Welcome to my site!
My philosophy: improving self-esteem leads to improved coping skills.
My undergraduate and graduate studies in teaching, social work, and psychology made me acutely aware of the importance of self-esteem in a child’s healthy development. Feeling valuable, and trusting themselves helps create these positive feelings. One way a parent, or teacher, can enhance this process is by reading books with meaningful story lines which spark sincere discussions about the child’s feelings. When these feelings are acknowledged in a non-judgmental manner; it helps the child trust themselves to handle sometimes painful feelings of anger and sadness within their unique family structure. When you strengthen their abilities to combat fear of isolation and loneliness; it enables them to enjoy their world and feel secure in their abilities to find happiness and ultimate success in reaching their life’s goals.
What motivated me to write my newly published book?
Do you find yourself in a situation in which your child is not living with you full time? For a variety of reasons, this has become an all too common phenomenon. While adults often have the ability to integrate, or get help with, the problems of rebuilding their lives; more often than not, the children involved feel saddened and confused. BUT- what if there was a children’s picture book that would provide a means to help kids make sense of what’s happening to them and present an opportunity to discuss their feelings with you?
As a primary age public school teacher for 33 years, I observed that a large percentage of my students were in this exact situation. Yet, I could find no children’s picture books which dealt with the problem from the child’s perspective. The majority of the books focused on the traditional ideal of the “Sally, Dick, and Jane” nuclear, intact family. Books were being written for the parents in the genre of an “how to” manual. How to deal with the break up of your marriage, how to cope with being co-parenting, how to help your children adjust, etc. etc. That was then; but even now, there are so few books which a child could relate to, to help them come to grips with the challenges they faced as their family fell apart. They might even feel abandoned as they saw their parents moving on finding new love, having additional children, while they had to learn how to feel safe and secure in two new separate homes. They are not seeing these types of situations in the books they could actually read and there were no road maps or models to give them a sense that all could end well. Wouldn’t it be comforting to know that things might be different; there was a “light at the end of the tunnel”?
In my book, Hannah’s Two Homes: life in a “blended” family, from a 5 year old’s perspective; I tried to tackle these issues through the eye of a child. Meet 5- year- old Hannah who is getting used to living in two residences; while simultaneously trying to fit into the dynamics of newly reformulated family structures involving step-parents, half-brother, and half-sisters. Hannah “uses her own words” to share her thoughts and traces her progress through various emotions while remaining positive and upbeat. By using simple sentence structure, easy – to – read vocabulary, and colorful illustrations, I hoped to create an opportunity for children, from pre-K through third grade, to better cope with this fragile, and sometimes anxiety filled issue.