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
Elaine L. Sugar