We are so honored that Kelly DiPucchio, award-winning author of several children’s books, including New York Times bestseller, GRACE FOR PRESIDENT, and THE SANDWICH SWAP, took the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us about raising confident kids that are not afraid to stand up for others.
1. Why is role playing an effective way to help young children empower themselves?
Role playing is a safe and fun way young kids can practice being brave and confident. The lines between real and imaginary are often blurred for young children so role playing allows them to express their feelings through the characters they’re pretending to be. In SUPER MANNY STANDS UP! Manny draws upon his experiences battling imaginary alien robots, zombie bears, and evil cloud monsters when he’s confronted by a real bully at school. He becomes empowered by the recall of those interactions and he finds the courage to act.
2. What is the connection between self-confidence and standing up for others?
There is a very strong connection between self-confidence and standing up for others. In my opinion, lack of self-confidence is probably the key reason more children and adults don’t stand up for others more often. It takes courage to stand up because standing up can often leave you feeling vulnerable. Vulnerability isn’t something most of us are comfortable with. Self-confidence is the strength in knowing you will be okay no matter what the outcome.
3. What are some ways that parents can help their kids feel more confident and stand up for others?
I think one of the best ways parents can help their children feel more confident and stand up for others is to model compassion and altruism more often through their own behavior. When a child is witness to the rewards of being helpful and proactive he or she will be more likely to emulate kindness.
4. Do you have a power item, like an invisible cape, that you use to feel more confident?
Occasionally, I will put one of my favorite crystals or stones in my pocket but I mainly rely on power mantras or prayers when I need to feel empowered. I hope kids who read SUPER MANNY STANDS UP! will remember they too are heroes with their own invisible capes.
Need more ways to help your child build confidence? Our March crate, “I Can Stand Up For Myself and Others: A Confidence Box” is full of fun and empowering activities for boosting confidence and includes Kelly Dipucchio’s book “Super Manny Stands Up!”.