September 15, 2020
Fearless Felicia - Helping Children Through Life Challenges
A time for change is in need. Our future, our children need to become our main focus. During unprecedented times, with COVID-19, it is imperative to ensure that our children’s mental health is a priority. In a blink of an eye, children were expected to adapt to a “new normal” that no one quite understood. They stopped going to school, seeing their friends, playing on the playground and were expected to stay distant from individuals that they hold dear and close to their hearts. All of this was replaced with Google classes, Zoom play dates, virtual birthday parties and social bubbles. This was confusing as an adult so how could we expect a child to understand it all?
Last summer, I took upon a goal that I had set for myself a very long time ago. I’ve always wanted to write a children’s picture book and so I did. I wrote Fearless Felicia. The book is about a young girl named Felicia. She wakes up each morning and notices her feelings. Sometimes she feels happy and sometimes she feels sad or angry. When she wants to feel ease and peace, she starts by thinking of a place that makes her feel calm. She listens to her body. She uses her breath and she knows that she can do it.
I have been a teacher for 27 years and Fearless Felicia is the first book I have written. I’ve noticed that through the years, most students were entering the classroom with one focus, to do their best. It has been ingrained that academics should be the first and only focus for students. What has been missing is a focus on a child’s emotional development. We have seen a rise in children’s stress levels, an inability to cope with difficult situations and a lack of resilience when things go wrong. Emotional development is equally important as the academic side. In fact, to develop the whole child, one should focus on academic, social and emotional growth.
Prior to writing the book, I implemented several mindfulness activities in the classroom and have found it to be successful. It is important to teach children to recognize their feelings, validate what their feelings are and scaffold the learning so that they can learn many techniques that can help them cope. Each child is different. Every child will find ways to help them by using different strategies. It is crucial to introduce these techniques to give them an array of choices and it should begin at a young age. Fearless Felicia introduces one way that she feels is best for her. Others may find it useful as well.
I was first published in March 2020. Initially, I was horrified; we were in the middle of a pandemic. How was I going to get Fearless Felicia noticed? Then I realized this was in fact a perfect time to share this book with the world. I wrote a book that would provide children the skills required to help them get through challenges in life, not only during a pandemic. It is a book that would teach them the skills to find peace and tranquility. Traditional methods of marketing proved to be challenging, so it forced me to find alternate ways to reach an audience. My goal was to change the trajectory of a child’s life and to empower them to transform emotions from negative to positive ones. One child at a time, one family at a time, giving a brighter future to each of them is a moment to celebrate. Let’s celebrate together. Email me at [email protected] to purchase your copy or visit my website at www.angelahanimyan.com and make a difference in a child’s life.