“I am really excited about the book finally coming out,” Emily Mazulla, Ph. D, said when we talked earlier this month. Emily Mazzulla is a mother of three small children that also happens to be a clinical psychologist working in the field of trauma for Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“This transition of working from home, teaching our kids from home, and trying to navigate all of those transitions really sparked my interest in connecting my two worlds. I wanted to integrate my work in the world of trauma and resilience with what my kids are experiencing. So, I wanted to contribute to our current discussion around such an important topic,” Mazzulla said.
“School in the Time of Coronavirus” is a delightful children’s book that helps parents and teachers communicate to children that “we can do this.”
“I have found in my own life that reading children’s books to my children can spark some remarkably interesting conversations,” Mazulla said. “What I noticed as a clinical psychologist, but also as a mom, is that the social, emotional health of our kids is noticeably absent from the public conversation. I know that from talking with my own kids, but also as a psychologist, that these transitions are important.”
In the book, Maria, an elementary school student, is worried about what it will be like to go back to school after staying at home for so long. As the first day of school approaches, Maria and her mom discuss the parts of school that will be the same, but also new rules that were created to keep kids safe.
“When children are in transition they are looking to trusted adults like their parents or caregivers to help them understand what’s going on,” Mazzulla said. “They are watching us listen to the news or have conversations with one another around the uncertainties of the pandemic in general, but also going back to school. They are looking to us to help them understand what is going on. A children’s book is a really safe, engaging, relatable way to talk about that transition and to talk about challenging topics in general.”
Mazulla explained that she has learned a lot about managing trauma through her work with resettled refugees as Marquette Director of Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee. Subtly included throughout the book but also summarized at the end of the book are nine resilience focused coping strategies that Mazzulla recommends for parents to model and encourage their children to practice.
“School in the Time of Coronavirus” is exactly what parents, grandparents and teachers currently need to empower their children during this difficult transition. I highly recommend you order your copy today. For more information and free information for parents, visit Emily Mazzulla’s website, Instagram and Facebook.
Danei Edelen is the founder and president for the NAMI Brown County Ohio affiliate. She is a mental health advocate for the Brown County Board of Mental Health & Addiction Services. You can contact her at [email protected] or 513-436-0010.