The Inner Critic... in 3rd Graders!

I made an interesting observation today, teaching mindfulness to 2nd and 3rd graders: almost every 3rd grader raised his/her hand when I asked if they ever heard a mean voice in their head (who might tell them they’re stupid or not good enough), while no 2nd graders did. The 3rd graders shared what their ‘mean voice’ says, almost matching each other’s words exactly. 

One girl actually noted her mean voice sounded like her mom. 😮

Perhaps our inner critic gets formed some time in the 8-9yo range? Is that when we start getting graded in school? On the field? Is that when school and sports start to become more about being perfect and winning, and less about having fun?

In any case, it was a heartening reminder to be aware of how critical/controlling I can be of my kids sometimes... (and of myself of course :)).

PS: this article is so interesting / enlightening! On how/when the inner critic is formed...