On April 14, author Danielle Dufayet conducted a book signing and reading at Sunnyvale’s Bookasaurus for her debut picture book, “You Are Your Strong.” Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin and published by the American Psychological Association’s Magination Press, the book demonstrates how positive feelings and the support of loved ones can help one overpower negative emotions. Dufayet holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Diego State University and an M.S. in Psychology from California Coast University. Combining her love for words with her knowledge of how the human mind functions, Dufayet delivers a message about self-empowerment in her book.
“‘You Are Your Strong’…encourages children to tap into their own resources to find their inner strength to deal with big emotions,” Dufayet said.
“It starts off with children having role models in their lives, parents that can model and handle big emotions,” Dufayet continued. “If children see this behavior being modeled, that’s ideal. If there’s nobody around to model that behavior, then what do you do? If you’re scared about something, you can make it worse by focusing on the fear or what you’re scared of so that it keeps building into something bigger. You can make yourself more scared.”
Dufayet explained that in her book, a little girl goes into an attic, and she’s spooked out about it. The girl starts singing and dancing and then her mood changes.
“We have our own inner resources, like our imagination, and it changes our mindset,” Dufayet said. “You can turn something negative into something positive. If you’re worried about something, you can go in a different direction, in a more positive direction, and soon, you’re not thinking about what you’re worried about. Our emotions come from our thoughts, and if we get a handle on our thoughts, we can lighten up.”
Dufayet emphasized she doesn’t want people to think that having difficult emotions is something to be avoided.
“You never want to suppress or deny how you feel,” Dufayet said.
Dufayet’s experience working with youth has influenced her to reflect on some of their needs.
“I teach English in Cupertino and some parents really stress academic achievements there. That’s cognitive intelligence,” Dufayet said.
“I feel that emotional intelligence is brushed aside in children,” continued Dufayet. “Emotional intelligence is not being given the same amount of importance as cognitive intelligence. We have conversations, and I hear children telling me that success is based on having a good job and making a lot of money. I take the opportunity to try to expand their definition of success, which includes being happy and having good relationships with others and themselves.”
Visit www.danielledufayetbooks.com for more information about Dufayet.