Two of Clare’s books have just been released as part of her Little Paws Hotel series. ‘Dudley’ tells of a bullied English sheepdog while 'Peggy' looks at why someone bullies. Both books have discussion points at the end to help families talk to their children about the issues raised.
‘Part of my inspiration comes from running a sausage dog hotel – yes really! And partly from being a mum. I’ve also worked for years in health care and as a life coach and so all those things come together in my books.’
Clare explains that she’s passionate about enabling children to talk about big feelings.
‘I want my books to help young children explore really big emotions and to help families get those conversations started. Bullying’s a difficult and sensitive issue – but it’s one a lot of children face. I had a difficult time at school – name calling and so on - and I really wanted to find a way to help young children deal with these problems.’
In Dudley’s story the sheepdog’s friends talk to him about his worries and the bullying he faces and help him gain the confidence to tackle the problem.
Meanwhile, Peggy explores the issue from the point of view of the bully – asking why someone would bully and how they can find a way forward out of the behaviour.
‘It was really important to me to explore bullying from the bully’s perspective. Often children who bully, or demonstrate repeated mean behaviours towards others, are suffering themselves or have had a difficult time in the past. There are always two sides to every story.’
What would Clare’s number one piece of advice be for parents worried their child is being bullied, or that their child is themselves bullying?
'Provide a safe space for you and your child to spend some time together where they know, and trust, you are listening and they can talk.'
For more info on Clare and her books visit www.head2heartbooks.com.