Seth Meyers realizes how ironic it is when teaching kids not to be scared.
“You basically try to tell them that things are going to be OK,” the “Late Night with Seth Meryers” host told TODAY. “But also the parents, especially a first time parent, you’re terrified that you’re doing things that are going to fundamentally damage your kids, you know, into their adulthood.”
Meyers’ new picture book is titled “I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared!”
The story is about Bear who is afraid of his own reflection. However, Bear’s friend Rabbit is fearless. And together, they have a bit of a scary adventure which leads them to understand that is okay to admit you are scared.
It was when Seth had kids with his wife, Alexi Ashe, he still has not come to face his own fears.
“And then all of a sudden, you have to explain it to your kids. And they have fears that can strike you as irrational at times,” he said, adding that one of his kids is afraid of dogs, another wary of strangers. “And other times, you want them to be afraid of things, like going to the top of the jungle gym by yourself.”
Sons Ashe, 5 and Axel, 3, and daughter Addie, 5 months, inspired Meyers to want to write for children.
“I encourage parents to read it as sassily as possible,” he said.
Ashe and Axel even helped Meyers by looking over his early drafts which were reportedly too scary, giving pointers to their dad to tune down the intensity.
“I don’t want anyone to be scared while they’re reading it. I want them to think about fear, but not actually, you know, conquer it,” Meyers said.
Meyers wrote the book alone, “even though I have a writing staff that I could have enslaved to help,” he jokes.
Meyers felt that writing for kids didn’t feel much different from writing for adults.
“You try to write it in a way that the adult won’t hate you for how many questions the kids have about what’s happening in the book. So if you can lay it out in a way that you’re answering the questions they would otherwise ask, I think you’re doing a good job,” Meyers said.
“I think the thing you learn is that if you don’t want your kids to be anxious about everything, you as a parent have to find a way to not be anxious about everything,” Meyers continues.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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