son, Isaac, who is 10.
The cards come in a little organza bag with some sweets and an activity card for your child, a little thank you note that directs you to their Facebook support group, where you can use this as a hub to meet and chat to other parents, rant and share advice.
Heather and Isaac both have a desire and yearning to help others and have used the Law of Attraction and daily affirmations to help empower and enrich their lives, I implore you to read more about their powerful story at http://www.mindsetandme.uk/our-story.html
USING THE CARDS
Lilly-Ella was dubious and not at all interested in the cards to begin with, but I expected that from her. So I decided to use them as a tool to get all the kids talking in the morning at breakfast and they would all pick a card and read it out loud so we could talk about it. This soon had the desired effect and created a fun, safe place for a discussion about the cards. They talked about how they related to card and asked questions about the meanings.
Lilly-Ella soon continued with this ritual independently even though the younger one’s interest had tailed off.
Lilly-Ella now has them in her bedroom and tends to read one before bed which works really well.
Her favourite card is the ‘I Love my Life’ card, it states quite simply.
Life is precious, you only get one chance. Your life is a gift, you were put on this earth to make a difference. Remember you are loved.
The cards are an amazing way of creating conversations with your children whereas they may be a little reserved. It allows you to talk to your child using the card as a prompt to find things out about what may or may not happening in their mind and daily lives at school.
This was confirmed to me when she came home from school one day after helping one of her friends who was really upset! Now, this friend hasn’t always been the nicest to Lilly-Ella often causing her to come home distressed and worrying about returning to school the next day. However, this day in particular I speak about with such pride.
She said that this girl was crying in the girl’s toilets, and she remembered the affirmation card she had read the night before.
‘I Am A Good Friend’
Always see the best in everyone, always treat someone like you want to be treated.
A few things to tell yourself, I am popular, I am friendly, I play well with others, I don’t hurt others, I don’t say or do mean things to others. Always be Kind.
This obviously resonated with her. She said she helped her ‘who shall remain unnamed’ because she is a good friend, and she would want someone to be nice to her of she was crying like that. We spoke about it in length, we spoke about the card and what it meant to her.
I was amazed at my young daughter’s foresight and ability to communicate her thoughts to me with such clarity. She said that whilst she loved what the card stood for, she said that she disagreed with the ‘I am popular’ comment because in her words.
“Mum, not everyone is popular, and that is OK, there is always a girl or boy that seems more popular than others, but its OK to not be like them, you need to be like you”
I almost teared up.
I am an advocate of being open with your children and answering all their questions with nothing but truth but in an age appropriate way. I believe we need to treat and feed our minds with positivity and I am a huge believer that this should start as early as possible. These cards are cost effective and an entirely age appropriate way of creating meaningful conversations with your children about their own mindset. So if your thinking of purchasing some of these Affirmation Cards you can find Heather on