Robbins met her husband, U-M pediatric neurologist Jim Dowling, when they appeared together in a play as undergrads at Yale. They married in 1998 and have a ten-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. She earned a master's degree in child development from the Erikson Institute of Columbia College in Chicago in 2002, which prepared her for Allen Creek's psychoanalytic approach.
When her students have difficulty getting along, Robbins makes up stories about children in similar situations. "I found that if we were talking about [imaginary] people, they could be very thoughtful about what those children should do or say," she explains. "If it was about them, they were just worried they were in trouble."
And that's how she added "book writer" to her careers--"it's hard to find books where making friends is really hard." So Robbins was delighted when a little girl approached her after a book signing in Maine, hugging the book. "She leaned over to me and said, 'This really happens sometimes.'"
[Originally published in March, 2013.]