This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine April 2, 2020.
Trevor Romain’s life-long mission is infused within the pages of his children’s books that empower and impart fearlessness in the youngest of readers.
The native South African has traveled to schools, hospitals, orphanages, refugee camps and military bases to deliver his unique self-help messages to children worldwide. He believes in having honest conversations with kids about issues they experience like bullying, fear, divorce and grief in an effort to encourage kids to be happier, healthier and more confident.
As a best-selling author, Romain has traveled with multiple USO tours as a motivational speaker for kids with parents in the military. Romain speaks about their everyday issues from the deployment of a parent to coping with the loss of a loved one.
Romain has sold more than one million copies of his children’s books that have been published in 22 different languages. He resides in Austin where he has lived for more than 30 years and he continues to help children around the world.
How long did it take for your first book to be published?
I started writing in my early 20s and didn’t have my first book published until my early 30s, after countless rejections.
Why did you choose to write children’s books?
I have always loved the magic of children’s books because kids are not yet jaded. They allow themselves to suspend animation and enter worlds of make believe that adults find difficult to do. This allows me, as a writer, to take kids to places in their imaginations adults have a more difficult time going to.
Where does the insightful advice you write about come from?
Over the past 30 years, I’ve conducted more than 1,200 school assemblies, spoken to close to one million kids and learned a lot about how to help them though tough situations. I am also a 14-year old trapped in an older guy’s body, so I am immature and think like a child.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve visited?
At an orphanage/refugee camp in Bujumbura, Burundi, in Central Africa. I was invited by the United Nations to work with former child soldiers and orphans to help then express their feelings through creativity. On that trip, I visited The Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. It was an experience I will never forget.
You’ve spoken about your own struggles with ADD and dyslexia, what advice do you have for parents with kids facing the same issues?
I suggest having screen-free time together with your kids and reading to them–even older kids. Believe it or not, they actually treasure that time. Time is the best gift you can give to a child who may be struggling with a learning difference. A teacher who read us stories in second grade got me so passionate about stories that I did everything I could to read, even though it was difficult. The reward was such a motivator for me. Being able to read books for myself helped me overcome many of my learning hurdles.
What’s the best piece of motivational advice you have?
Little by little, a little becomes a lot. It’s an old African proverb that reminds me on a daily basis that anything good takes time and works in gradual steps.
Trevor Romain’s book, “Connecting with Kids in a Disconnected World,” is available now.
Cover: Trevor Romain, courtesy photo
Lisa Davis lives in Austin and is the Editorial Assistant for Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Concordia University Texas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations.