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Schneider the Spider and His Unusual Friends

This week we are sharing an AMAZING story about loving and accepting yourself, written by Czarina Tran-Bernett. Czarina is the CEO of KidZ Synergy LLC, an educational consultant, and educator, and the author of Schneider the Spider and His Unusual Friends.

This story is full of Social Emotional learning, designed to help parents teach kids about important internal conflicts and how to deal with them. One thing all parents have to deal with is that at some point, their child will meet another child who does not like them. What do you do then?

Czarina explains that this story was inspired by her own motherhood journey, trying to prepare her five-year-old daughter for the unfortunate event that another child did not like her.

"She is so precious and has a sensitive soul and I wanted her to understand in life, you can't expect anyone to like you. In order for others to treat you well, you need to know how to be treated and valued. In order to achieve this, you need to love yourself and be confident in who you are."

As an immigrant, Czarina found herself always striving to please others. "I know I am a people pleaser and was always on the move to do things I think others would want. It was exhausting!"

As kids sometimes it is difficult to understand how to have healthy relationships and boundaries with others, especially if you are scared others will no longer like or accept you.

"I knew I needed to set boundaries just like the character I created for Benji. I think learning to set boundaries and learning to complement each other rather than be like each other was my greatest challenge," Czarina explained.

"Learning how to and finding a balance of my own self-perception was always a journey. It was a road well taken."

As an educator for 20 years, Czarina also noticed her students often needed this same lesson. She spent time talking to students about valuing themselves and appreciating the differences in everyone. "It would be awfully boring if we were all the same," she laughed.

"Well, I found myself having this same conversation with my daughter. It was that day that I realized I needed to write a picture book to teach my daughter this important life lesson."

As for most authors, just because you have a great idea, does not mean the journey to publishing is easy. Czarina stated that making time to focus on marketing her book release was challenging. Publishing a book during the COVID lockdown hindered many of her plans to get her book out there.

"Being a neurodivergent author, I realized that I always have several projects I am working on. It keeps me busy."

Even with all the hardships of publishing, Czarina shared that the most rewarding part of this journey for her is making a difference in the lives of children who are struggling with acceptance.

"Seeing the joy on the children's faces when they are reading my story, especially the second, third, and fourth-graders who need the reminder of just how special they are."

Czarina explained that as an immigrant, she learn to read from picture books and each story was impactful.

"I wish there was a story like this when I was growing up so I could be taught to embrace rather than feel shameful of who I am."


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