Elaine Sugar has years of experience in facilitating award-winning children's self-esteem building programs, evidenced by the Philadelphia 76ers Hometown Hero award and multiple Police Athletic League Volunteer awards.
"Sadly, scientists discovered that 95% of the messages children receive about themselves are negative. About 60% of school-aged children suffer from low self-esteem, leading to childhood depression, eating disorders, and poor school performance, etc.
My description of my childhood may appear to be a contradiction, but try to picture this. I grew up in an “economically” poor neighborhood on the North Side of Jacksonville, Florida. Throughout my childhood, the area was flooded with drugs and alcohol. Yet within that neighborhood, I lived in one of the wealthiest homes in the world. I owe that to my phenomenal parents, Willie and Lillie Sugar. Further, there was church and a community of neighbors who looked out for each others’ children, creating a protective village of support for our family. So I was surrounded by love and expected to succeed in life and be an honorable human being."
Around age 10, there was a moment that had a profound impact on me. I was excited to be at an overnight girls camp. It was so much fun running around the porch of a huge cabin with a group of other girls. I was having a great time until I heard a camp counselor yell for us to stop running. It wasn’t her yelling that bothered me. Honestly, we were so loud; I’m not sure we would have heard her if she hadn’t yelled.
The devastating thing about this incident that took years to overcome was what she said. After yelling for us to stop, she said I hope you all fall. Then, she pointed to one particular girl in the group, who had long straight her and a skin color much lighter than mine and most girls in the group, and said except for her because “she is pretty.” I remember thinking to myself, if that’s pretty and my skin is dark brown, and my hair is thick with tight curls, I must be ugly. I can’t remember anything else that took place at that camp decades ago, except me leaving feeling 100% certain that I and all little girls who look like me were ugly. Imagine what the impact could have been if I was not raised in a loving home. The messages we receive about ourselves are powerful and often life-altering.
As adults, we get into therapy, yoga, meditation, and use affirmations to undo many of the negative messages we received throughout our lives. If we had gotten an early start, think about what a difference it would make in our conscious and subconscious self-image. It’s been proven that we are much more effective, and powerful human beings, if we can train our minds to believe good things about ourselves,. This training of the subconscious mind is most impactful during the sleeping phase, and that is why I encourage affirmations by day and night.
The opportunity to educate and empower children, while engaging and entertaining them, is the inspiration for the creation of Kids, More S.U.G.A.R. (Saying Unforgettable Good Affirmations Regularly)”.
To learn more about Elaine Sugar, visit her Author Page
How Kids, More S.U.G.A.R. Inspired a Global Seven-Day Mental Wellness Event
I launched my company, Kids, More S.U.G.A.R., in 2020, starting with a coloring/storybook series called Cell Phone Sir S.U.G.A.R. that teaches children (ages 5 to 10) the power of positive thinking and speaking via affirmations. Naturally, people started to ask, “But what about the older children?” While developing my teen product line, I launched my Empower Teen Self-Esteem podcast and a teen money management course. Then, people began to ask, “What about adults and parents?” The message was clear that when you educate the parents and adults around children, you increase the chances of a child retaining and implementing the lessons.
During this time, both the COVID-19 pandemic and mental strain on children and adults was worsening. I began hearing regularly from people around the world about their heightened mental stresses. I heard this from both individuals and from small business owners; the pandemic had detrimental financial impacts on small business owners due to restrictions and shutdowns.
Meanwhile, I joined a social media app called Clubhouse, which enabled me to have meaningful conversations with people all around the world within a matter of minutes. In Clubhouse rooms, I got to hear from and bond with people who are doing phenomenal work to help kids, teens, and adults. These were mostly small business owners and individuals with passions and missions of helping, healing, and making others whole. Simultaneously, the outcry of mental stresses and strains grew louder.
In hearing the acknowledgement of the significance of small business owners from community members and the government alike, I quickly came to the realization that most understand that small business owners are the backbone of many economies around the world. During these epiphanies, I heard mentions of a variety of small business industries, but none seem to be mental wellness businesses. It was almost as though when we were discussing small businesses, we were only thinking of the mom-and-pop shops that we pass in our travels.
Because of this, I was afraid that we had totally overlooked small business owners who do the work that is critically needed. It felt ironic that those who were receiving the calls for mental support were not as prevalent in the conversations around those small businesses whose economies we needed to protect and help sustain.
Therefore, I figured there must be a way to marry the two: the public that needed this help and support with the people who have passionately committed their lives to it. This event is bringing together mental wellness small business owners from all around the world to uplift and enlighten the public of the multiple avenues you can take and the tools you can use on your journey to mental wellness. This is more than an event – it’s a mental wellness and positivity experience. This is very much a grassroots event that is leveraging the synergy of powerful people unifying for one powerful purpose. So how did the Global M.A.P.S. ® event come to be? It was laid on my heart. I shared the vision with other like minded people and they said let’s get together and make this happen.
September 12th-18th 2021, over 200 wellness experts united to host our inaugural seven day global mental wellness event to enlighten and uplift the world. This included expert presentations, inspirational stories, music concert, networking events, a 30-day challenge, and a kids day!
Click here to learn more about M.A.P.S. Global Events
Elaine L. Sugar