This month we talk to Deborah McPhilemy, Founder of Teddy’s Inc. and Creator of The Bears of Blueberry Forest
Deborah is a mum, a step-mum and a grammy. She has a fun flexible educational business that helps children and parents around the globe to understand feelings, build emotional intelligence and practise mindfulness.
Tell us a bit about your business, Deborah!
Teddy’s Inc. was founded to educate parents, childcare workers, au pairs, teachers and therapists in the fundamentals of emotional intelligence. We empower parents and educators to help their children by providing online and in-person training, resources, activities and learning materials necessary to understand and pass on key emotional intelligence skills.
What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and why do we need it?
Few people know that everything we do in life is based on emotion; our actions, our behaviour and the way we interact with others is all based on how we feel about ourselves and how we interpret life. Being Emotionally Intelligent means you are able to identify your emotions, label them and know what to do with them. So many children, and adults, walk around feeling abnormal because they have feelings. People general know they are feeling unhappy or stressed or anxious but have no idea why, nor what they can do about it to feel better.
There is a common misconception that it is only those children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds or have special needs that should be versed in emotional intelligence. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As children start school at a very young age, they are consistently under pressure to hit goals and targets and excel in all that they do. There is no time left for play. Socialising and interaction take a back seat in place of school work and hiding behind the screen – iPad, TV or phone.
This is why the children of today are struggling with basic social skills and cannot understand how to live in the here and now. If we are not careful, our children will enter adulthood without any emotional defences and lacking basic emotional development.
Emotional intelligence and literacy is essential for every single child to gain confidence, learn social skills and master emotional resilience to set them up for later life. It goes hand in hand with mindfulness to help your child learn how to be happy. Emotional intelligence teaches children how to live in the moment. Its value cannot be emphasised enough.
With issues such as obesity and anxiety on the rise even in young children, emotional intelligence also acts in a preventative context. It equips young people with defence mechanisms, teaching them how to protect themselves against bullying and adversity.
How do you teach Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?
We run regular workshops and courses for parents, educators and for anyone else who interacts with children on a regular basis. Our courses are not only designed to develop an adult’s emotional intelligence but it’s also designed to teach adults how to teach the skills to children through our Blueberry Book Club.
Tell us more about the Blueberry Book Club?
The Blueberry Book Club is a subscription based book club with a difference. When joining the club, adults are taught EQ and other Personal Development and Entrepreneurial Skills via monthly workshops and then provided with the necessary resources, books and tools to teach the same skills to children. The books for children are all from our ‘The Bears of Blueberry Forest’ book series where our EQ (Emotional Intelligence) Teaching Bears provide a colourful and captivating way for children to learn how to cope with complex emotions such as anxiety, fear, jealousy and grief through fun-filled adventures. Although the stories are aimed at 3 – 7 year old, we have found that children from as young as 8 months up to 11 years old love them!
Who can join the club and is there a cost involved?
Anyone who has children or who works with children is welcome to join. A small joining fee is required followed by a monthly subscription fee which includes the monthly workshops, books and resources. When you join the club, not only do you learn wonderful new skills, but you also become part of a community, you get to make new friends and be part of something truly life changing.
Tell us about your ‘Learn and Earn’ system
Our Learn and Earn system does exactly what it says. You learn new skills and when you tell others about our club and they join as well, you earn a very generous 30% commission from their subscription.
Can you tell us why you started Teddy’s Inc.
As a child I was bullied, I did not have the skills to deal with it, nor did my parents. When my own children were bullied, I felt helpless and hopeless when I realised that I could not be with them at all times to protect them! It kept me awake at night. I was desperate to find a solution to help them heal and a way to prevent it from ever happening to them again! When I was introduced to Emotional Intelligence in 2003, I realised that I had discovered just what I was looking for. The skills that not only helped children (and adults) with issues such as bullying, but also skills that would build confidence, improve communication and social skills, build courage and give tools to deal with all those inevitable ups and downs we all have in life. When I started my own training and coaching practise, I realised that most of my adult clients were trying to get over their own emotional traumas from childhood and that their parents also did not have the skills to help them to deal with their emotions when they were children. It was then that I decided to turn my focus to helping parents, educators and childcare workers so they could have these life-saving and life-changing skills to help their own children, and the children in their care.
Where can we find out more about Teddy’s Inc. and The Bears of Blueberry Forest?
More information on how you can join our Blueberry Book Club, become a trainer / tutor, our books, workshops and our fantastic Learn and Earn system, can be found at www.teddysinc.com and www.thebearsofblueberryforest.com. I can also be contacted on my mobile number 07411093577 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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