Meet A Houston Mom – Meet Rivka, Author of Sara the Bucket Filler | West University Moms

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?

Rivka: I’m from Pittsburgh, PA and I moved to Houston where my husband grew up a few days after my wedding—February will be 20 years, making Houston the city I’ve lived in for most of my life!

Child(ren) and Age(s)

 I have 6 Kids, the oldest is 19 and the youngest is 3.

One thing people would be surprised to know about you…

I’m married to the first and only guy I ever dated 🙂

Favorite local things to do in Houston

We are big fans of the zoo, but also love to go to awesome playgrounds that not too many people know about…. the fire truck park in Bellaire is one of those. 

Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?

 Funniest?….wow….I have lots of shortcuts and routines but which one would be funny….?  I am REALLY bad at math. Like, when my kids have math homework that they need help with and my husband is out of town for work, I call my mother in law to come help them. 

Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!

I’ve been a teacher at Torah Day School for 17 years and I just published a book, Sara the Bucket Filler.  Being an author wasn’t a life goal of mine, but it evolved out of a bedtime story for my daughter. 

As a teacher, I had already developed a bully-proofing program that worked really well for my students. I created a workshop (which is a combo of bullies2buddies, Love and Logic, and some of my own ideas) that I’ve given in several cities. As a result of this workshop, I’ve coached lots of parents about helping their kids become “bully-proof.” 

So, you can imagine that when my kindergartener came home in tears on a regular basis because of a new kid in her class that was making her miserable and nothing I could say or do would help her—I felt pretty awful. While trying to adapt the program I had been using so successfully to work for younger kids, I came across the “Bucket” concept. Although there are two lines of Bucket books, none of them addressed “bullying” in a way that would helped my daughter understand it. So, I wove the Bucket concept into the bully-proofing program that had worked so well for older kids and made my daughter the main character in a story that teaches that showing kindness and understanding that you’re not the problem, will make YOU into a happier person despite what mean kids might do or say.

As a brief explanation on the bucket concept that many of your readers may already be familiar with, each of us has an invisible bucket. Our buckets hold our good thoughts and feelings about ourselves. When our buckets are full, we feel happy. When it buckets are empty, we feel sad and even angry. 

Sometimes, when people (nope, not just kids) have an empty bucket, they try to fill their own buckets by dipping into other people’s buckets. They do this by insulting others, putting others down, and just plain being mean. Of course, this doesn’t work. It just leads to more people having empty buckets which leads to a sadder, angrier world. The best way to fill your bucket is by being kind to others. 

In addition to my book and my workshop, I have tips and resources available on my website and on my social media pages. 

Facebook and instagram @sarathebucketfiller

Linked in: Rivka Fishman 

Twitter @sarabucketfllr

Pinterest sarathebucketfiller 

How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?

My first two shipments sold out and the book is currently being reprinted. (There are still some available in bookstores, including Jumbo Judaica locally, as well as from my website ) I attribute this to the community support of spreading the word about this important book through social media. I truly have spent next to nothing on marketing, it’s all been word of mouth! 

(Shoutout to Bea Connected for her help with marketing. Donald Clifton for creating the Bucket concept and Elisheva Golani Photography for photo credit.)



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