These stories help all children to develop resilience through learning about thoughts, feelings and behaviour. They are especially helpful to children who experience any of the issues that the Snouffles experience in the stories.
This includes children who often
- Experience difficulties coping with making ‘mistakes’
- Feel stupid or embarrassed
- Misunderstand other people’s behaviour
- Experience a lot of judgement or fear judgement
- Are afraid of getting it ‘wrong’
- Have low self esteem, or don’t feel like they are good enough
They are most suitable for children aged 6 – 10 years, although older children and adults have expressed love and appreciation of the stories too
The Snouffles are simple creatures that have no gender or age. The focus of each story is on what they experience in their minds and bodies in response to whatever is going on around them. This means that the listener can identify with the experience rather than finding similarities or differences with the character description. It makes them more inclusive.
They live near Snouffle mountain and are like you and me in that they experience a range of everyday dilemmas and difficulties. They also experience a variety of emotions and responses to those challenges. They sometimes feel angry, sad, confused, afraid, misunderstood and many other emotions too. They always discover a way to resolve their difficulties and feel happy again.
The Snouffles face numerous challenges including:
- being misunderstood and misjudged
- getting left out
- feel self doubt
- having difficult decisions to make
- face criticism
- make mistakes
- misunderstanding others
- being treated differently
- feeling scared
- experiencing anger
Stories are a fantastic medium to teach children about thoughts, emotions and behaviour because of the power of stories on the mind. When the imagination is fully engaged, the unconscious mind can easily absorb all the wisdom and strategies that are communicated through the story.
Often in the stories it is the first time a Snouffle has experienced a particular emotion and this causes the Snouffle to contemplate what is happening. Through following the sequence of thoughts, feelings, decisions and consequences, the Snouffles show us how faulty thinking often creates conflict and difficulties for ourselves and others.
With a greater self-awareness and understanding of our own thought processes and emotions, we can change our thinking and transform the difficult emotions into more pleasant ones. Knowing how to create pleasant feelings inside, without anyone else saying or doing anything, is a very valuable skill. It is empowering to realise that we do not have to rely on anyone else to feel okay.
At the end of each story there are some questions that may be, but don’t have to be, answered aloud. They help the mind to further process the awareness gained. There are also some activities to do which develop coping skills and mindfulness. This inclusive and participatory approach can support both adult and child at the same time.
In addition to the issues listed above, the stories help children to develop empathy and understanding for themselves and others. This reduces both the occurrence of conflict and the intensity of reaction when it does occur. Through listening to the stories children can become better able to notice, name and manage difficult emotions as they arise.
Through learning about opinions, judgement and choices, children can find the confidence to express their own personality with less fear of the judgement of others.
As the book is designed to be shared with adults, they too can benefit from the wisdom contained within the stories. This may be through an increased self-awareness or it may be through being able to refer to the stories to address sensitive emotions with children in a compassionate and non-judgemental way.