She’s the award-winning author of
- The Juice Box Bully,
- Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun,
- Pink Tiara Cookies for Three,
- Chocolate Milk, Por Favor,
and SEVERAL other amazing books about bullying, empathy, confidence, and kindness.
With degrees in education AND child development…
With over 10 years experience in education,
She’s an absolute ROCK STAR in classrooms and on stages across the United States.
One of her books is now touring the country as a STAGE PLAY!
A highly-sought after speaker her dedication to empowering children with courage and confidence
Please welcome this amazing Mom, wife, author, child advocate, and all around superhero:
As a teacher, Maria was seeing what was happening with her students’ level of self-esteem. They had concerns with how others viewed them based on clothing, hair, etc.
“I thought this is ridiculous; 5 and 6 year olds should be concerned about things like if they are going to play on the monkey bars or the slide.”
She wondered what she could do to reach a greater audience. She always loved reading and writing, so decided to write children’s books.
Maria says it was scary to change professions from teacher to full-time author.
“I’m learning as I grow older that fear is just fear. It can hold you back, or it can move you forward.”
“I started seeing the benefit of what I was doing and I was quickly OK with the decision (to leave teaching)”
Growing up, Maria completed 19 diaries and looking back and them, she sees that in Grades 1 and 2 she was worried about what others thought of her too.
“I wish I could talk to my former self and tell her not to sweat the small stuff.”
She notes that between birth and the age of 6 is an important time for development of self-confidence in children.
In terms of what can be done at home to help your child’s self confidence, Maria has three suggestions:
- Help them discover their super power
- Give you child responsibility
- Encourage your child to take small steps towards being less fearful
“As parents, we’re going to learn every single day. There’s no manual that we’ve received.”
Superhero: Wonder Woman
Cartoon: The Smurfs
Family Tradition: Midnight Mass
“Everyone was super tired, but we’d pull through”
Embarrassing Moment: Wearing her school uniform on a “Wear Your Own Clothes” Day.
“My mom forgot to tell me. I was so embarrassed.”
What Did You Learn From Your Parents?: From her dad, his work ethic and responsibility. From her mother, kindness and how to be of service to others.
To increase empathy, Maria explains the “Try, Say, Do” Method:
- Try to understand how the other person is feeling
- Say – acknowledge the other person’s feelings
- Do – take action!
TIME CAPSULE (30 Yrs):
“Leave a legacy in the work you do. Put passion behind the work that you do. Leave a legacy in your home, marriage and children. Put 150% into raising and nurturing your own children.