Karen Fondink has written a children’s book about burnout: “Bats Boom and Suddenly Stop” (Jill)

Karen not only wrote the scripts, but also provided the illustrations. © Mark Peters


For about six years now, Karen Fondink, 43, has had a generational life in check Boom explosion calm. “After years of resolutely pushing my limits, I ended up burnout. I went from a caring mom, teacher, and friend to a burnout.” Karen just made a children’s book on this topic specifically for young children. Because how do you explain to your little son or daughter that your dad or dad is overworked.

Mark Peters

Karen has been through hell. “In the past, slowing down was out of the question for me. I thought that one day there would be fatigue, but you don’t really think about it. Then it was time. For weeks on end I’d sleep in my bed or on the couch, resting. This with my two-year-olds.” 10 and 7 year olds were running around the house. My husband and parents who took all the chores from me. How guilty I felt. I had to take care of my family, but not the other way around.”

Together with her trainer, Karen went searching for things that could give her energy. “Personally, I have only thought of doing things to make others happy, but perhaps that thought puts too much pressure on your shoulders. Then we come to painting. I went to the Academy and there I discovered my love for pastels.” When Karen got out of the well, the idea grew to do something with painting.

The main characters are trains. © Repro Mark Peters

Under the name Snoetjes vol freetjes, Karen has launched a line of greeting cards and custom graphics in which animals are central. But she couldn’t stop there.

“I’m also a kindergarten teacher. There isn’t much in the market to provide child-sized answers to kids who have questions about burnout.” That came Bats Boom suddenly stopped established. “It’s become a picture book in which Karlijntje is the main character. Karlijnjtje is a sweet and handy little steam train. She’s always going above and beyond and wants to do good for everyone. She can’t and doesn’t dare stop herself. That’s why the station master pulls on the brakes” .

Through colorful drawings and fun nursery rhymes, Karen shows kids what it feels like to be overwhelmed. They also discover steps you can take to regain some flexibility. “It took me a long time to create the book. I tried to highlight the different stages you go through. I also started talking about this with people who went through the same thing. Many things are recognizable. For example, you often wear a mask to make the outside world believe With something, but it’s your family who has to suffer.”

Karen’s preschoolers were the first judges. © Mark Peters

Karen is now back in Kindergarten 3 and her kids at school were the first to judge prints and rhymes last year. The booklet also includes questions. “For example, whether it is a good idea to carry on, even if you are very tired. It was remarkable that in a class of 20 children I got nineteen yes and one girl answered firmly “no.” Turns out her mother was also suffering from burnout. Even in the third kindergarten class, there is some kind of discussion.”

© Repro Mark Peters

According to Karen, her book is suitable for children from 5 years old. “The younger it gets more difficult because children are still very self-absorbed and it is difficult for them to empathize with someone else’s situation. So my handbook is for parents looking for some support, but it may also be useful for colleagues who want to work with the topic in class. I I’m also currently working on a special teaching package for this.”

The booklet consists of three parts. “First, there is some explanation about the origin of the book and the best way to start with it. There are discussion questions for each drawing and for each verse. Finally, at the back of the book are tips for working together in case you are overstimulated.”

© Repro Mark Peters

The author wants to market more picture books to young children in the near future. Actually, they were almost ready Bats Boom, and suddenly stopped But this book had to be the first. “Isn’t she going to overdrive again?” -I can hear your thinking. But this is not true. I have learned to rest in time. Making others happy remains one of my life goals, but with this handbook I can do it without having to start with myself.”

Bats Boom, and suddenly stopped It costs 18 euros and can be ordered via Karen Vandoninck’s website: www.snoetjesvolsproetjes.com

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