Janis Silverman, 65, is a children's author who lives in Matthews Estates. Now retired, she taught school for 30 years. Chronic health and pain issues caused her to retire from teaching, a career she loved.
But she has found a new calling.
Her book, titled "Imagine That! Imagery Stories and Activities to Help Young People Learn to Improve Their Behavioral Self-Control" is marketed toward school guidance counselors and teachers, but parents may also like the book. A few years ago, Silverman started using guided imagery CDs to cope with her health problems; however, she found it more meaningful to write her own passages. Those passages evolved into a book for children.
Silverman has an identical twin sister, Sharon Solomon, who helped her edit and organize the book. Silverman also has a husband, Richard, of 42 years, a son, Yadi, who is 36, and a daughter Mara, who is 39.
The book is intended for all children, ages 8-12. Also special needs students and those with ADHD may find focus and relaxation through the readings and activities.
The book is divided into categories: caring and love, overcoming fear, following dreams, unconditional love, friendship, problem solving, gratitude, relaxation, joy and fun, self-image, appreciation and taking a break.
Each category contains a guided imagery lesson plan, questions for discussion and follow-up activities. The follow-up activities vary from hands-on to writing or art. You can pay once for the book and copy the lessons out of it.
Silverman has her master's degree in gifted education, and she has taught children in elementary school all the way up through college. Her experience ranges from children with learning disabilities to children who are gifted.
"In the book, I don't try to tell kids what to think," she said. "I like to have them question a little bit. Can you turn things around and see it in a new way? That was really my goal."
One passage in the book, from the "Overcoming Fear" category, reads "Think about this. Possible is the opposite of impossible. Imagine a world where dreams can happen. The word 'can't' is not spoken or even thought. Close your eyes and imagine what is possible in your life. Picture yourself doing something you have been afraid to do. Maybe it is playing a new sport or rock climbing. Perhaps it's being brave enough to talk to someone at school... . Think of something you want to do. Picture your dreams in living color."
The follow-up activity has the children make a dream board with magazine pictures and drawings depicting their dreams.
Silverman is also the author of "Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies," and "Fairy Tales on Trial," a book that helps children understand law and ethics through fairy tales.