Bessie Bump & Friends
Bessie Bump and her friends go through many different adventures over the course of their lives. In this first collection of stories, the young reader follows Bessie facing the trauma of her parents separating and not seeing her father very often. This is due to her parents’ unwillingness to move past their own hurt and communicate positively in order to allow their daughter to benefit from both their wisdom, and spend time equally with them.
In the ‘Bessie Bump Gets a New Family’ is a story of separating parents, helps both the parents and child better understand what their child was going through because of their separation. In ‘Bessie Bump Gets a Brother’ Bessie has to adapt to her mother’s new relationship and a step brother, as well as living with creatures from a different background. They must all be tolerant, patient and open-minded in order to live together peacefully. In ‘Bessie Bump gets a Friend’, Bessie’s new friend Tatyana helps her understand why some people bully others and why she can not only help herself by speaking up about it, but also the person doing the bullying. In the final story of this series ‘Sheridan Shark Finds Himself’ Bessie’s new brother, Sheridan, learns how to combat loneliness, love himself for who he is, and not look to others to boost his self-esteem and make him feel better.
Bessie Bump stories offer the opportunity for both adults and children to learn how to deal more positively with life’s difficult circumstances. They can help us develop the innate ability, which we all have, to recognise and control emotions so that, hopefully, rather than relying on the handsome prince/princess to save the day, using adult-related escape routes like alcohol or busy careers, or simply waiting for others to make choices that might save us, we can easily find our own healthy coping mechanisms and solutions.
A vital part of all children‛s education and development is to learn how to understand their own emotions and those of other‛s, even when guised in behaviour or physical signs. Such understanding leads to healthier choices in life as adults and more happy and harmonious relationships. These stories tackle the difficult subjects of parental separation, blended families, bullying and loneliness through the eyes of Bessie Bump our bright turtle, Sheridan the lovable shark and Tatyana the loyal piranha.
At the end of each story there are a series of questions that can be used to help create conversations around the issues and emotions raised in the story. In this way adults can help children learn more about emotions and good ways in which to cope with and handle the more challenging ones and good ways in which to cope with them. Amberley Meredith M.Sc. has been practising in the field of psychology and well being for almost 20 years, working across continents with both adults and children from a variety of cultures. A resounding theme running across all these years has been that when a person is surrounded in a place of love and understanding then they can flourish and grow to be at their best and their happiest in all ways.