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Product Spotlight- The Mindset Tapestry by Deanna DeAndino

Name: Deanna Blasi DeAndino

Location: Wall Township, NJ

Children (Names, Ages): Bruno (4) Ellis (2)

Occupation: Founder/ CEO of The Mindset Tapestry and Former Educator

Product/Business: I created The Mindset Tapestry (patented) an innovative mental health tool for children that uses a system of positive affirmations, mirror talk and caregiver support. 

What inspired you to start your business? 

The Mindset Tapestry was born out of my teaching background and personal mental health struggles I was enduring after the birth of my second child. I was teaching through the pandemic and pregnant with my second child. I became aware of how anxious and depressed my students were and I started to look for tools that I could implement with help them, and possibly my own children down the line. I was struggling tremendously with early onset postpartum and one of the techniques I started practicing to help myself was positive self- mirror talk. It was incredible to me how I was actually rewiring my brain to think more positively! When I realized there was nothing on the market that was offering this technique to children, I had to bring it into the world. With this tool, it is my mission to transform how we raise our children so that they can lead purpose- led, intentional, positive lives. 

Why do you think it's important for children to practice affirmations?

It is so important for children to practice affirmations. Naturally as humans, we are very influenced by the external. There is a lot of negativity out there in the world that children are exposed to and unfortunately sometimes that comes from peers, teachers, and sometimes even family (hopefully unintentionally). Regardless, words hold weight and when a child is developing, these words impact the way they view themselves and even the world around them. It takes repetition and consistency to counteract the negativity and maintain a strong, positive inner-voice, which undoubtedly becomes their mindset with time and practice. 

What brings you joy as a parent?

The most joy I get from being a parent is when I see my kids being their true, authentic selves. When kids are so little and have not been influenced by society yet, it is so pure to see them operate as their true selves- explore their interests, speak their truth, and honor their feelings.. As their mom, I hope to always preserve this. There is nothing more validating to an individual's soul to truly be authentic.

What are some of your challenges as a parent?

There are so many! Parenting is the most challenging job on the planet. In the phase I am in with a 2 and 4 year old, its definitely navigating their relationship and how they find each other as siblings. My oldest son struggled a lot when my second child was born, and just recently he became interested in having a friendship with him! It takes time, patience, and a lot of conversations/ modeling! 

Another incredibly difficult challenge is trying to prioritize your needs and the needs of your partner while raising a family. I think it is important to nurture your partnership and your individual self, at least once a day. If you don’t make this a conscious priority, you will lose yourself in the management aspect of your family. 

What is the best advice you received or lessons learned as a parent?

 A lot of lessons I have applied to my parenting have come from teaching! One of the big takeaways I have learned is give your child choice! Kids are way more motivated and engaged when you present them with choices. This has helped me tremendously with raising toddlers because if you give them options, they will usually pick one- even if you are asking them to do something for you! If you directly tell them to do something, you are often met with resistance. 

I also try to really engage my kids in my life and expose them to “adult” activities that I believe will make them more helpful, useful, and teach them responsibility. My 4 year old has been helping me cook and garden since he was 1.5 and it is so great to see his interest in both, as well as enjoy the quality time with him. 

How do you practice self care?

I love exercising, specifically weight- lifting and running! There is nothing more meditative to me and it really helps me to regulate my nervous system, which is something I struggle with after becoming a mom! I also enjoy going to the beach and meditating before I go to sleep. 

How do you make time for your relationship with your partner?

This is a difficult one and unfortunately the aspect of parenting/ family that gets the most neglected. After having my second child, we both felt disconnected from each other and were have a trying time during our marriage. It may seem silly, but we implemented a weekly meeting that is mandatory where we can sit, discuss life, our calendar, our feelings, and anything else relevant to our marriage. This “meeting” has been integral to our relationship!

Are your parenting styles different from your partners?  How do you manage parenting with your partner?

Totally different! My husband is very laid- back and I have a tendency to be more structured/ disciplined, even when spending time with my children. 

How do you spend quality time with your children?

I love to take them places. I like to have little excursions to the beach, library, or park. I like to show them as much as I can and teach them as much as I can, especially during this stage where they are so curious and love learning about new things and places. 

What parenting tools work for you and your family?

We love The Mindset Tapestry! I really did create this tool as a way to connect with my kids, open up dialogue with them, and strengthen our bond. 

Favorite parenting books or resources? 

There is so much information out there and it is very cool to parent during a time where there are endless “tips + tricks” from experts and thought leaders. I do follow some great accounts on social media that are helpful, however, I do truly believe that most parenting is intuitive. Typically if I am really struggling with a decision or way to handle a situation regarding my child's behavior or emotions, I will turn to family and friends who I am very grateful to have in my life!

What do you wish for your children?

My greatest hope for them is that they can always be themselves, which will lead to following their passions and giving them a true purpose. I have the perspective to know what it feels like to be unguided and going through life to “check the boxes”. It's a very isolating and confusing way to live. I want to foster their strengths and interests, regardless of others opinions or society’s input, because I know it will lead to their true happiness. I will support them in anything!

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