Retired Dallas ISD teacher Kathleen Covens encourages healthy adult-child bonds
Kathleen Covens has coined the term “momenteur” — someone who creates an awareness of moments.
This term appears frequently in her recently released book, 1, 2, 3 with Mrs. C, a guide to help adults bond with young children.
“It’s a call to action to make strong connections with youth by making time, making eye contact, being involved, (and) seeing the uniqueness of each child,” Covens said. “If we help them enhance (their interests), they’re going to feel even better about themselves.”
Through stories and anecdotes, Covens encourages adults to lead by example by greeting people in public, making eye contact, being thoughtful, staying off technology, and showing children how to structure their time.
“I just want my audience to be aware that we don’t have to do things the same way we’ve always done,” Covens said. “We can be more proactive, and we can actually make a difference. … It gives parents of very young children a chance to get to know their child one-on-one instead of looking elsewhere for answers.”
Covens’ fascination with moments came 13 months after her daughter, Shelly, was born. Shelly became disabled after an illness, so Covens embraced each moment with her nonverbal child.
“It was like five years of an intense one-on-one relationship that was magical, and I took that experience with me when I went back to teaching,” Covens said. “After I made the permanent placement for her, I quit teaching first grade, went to Europe, came back, did other things, but when I returned to teaching, I took all of those skills with me.”
Chapter topics include the importance of failure, tech disconnect, nutrition for life, how to put magic in a day, and goals. There’s also a post-pandemic chapter that challenges readers to consider innovation in a world after COVID-19.
The end of each chapter also provides prompts with lines for readers to self-evaluate. At the end of the “Power of One” chapter, readers are challenged to explain a time when someone positively impacted them and consider how they can use their strengths to impact a child positively.
A challenge for Covens in writing was laying her ideas out for the reader to understand.
“I’m talking to adults, but I was used to being with kids,” Covens said. “I think adults are pretty far removed from childhood, so being able to be succinct with the way I express myself, but still make it fun and engaging, (was important).”