News Category: Current Events
On October 25, 2017, the City of Pleasanton’s Unity Day was celebrated with a flourish of orange, the theme color. The mission was to spread kindness in our community, and in the spirit of Unity Day I had the incredible opportunity to chat with Annie Fox in Pleasanton. Ms. Fox is an accomplished writer, teacher, and remarkably wise person who specializes in social and emotional learning of children. She has written several books for kids, and among them is the Middle School Confidential Series (http://www.anniefox.com/index.html), graphic novels that focus on life skills for preteens and teenagers. Her first book, People Are Like Lollipops was published when she was not yet twenty one. In 1997, Ms. Fox began a website for teenagers which included a section – Ask Annie. Soon the emails started pouring in, and the most popular topic was questions about friendships. Annie realized that tweens and teens need emotional advise and support as they journey into their high school years. She shared three pieces of wisdom about friendship; anyone could find these tidbits valuable well beyond their teen years.
- It’s important for kids to have standards when looking for friends. They need to ask themselves what they’re looking for in friends and what they have to offer to their own friends.
- Have an understanding of real friends versus “the other kind” – have I ever been “the other kind” of friend? Get a good understanding of how you act.
- Kids should never feel like they’re stuck with the same people – you can’t change other people’s actions, but you can change your responses.
What does Ms. Fox have to share with high school students? Learn to breathe! Busyness can take over your life, and you might think you don’t have time to decompress, but it’s up to you to make time. I certainly can relate to Ms. Fox’s reminders, and while I have been trying to add more time to take an afternoon jog or peruse a book, perhaps you might find your own unique way to breathe that works best for you.
Ms. Fox emphasized the importance of raising our kids to be good people, and to not just focus on popularity or number of likes on social media. She wants us to connect with those who share and value kindness to make our community a better place every day – not just on Unity Day.
To contact Ms. Fox, email her at connect@AnnieFox.com.
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