Ron chats about the story

I have over forty years experience working with children, adolescents and their families, first as a teacher then as a counsellor. For the last twenty-four years I have tested and refined the methods taught in the fable Gem of the First Water. I have spent countless hours telling this fable to children and families in my therapy practice and have had the rich privilege of seeing lives change for the better as a result.

Now I believe the material is ready for the general public, especially for parents to use with their own children. It’s been tried, tested and proven to be a safe model of healthy change. Contained in the family kit of The Gem Inside is the essence of my life’s work.

The kit helps parents to educate and equip their own children to live their lives in a positive and happy way. It is easy to deliver; engaging, easy to read and to listen to. In short – it is a perfect vehicle for creating thinking and family discussion.

The boy who is the main character in the story enacts for children the issues of life as he travels through the metaphorical Land of Confusion. His journey is everyone’s journey, for he encounters the everyday stresses and struggles of life and the emotions that those stresses can produce: fear, anger, self-defeating inner thoughts, blame, depression, aggression, substance abuse – essentially, the crazy makers of life. These issues are safely portrayed and played out in the fable. The boy overcomes them and in doing so models the strategies necessary to lead a successful life.

Gem of the First Water was developed to get children to enter into thoughtful consideration about the mind picture the story produces. This inner contemplation is like looking in a mirror, forming a personal opinion or position to ready children for the next step – changing their behaviour to gain control over the issue.

Each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous ones, establishing a process for forming identity and contributing to the confidence that having a good sense of self gives to a child. The boy learns and models successful behaviors as he overcomes the fable’s dilemmas, his actions in the story give insight and instruction to children without the stress of the real-life event.

The boy’s journey shows children how to deal with difficulties themselves. Getting these lessons early prepares them to handle life’s big conflicts later. The Gem Inside program builds coping skills and the confidence to use those skills. It prepares the individual to resolve life dramas effectively in the future. Unprepared people can spend their lives going from one chaotic disaster to another. But those who are prepared for life’s challenges can avoid unnecessary pain. Everyone knows that challenges are easier if one has been there done that. With Gem of the First Water, one has the experience of being there and doing that within the safe environment of the story.

The ultimate privilege of parenting is to be able to equip your children for a successful life. As parents we will have done very well if we accomplish this. The Gem Inside Kit is a tool to help us do just that. It enables parents to teach their own family values, give their children the skills to make good choices and establish the behavioural boundaries essential for a healthy self image. These are the foundations for good mental health.

I believe parents are eager to resume the role of teaching values and morals to their children. For too long this has been left to others, often with unsatisfactory and sometimes devastating results. Every parent would like their children to have a great career, status and possessions; but more importantly, I believe every parent wants their children to be healthy and happy, and that can only happen when their child has a healthy sense of self.

The Gem Inside is also perfect for parents who have unresolved issues themselves. Its teaching and change strategies are just as effective with adults. Spectacular results have been achieved when children see how the story Gem of the First Water brings about positive changes in their parents.

Two years ago the Rotary Club of Ellerslie Sunrise Inc. shared my desire to make these materials available for parents to use at home. Together we developed the Gem Inside Kit.

The kit consists of:

One DVD Introduction to the Kit
One Book: Gem of the First Water
One Book: Gem of the First Water Guide
One CD set (5) author telling the story_ talking book
Two DVD Author discusses how to get the best from each chapter

Parents, this is an opportunity to give your children what they really need, and it’s not money or fame. You have a rich chance to help the ones you love develop meaning and happiness in their lives. This kit is worth more than gold.

Ron Phillips
Author of Gem of the First Water