Raising Your Kids – Teaching Your Children: Teen’s Mind Time Cards
Mind Time Cards – Created by Sharon Hackleman and Illustrated by Jessica Glickman
By Kirk VandenBerghe
The thirty-one cards in the hand-illustrated Mind Time Cards collection are designed to inspire teens to think positively about themselves. While some young people won’t be open to this kind of positive input—they might consider themselves way too cool for such a thing—the cards succeed in providing an uplifting affirmation tool.
Fifteen cards feature girls, ten present boys, one shows a young couple hugging, and the remaining five are images only. The cards are not gender-oriented, and all of them will work equally well for boys and girls. I was happy to see people of color represented in the illustrations.
Affirmations are mostly well-phrased in the positive, and topics include:
- The usefulness of positive thought and finding the good
- Health subjects like exercise, good nutrition, and sleep
- How to turn transform negative thoughts into the positive
- Body change awareness
- Finding happiness and shining from within
- Finding authenticity and celebrating uniqueness
- Directing our lives toward what we want
- Respecting self and others
- Focus and flow
- Moving from anxiety to relaxation and peace
- Moving from conformity to creativity and self-expression
- Intention and the magnetic nature of thought
- Spirituality topics like heart and universal connection.
Will Parents Have Concerns?
Stepping into the shoes of a parent, there were a couple of cards that brought up questions for me.
The first shows a young couple hugging and states, “Love is and always will be the most powerful force in the universe.” On the reverse side of the card is continues, “I add to this powerful force each time I show myself and others love.” I agree wholeheartedly with the affirmation. However, I think it may have been more useful to address that there are many forms of “love”—brotherly and sisterly love, self-sacrificial love (like a parent toward their children), erotic lust-type love, etc.—and how it’s distinct from infatuation. That’s a tall order for a four by three inch card, no doubt.
The second card depicts an attractive young girl with her right hand on her heart. Well, her hand is also touching her breasts and she’s wearing the only outfit in the deck that seems at all sensual to me (but not necessarily inappropriate). Here are the words: “I respect and love my body. It is mine to share with whom I choose.” And on the reverse side is the message, “I only share myself and my body when it feels right in my heart. Follow your heart…it will guide you wisely.” I fully agree with this affirmation…and…would like to highlight three possible concerns:
1. What is a teen? Thirteen is quite different from nineteen. I love these cards and would like to give them as a gift to my favorite twelve-year-old girl, the daughter of dear friends. But due to this card—and perhaps the other card I singled out above—I’d have to chat with her parents first. Moving beyond my friend’s daughter and thinking about teens in general, I can easily imagine a rebellious thirteen-year-old yelling at her mother who just caught her in bed with her boyfriend, “It is mine to share with whom I choose!” as her red-faced fifteen-year-old boyfriend feverishly tries to put his jeans back on.
Teens who are under the age of consent live within the responsibility of a parent or other legal guardian. The laws of society, and the beliefs and values of a particular family, create behavioral boundaries. There are consequences when teens make choices that break these rules.
2. Promoting Teenage Sex? It would be easy for some people to construe this card as actively promoting early sexuality activity. That said, the statistics are clear. Kids are secretly having sexual relations, including intercourse, often at a young age. Parents, teachers, and other responsible trusted advisors need to talk with teens about sex. Expecting abstinence is both naive and dangerous. My point is that the presence of this and the above-mentioned card means I would always first talk with a teen’s parent before giving these cards as a gift or recommending them for purchase.
3. Hormones? I know of nothing more important in life than for us to learn to listen to and follow our hearts. (Imagine everyone on this planet living through heart.) We just need to remember that “raging hormones” (to use the cliche) can cause infatuation to feel one-hundred percent like permanent love. The highs are very high, and the lows are very low. If I had a teenager, I would encourage him or her to choose to…wai…How long? Ultimately, it would be up to him or her. Any industrious teenager who lives in a free society can figure out a way to get alone with their boyfriend or girlfriend. My hope would be that he or she would access their inner wisdom and choose wisely. And that brings us right back to the purpose of this card’s affirmation.
Wonderful Opportunity for Parents & Teens to Talk
It’s clear to me that twenty-nine of thirty-one cards could be given to any teen of any age. If they played with (practiced) these wonderful affirmations, it could make a strong, positive difference in their lives. It’s also clear to me that two of thirty-one cards could be given to a parent to act as beautiful catalyst to discuss love, infatuation, sensuality, sexuality, safe sex and birth control, and that most challenging topic of all…relationships.
I enthusiastically endorse the Mind Time Cards as an innovative and timely tool for teen (and parent) transformation.