Tag Archives: kids stories

ABOUT FOOTBALL CRAZY

‘Football Crazy’ – a story about life, love and death as seen through the eyes of a boy crazy about football.

Children’s stories can be helpful in providing ways for parents to discuss difficult subjects with their children. It’s never easy for loving parents to approach the subject of death with their children.  Understandably some parents avoid the subject all together – yet loss is a sad but inevitable part of life.

When we avoid or distract a child from a subject that is worrying them we are closing off an opportunity for growth. Some subjects are too difficult or painful to discuss, particularly when we are in mourning ourselves.

When a mother or father is grieving following the death of their own parent their children can be experiencing confusion as well as sadness and loss. A loved one is gone. Questions arise – where have they gone? Will they ever see them again? Will our family ever be happy and have fun, like we used to?

KIND RELATIVES

Sometimes, other kind relatives tell children stories about where the dead person may have gone to. These stories can differ from ‘Granny’ is an angel looking down from heaven – to ‘Granny has gone for a long restful sleep because she was tired.’

 DIFFERENT CULTURES

The stories we use to tell children about death vary from culture to culture, religion to religion, but what doesn’t vary is the fact that when a loved one dies they leave a space in the family where they used to be.

One child described a ‘granny shaped hole in the house.’ Others talk about the ‘empty chair nobody ever wants to sit on.’

‘Football Crazy’ is about this empty space in the family. In this story it is the Grandfather who dies. This wonderful, loving football crazy granddad had been a huge part of this football loving family and without him they don’t enjoy football any more. children's stories - image of a footballAs a family they learn to accept the loss gradually and together they find a way to enjoy their lives again while always remembering their wonderful, football crazy granddad.

 TO READ MY PERSONAL NOTES ON WRITING FOOTBALL CRAZY PLEASE CLICK HERE

 

FOOTBALL CRAZY

sad-boy with footballFootball Crazy is a family story that isn’t just about football. It’s really about life, death and love. Writing this story was a very special task for me.  I wanted to write a story for the whole family as opposed to a story solely aimed at children and I knew that a family story, especially one that deals with a family crisis, should appeal to parents as well as children.

I felt that the best way to achieve this was through a story about a ‘normal’ family dealing with a family crisis. So the adults in my family story have faults and failings while still always trying to do best by their children. Just like real parents.

footballIn ‘Football Crazy’ the crisis is the death of a grandparent who was a big part of this football loving family. Whether you like football or not, the parents in the story are people you can identify with. They could be you, your neighbours, relatives or friends. In other words they are human.

When I wrote this I had my own personal family story at the forefront of my mind. I remembered the death of my own grandmother when I was nine and in particular my childish confusion around my family’s response to her death, which given the times – was a silent sort of sadness.

family story - image of a footballLike little Jimmy in ‘Football Crazy’ I thought my family would never be the same again and also like Jimmy I gradually learned that families do recover and be ‘normal’ again.

Looking back to those times I know if had heard or read a little story about other families coping with the loss of a loved one it would have helped me and relieved some of my confusion.

The idea of helping a confused child or helping parents raise a sensitive subject to discuss with their children really inspired me to write a family story but I didn’t want to make it too sad. Life is a mixture of  happy and sad events so I aimed to write a warm and enjoyable story to reflect that reality. I also wanted to show that time really does heal.

When Football Crazy was initially broadcast on RTE 1 National Radio here in Ireland, I was heartened by the wonderful response the story received from parents and children. So much so I decided to make the story available on Kindle for the first time.

All families experience crisis from time to time and I really hope that ‘Football Crazy’ is an enjoyable family story that can provide you and your children with a little help or comfort during a family crisis.