Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 186

When we were at the beach on the weekend things weren’t quite as smooth as we had hoped they would be. At least the water wasn’t. The kids were hoping for perfect summer conditions but instead got the rough waters of autumn. Day one the waves were rough and unpredictable, and on day two they were full of rubbery, claw like seaweed. Darby was very put out because the seaweed was awful and he couldn’t swim through it and it kept grabbing at his legs. Tahlia ended up in tears because she used every ounce of courage she had to wade through the seaweed clawing at her feet so that she could get out the other side to catch a few waves, but she quickly crumbled as during the boogie board ride to shore the wave dumped seaweed all over her back and legs and head. She was mortified! So while Darby threw his board about in disgust, Tahlia curled up in a towel and sobbed. I tried to sooth and calm them both by explaining that the seaweed is out of our control but that we could find other things to do on the beach and other ways to make this a happy experience, and that happiness was a choice and we could choose if this was going to be a sad day or a happy day … blah blah blah … Derek on the other hand took matters into his own hands and decided to fight the seaweed head on. If it was seaweed that was the problem, then seaweed would become the solution. (That was after he tried to clear a seaweed path in the ocean waves so they had a boarding channel in which to ride …. Very cute and very sweet of him …. But the waves weren’t keen to leave the channel clear.)

Derek gave the kids a challenge - instead of being chased and tormented and attacked by the seaweed, how about we make it part of our play? It is not often we get all this wonderful seaweed to play with. It will make great foundations for the Great Wall of Derek. Let’s make a fortress of steal to block off the tide as it creeps up the beach. Let’s dam the place! Derek the beaver was at it again. Good thinking beaver boy. (Did I really just call him beaver boy?)

The kids were wary of his philosophy but tip toed to the construction site in any case. Darby picked up seaweed and started to transport it to the project area. Tahlia was not so brave … she wasn’t going to touch the stuff … but she would be in charge of carting buckets of sand. So there they were using the source of their problems to create joy. And oh what a damn fine dam it was!!! It was rock solid. Tougher than any fortress of sand they’d ever built before! As the waves gently nudged it throughout the morning it stood the test of time and held out.

Ok, so as I lay up the beach watching all this it occurred to me that Derek may actually have something here. Make the problem part of the solution. Turn the frustration into something that can reinforce the project.

What is my problem? Apparently my children’s books are too specialised. Apparently positive psychology is too narrow a field. Apparently there is only a small potential market for my work. There lies the seaweed. The notion that positive psychology is a narrow field. Yes it is!! So let’s use that seaweed to reinforce the project. Positive psychology is a narrow field, which means there are few positive psychology authors in the children’s book genre. When I go to publishers I need to reinforce that fact. Add to that that the Australian Government have discovered that bringing positive psychology teaching into schools is the way of the future for a happy, more productive and brighter future, and I have myself a dam! Damn!!! Good work beaver boy.
I’m off to start sorting through the seaweed and collecting buckets of sand. The Great Wall of Leanne is about to be built …. Let the construction begin …


  1. Oooooh, good plan! If it is any help to you, I want your books for me and mine. I am an average Mummy who is always on the lookout for stuff to help with the this parenting malarky. Your books sound like they would catch my eye and my mind.....

  2. that does help! Thanks Lucy, the moment I am published I will send you some. It will be this year ... won't it? Yes ... it will ...

  3. Hi Leanne,

    I had a big discussion on the power of positive thinking yesterday with a 3/4 class yesterday.We all spoke about visualistaion and self talk. It all helps, I reckon youv've just gotta find the right publisher. There are lots advertised through the feed blitz I sent you.

  4. Wow - too specialised? For a mother who combats negativity with every breath I would never have dreamt such a satement was possible! I searched endlessly for books to make him feel good about life, to look on the bright side. Pfft - what a load of codswallop.

    What age group are they aimed at?

  5. Aimed at 5-10 year olds but written in a style that surpasses age. I have actually been approached by a US company (who wanted to buy my business domain name off me - but I didn't end up selling) who work with autism and they felt my books would work in well with autism findings. The books are based on building confidence and self worth. But don't worry! I haven't given up .... if I can prove there is a market they will get published. And yes Kas - the books are all about self talk, visualiation and the power of positive :)

  6. Sounds like a good plan to me. Beaver boy was on the money (yes you really did call in that - more than ones, methinks it will stick now - the nickname I mean.


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