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- author Jackie French

Sunday 24 May 2020

Guest Post: Scott Cranfield on His Children's Book Authoring Journey

My journey to becoming a children’s book author and creating The Wise Bear Stories is quite an unusual one, but if you follow the story you will also see a logic to the pathway and one that I believe was destined.

My career started as a PGA Golf Professional, and very quickly coaching became my speciality.  Since 1993 I have coached some of the best golfers in The World and enjoyed a career as a TV pundit.  In 2011 I released my first golf book Intuitive Golf and achieved the highest accolade of becoming a PGA Master Professional.

Even though I was a golf coach, my main interest was never the technical side of golf, it was always the human behaviour and psychology behind golf.

To develop my knowledge and skills I travel extensively attending countless seminars and training programs, working alongside some of the World’s leading personal development teachers.  

With a deep desire to learn as much as I can about human behaviour and how to live an inspired and fulfilled life It didn’t take long before my coaching branched out into life and business coaching.  And then in 2003 I became a father!

As my children started to attend school, I was suddenly faced with new challenges to deal with that frankly I wasn’t ready for!  I was used to solving problems for top golfers and business leaders, but squabbles in the playground – help! 

I quickly realised that coaching my children in my normal style wouldn’t work, I had to find a way of sharing key principles with them in such a way they would enjoy learning them and remember in the future, and that is how The Wise Bear Stories came about.

I would listen to the events of my children’s day and the different challenges, worries and anxieties they might have, and then I would make up a bedtime story.  In the story a special character called Wise Bear would help them find a new perspective, which in turn would help them dissolve their worries and anxieties.
The Wise Bear is 100 years old, full of wisdom yet also quite comical.  He often amuses the children with some of his quirky old-fashioned English sayings.

I am a great believer in taking all theory and making it practical and for that reason every story ends with a short exercise so that the child can apply what they have learnt to their own life.  It’s a lovely way for children and parents to work together and dissolve some of their anxieties.

Before going too far with the stories I went into several schools to teach the key principles to different age groups, ranging from 5 to 11.  The feedback was fantastic.  In a relatively short time, I was fortunate to get testimonials from leading psychologists, physicians, schools and personal development teachers.  One of the sessions was filmed by the UK’s leading broadcast channel The BBC. You can see the clip here… BBC News Website.

Although the principles covered in the stories apply to all ages, I wanted to target 5 – 11-year old’s, I felt 5-year-olds with some assistance from parents would grasp the concepts, and 11-year-olds are still impressionable before they hit the teenager phase!

My chief aim is for the stories to act as a ‘skilled’ preventative to potential mental health conditions. Giving your child the chance to learn these principles while they are young means they will learn the tools to maintain mental wellness throughout their life. A balanced mind is about the strongest guarantee you can give your child for mental well-being. 

Recent research suggests that in USA approximately half of all American youth will have a diagnosable mental illness at some point before they are 18 (Child mind Institute) and in the UK as many as 1 in 6 young people (Anxiety UK) will experience an anxiety condition at some point in their lives, this means that up to 5 children in every state school class may be living with anxiety, whether that be OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), social anxiety and shyness, exam stress, worry or panic attacks. If there was a simple engaging medium such as stories that helped children (and parents) make sense of some of their challenges and bring their mind back to balance they might avoid mental health problems later on in life, as well as perform better now. 

I didn’t want The Wise Bear Stories to focus on morals or social idealisms, but instead share timeless principles of true human behaviour, principles that whilst known for centuries are rarely coached in our quick fix World.  The strapline for Wise Bear is… Helping You Through Life’s Journey and that's exactly what I hope Wise Bear will do for families across the World.

As I am sure very parent can relate to, you want the best for your children, and I wanted to share with mine the best of what I had learnt in my life, but as many parents will also relate to, your children don’t always want to listen to you, but in my case they did want to listen to The Wise Bear.

Scott Cranfield: www.scottcranfield.com