In recent years, bullying has come to the forefront of schools as a serious problem. Policies have been written and strategies created. This book looks at bullying as a relational issue and puts forward ideas and strategies for the individuals themselves to use. It is aimed at children, their parents/ guardians, teachers and professionals who work with the age group of six to twelve years. This story focuses on the effects bullying has on a boy called Dan. Dan becomes sad and withdrawn by the experience, his world changes completely. As the story continues, he finds support and learns helpful tips and ideas. He begins to regain his confidence and learns how to be happy again.
ABOUT THE SERIES
The books in the Resolving Series are simple, straightforward, but very clever tools. They work to help children realise how the characters in the books reflect their own situation. They explain why they are in the situation and aid them in working out ways of resolving the problems, normally with the help of their parents, teachers, guardians, counsellors and friends. The books also have a very useful toolbox section to help the child/children understand, practice and express their problem and themselves.
From Scotland, Fiona McAuslan came to Ireland to work in the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland as a violinist in 1990. During her time in the orchestra she became involved in negotiating workplace disputes and developed an interest in confl ict resolution. She trained as a mediator and left the orchestra to pursue a career as a confl ict resolution professional. She works for organisations such as the Family Mediation Service and the Clanwilliam Institute, and is a member of the Mediators Institute of Ireland and the Association of Confl ict Resolution. Fiona has worked with Drumcondra Education Centre to develop confl ict resolution training programmes for schools nationwide.
Peter Nicholson has been working the world of marketing and communications for the last twenty years. He has worked with Fiona McAuslan on a number of projects in the past, such as the S.A.L.T. programme, which is currently being used in schools in Ireland, the Uk and Australia. Peter is married, with two children.
Resolving Books published by Veritas is a series of three books aimed to help children resolve issues that they may come across at home and at school. The books are all divided into three sections - defining the behaviour, a story to illustrate the behaviours and a tool box to help children overcome the issues. From a school point of view, all three books would be well suited to SPHE lessons for any class level, particularly 6-10 year olds. I felt that the books dealt with all three issues realistically and it would be easy for children to be able to relate to the characters in the stories.
Although many would associate Veritas with religious publications, this set of books contain no reference to any belief system. For Educate Together schools, the series fits in really well with strands of the Learn Together Curriculum. However, I would recommend this series to all schools as it is an excellent, Irish-made and a great introduction to many of the issues children go through in their lives.
- Intouch, September 2010
A dynamic new series of childrens books to help resolve challenging situations - bullying, anger and sibling rivalry. The books explain to children why they are in a situation and help them work out ways of resolving problems, with the guidance of parents, teachers and friends. The books also have a very useful toolbox section to help the child understand, practice and express their problem and themselves
- Primary Times - Autumn Issue
The Resolving Books series uses stories as a means of addressing topics that parents can sometimes find difficult
A FRIENDLY caterpillar who listens to both sides of the story and imparts helpful tips is the central character of a range of cartoon books aimed at equipping children with the necessary skills to deal with difficult situations such as bullying.
Aimed at children aged six to 12, the Resolving Books series uses stories as a means of addressing topics that parents can sometimes find difficult to broach with their children including anger and sibling rivalry.
Children love stories. When we read a story of someones experience we connect with it. We experience it as if its real. Thats what were harnessing, says Fiona McAuslan, mediator and conflict coach who co-wrote the series with Peter Nicholson.
The use of cartoons immediately draws the children in. They experience different emotions through the characters in the books and as the story unwinds they see how you can handle the emotions in a better way and come to a better conclusion, she says.
They can engage with Dan who is being bullied. They go on a journey with him and learn skills that Dan uses to improve the situation.
Its Curley, a wise and worldly caterpillar who plays the role of mediator and teaches characters a wide range of conflict resolution and negotiation skills, which enable them to deal with difficult emotions and to cope with the challenging behaviour of others.
Curley the Caterpillar is the protagonist who brings about change, according to McAuslan. Kids learn how to sit down and to brainstorm for ideas that will help the two of them sort out the problem, she says.
When we get angry the adrenaline stops us from being able to think. If we teach our child to take three breaths and to count to 10, it allows the adrenaline to subside and the brain to start working again. Its all about calming down or cooling down.
Other skills, all of which are used by McAuslan in her day-to-day work as mediator and conflict coach and which are located in a handy toolbox at the back of each book, include asking open questions which help children connect with the person with whom they are having a row.
McAuslan says the idea for the three-book series , Resolving Anger, Resolving Bullying and Resolving Sibling Rivalry , came from her work where she was frequently asked for advice by concerned parents about how best to tackle issues of bullying, anger and quarrelsome siblings.
People kept asking me about these subjects in particular, which affect a lot of children at some point in their lives, and I realised the need for these books.
High on her agenda were stories which could be read by parents together with their children or by teachers with their classes.
Usually when parents want to address a subject with their children they read a book themselves, then put it down and talk to their children. These are books you pick up and read together.
Its a safe way of exploring difficult subjects with your children . . . a means of introducing a subject in a way that opens conversation. Its trying to bring a lot of these subjects out of the shadows and into everyday life.
A corresponding website, which forms an integral part of the series and includes a section for children, gives parents and teachers an opportunity to find out more about the topics raised.
Musicians in an orchestra or rugby players are trained to deliver their best in highly pressurised situations with high levels of adrenaline . . . here were equipping children with the know-how to deal with conflict in the best way possible, says McAuslan, a former violist with the RT?ë National Symphony Orchestra.
Future subjects being considered as part of a follow-on series include bereavement, separation and exclusion, as well as a book which addresses the issue of bullying from the point of view of the bully.
Were not preaching to kids. Were not saying you shouldnt get angry . . . instead they learn what its like to be angry or to be bullied in a safe way and come up with ideas of how they can improve their own lives.
- Irish Times 13th April 2010