Back when I was in clinical practice I was often amazed at the insight young children had related to how others viewed them. The most compelling thing that kids would tell me was “adults just don’t think our feelings matter. They think because we are kids, our feelings are not important”!
I would ask them what they meant by that. They would explain that if they were sad or upset about something, often their very well meaning, probably busy and stressed parents would say “oh well tomorrow is another day” or “it will pass don’t worry”, without really asking them “what are you sad about” or “did something happen that upset you”?
One 8 year old once said to me (in an amazing display of self awareness) “look, we are not little adults. Our minds are not old enough to make sense of some things so maybe feeling feel bigger than they should, but to us, they are big and hard to understand. We need old people (which probably meant anyone over the age of 19) to help us understand what to do”!
As I wrote the book, I thought back to those moments in time where I was given the gift of better understand the complex world of emotions through the minds of a young person. Roxie is in the same place emotionally, she has a lot of feelings that occur all at the same time, and looks to the adults to help her feel safe.