Author aims to promote good mental health in children

Author Marlisa Doubell with two of her Ms Mol books.

Author Marlisa Doubell presented her second book, Ms Mol’s Favourite Games, at Kidz Discovery preschool in Camps Bay last month.

Ms Doubell’s new book attempts to encourage children to put down their gadgets, get outside, and rediscover the simple pleasures of old-school games in a world dominated by screens and digital devices.

The first book, Ms Mol’s Favourite Things, was born out of the lockdowns and two more books have since been added to the Ms Mol books series.

Ms Doubell said the aim is to contribute to good mental health in preschool children.

“The Ms Mol books aim to bring upliftment to our younger generation and their caregivers – especially in our post pandemic world where mental health and well being is an ongoing issue,” said Ms Doubell who holds a BA degree in Psychology and English.

Ms Doubell said the 2020 lockdown and childhood recollections of her father prompted her to create Ms Mol. Mol, she says, is also a nickname given to her by a boarding school classmate.

“The frustrating situation with my nieces in lockdown, as with all children around the world in lockdowns, reminded me of my own early childhood when our family experienced a challenging time. My parents had decided to divorce. My father could sense our sadness and he would encourage us to focus on positive things. He would ask what our favourite things were, every day. This helped switch our focus to positive things that lay ahead. It was something that helped us cope through a challenging time,” she said.

“I hope the book stands as a nostalgic reminder to parents of some of the fun, classic games from all our childhood that we all used to play before the internet existed. I hope it inspires folks to pass their own favourite games onto their kids. And I’m delighted to have children learn more about Ms Mol’s favourite games,” she says.

She says the title “Ms” is added because why should girls still have to announce their marital status in this new age of gender equality?

Founder of Kidz Discovery, Kathy Rautenbach said it’s important to promote curiosity and resilience in young children.

“One sure way to do this, is for parents to connect meaningfully, minimise digital distractions, create joyful opportunities for family engagement such as a Friday or Saturday family game night. Kids from as young as 2 can play Snap, engage in memory games, or play ‘I spy’ even in the car. Board or card games also help preschoolers deal with winning and losing and that builds resilience, a skill so needed for good mental health. Ms Mol’s Favourite Games and activity extensions are perfectly placed to inspire joyful experiences,” said Ms Rautenbach.

Ms Mol’s Favourite Games and Ms Mol’s Colouring Book are priced at R240 each and available on Kindle, as well as in paperback on Amazon, Loot and selected outlets.