Sometimes our life is sour like lemon. Sometimes it hits us with a lemon, straight in the head. The saying suggests that when your life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Squeeze the lemon and put sugar into it. But we suggest something different and creative, something unexpected: when life gives you lemons, write a story about the lemon.
“When life gives you a lemon, write a story about the lemon” is the name of the project that we have conducted since February 2015. It is a training intended for all who work with children and want to exploit the potential of stories. It was originally created as a workshop for the staff of kindergartens and primary schools, presented and held during the 8th week of Psychology in Croatia. This workshop, together with a lecture that preceded it, had many attendees and achieved remarkable success.
This training teaches about the benefits of problem-solving storytelling and using the puppets and other aids in telling the story. It explains the healing potential of storytelling and the use of stories, and the participants can learn one of the techniques of writing a problem-solving story and write their own story in which they handle a specific problem, i.e. lemon. Lemon can be anything: a child who is aggressive, who tests the boundaries, doesn’t clean up the toys, screams in class, takes toys from his or her brother, refuses to brush his or her teeth, or doesn’t want to eat vegetables. Each problem-solving story is dedicated to a particular situation and a particular child, and the training is aimed at learning how to write such a story and adapt it.
The education consists of two parts: the theoretical part and the workshop of writing stories. Total duration of the training is 3 hours.
Within the theoretical part we discuss:
- the terms phantasy and storytelling
- advantages of storytelling
- the problem-solving story
- the model for creating problem-solving stories according to the author Susan Perrow
- suggestions about activities after telling the story
- therapeutic effects of the story on the child
- adapting the story with regard to the age of the child
- practical advice
In the workshop we explore:
- creative techniques for writing stories
- how to determine the child’s undesirable behaviour
- detailed description of steps in writing stories
- writing stories
- reading stories
- commenting together
- final discussion
This training was conducted in several kindergartens in Zagreb. If you want us to come to your kindergarten, school, home or the place where you work, and teach you about the potential of stories in working with children and encourage you to get involved in writing stories, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to organize for you three hours of training in your envronment, through which we will give you our recipe to use life lemons: with sugar, an essential ingredient is a pen in hand – so that your story of lemon is written down.
In our work we use books that Susan Perrow wrote. She is an Australian writer, known by writing „Healing stories“ for children. We attended her seminar „Susan Perrow: Healing Through Storites“ Stories that she held in May 2016. In Zagreb. On that ocasion, we introduced her to our work. We are honored to have received her support and encouragement to continute doing what we do.
“The ‘Lemon to Story’ program for Croatian Kindergartens encourages the use of story medicine as a creative tool in teaching and counselling young children. I am delighted that my books on Therapeutic Storytelling are helping to spread imaginative strategies across your beautiful country.”