How Sammy the Sensitive Seal Came to Be by Lindsay Brant
Sammy The Sensitive Seal is a children’s book that I wrote for my oldest son. All of my stories for children to date, have grown out of a need to help my son(s) puzzle through some difficulty they are facing in life.
I created the character of Sammy to represent my son and his need to learn emotional regulation, confi-dence in expressing emotions, and the ability to break down the stereotype that emotions are somehow not masculine. To add a further layer of support to the story, I had Sammy’s Dad be the one to guide him through his ocean of emotions. I feel that often fathers might shy away from being this type of loving, supportive force for their sons, and this role will often fall into the responsibilities of the mother or another supportive figure in a child’s life. I think it is important for a male figure to help lead and guide the way when it comes to exploring feelings and developing a sense of belonging and self.
In the beginning of the story, we meet a very scared, and unsure Sammy. We see him gradually gain confidence and the skills he needs to be a strong seal toward the end of the book. It is with his Dad’s help that Sammy learns to take control of his own feelings and actions and feel at home in the ocean. He is able to triumphantly claim his rightful place in life, through knowing that he has it within him to be brave, and with the support of his Dad, he can accomplish anything!
While I wrote this story specifically for my oldest son, it can be applied to any child/parent relationship. Children love following Sammy’s journey throughout the book, and then it is my hope that by the end of the book, or sometime shortly after reading it, they will begin to apply the lessons of growth and development to their own lives.
Sammy’s story makes us all appreciate our own journey, and gain a greater respect and understanding of our own oceans we find ourselves in.
You Are Not Alone: stories of hope, by Lisa Browning