Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Where oh Where?

....can I get truly multi-racial and multi-cultural small figures for my sand tray therapy?  I use the sand tray extensively for children, adults, groups and trainees to explore issues in their life and work that are troubling them.  I have wild, domestic and farm animals; mythical creatures from many genres; people in their professions and people in their celebrations; there are religious symbols from all creeds as well as symbols of birth, death and loss; there are joyous as well as fearful people, BUT where is the ethnic diversity?

The black brides, grooms, graduates, priests, dancers, and so on, I have to import from US and they are made from a cheap plastic rather than their more robust companions.  I have found no Asian or Eastern figures unless I go for styalised finger puppets.  There is a set of well made native Americans but they are now discontinued, and have become expensive collectors items.

If we are able to explore diversity in therapy and education, and the crucial area of cultural and racial identity, then we need these tools.  Story books and multi-cultural history text books and folk tales and myths are readily available for all age groups.  However figures there are none.  Maybe I have missed something?  In vain have I trawled the Internet, (and for figures who have a disability or a para-olympian or just an elderly person with a white stick!).  What is the message underlying this lack?

Monday, 10 September 2012

Charlie and Lola

A lovely book about Charles and Lola 'I am absolutely too young to go to schools' really got me thinking about small children and rites of passage.  Any discussion about schools so often ends up with comments, such as 'well it never did me any harm'.  Not really what I am asking!  If a child has not attended play-school, or pre-school, how easy is it to make the transition, both for child and parents?

In the UK, children tend to start school earlier than in other European countries, and it is important to look at 'learning' as well as 'social life'.  Having grown up myself with lots of parental criticism about schools, it was hard as a child to go to school, and not feel disloyal if I happened to enjoy myself. Somehow, I wasn't meant to, so I quickly developed a double life!

It took many years before I realised that I did not have to live a life of appeasement, and be a young mediator between home and school!