“But Aren’t I Lucky That…”
By Deanna Beech
“But Aren’t I Lucky That…” is a fantastically illustrated children’s book that helps kids learn to find and celebrate the positive as they work through everyday challenges. By using evidence-based concepts from Positive Psychology, Dr. Beech weaves an enjoyable story that guides readers through easy to apply tools that foster happiness, optimistic thinking and resiliency.
Now available on Amazon.
Why I wrote this book?
As a Child Psychologist and military spouse, I found myself working with the families of the 173rd Airborne Combat Brigade while my husband deployed with them during the 2007-2008 deployment to Afghanistan. The 173rd was sent to the Korengol Valley; which, at that time, CNN described as “the deadliest place on earth.” Over the course of the deployment 42 Soldier’s lost their life and many more were injured. As the family members of these heros we were huddled in a little community in Vicenza, Italy, and we were terrified. Every time the communications (phone and email) would be ‘blacked out’ due to a loss, you just couldn’t help but fear that the knock (official notification of death) would be on your door.
On the day that I stumbled onto the phrase ‘But Aren’t I Lucky That…’ I was working with a child who was overwhelmed by his fear that his father was going to die. Saying, “It’s okay,” or “He’ll be fine,” would have been absurd. Kids know when you’re lying. So, instead of offering platitudes, we focused on what we knew to be true at that moment. We were lucky because we had not had any black outs for a few weeks, and the child had recently received a phone call from his father. We then took this deeper and started to find other things that made us feel lucky. This quickly moved this into a game that he could play with his mom when he started to get anxious. It helped concretely bring him, and us, back into the here and now, which made the anxiety bearable.
At the same time that I as working with these families, the Army initiated a massive campaign called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. The program has grown and evolved since its inception, but the intent is the same. It teaches evidence-based strategies from the field of positive psychology to foster resiliency in our soldiers. ‘But Aren’t I Lucky That…’ is the combination of these two influences – my experience helping children deal with intense stress and the current research on developing personal resiliency.
I know how powerfully helpful these ideas can be, and writing this book seemed like the best way to share them with parents and caregivers. The story conveys the concepts in an easy to apply way and the website (www.thebrierpatch.com) allows for a more detailed discussion of the resiliency tools that are covered in the book.
I hope you enjoy it; and even more,
I hope you keep its message with you always!
– Deanna Beech, Ph.D.
Thank you Deanna! The reason we started psychological fitness training in the Army was that many people were coming into the service with unfortunate habits of pessimism, catastrophic thinking, and learned helplessness. Wouldn’t it be great if more kids already knew, and practiced, how to think with realistic optimism, and to reframe events in their lives to find the benefits, and not focus solely on the negative. This book is a great step to help parents and children start on that path.
Rhonda Cornum, Ph.D., M.D.
Brigadier General (retired)
Director, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, 2009-2012
There is so much to love about this beautifully illustrated and well-written story that inspires optimism in a kind and gentle way. In an easy to read style, psychologist Deanna Beech weaves the story of a regular day in the life of a young boy who learns to celebrate the small victories in life, which is invaluable to teach children if we want them to be resilient and successful. The impressionistic artwork of artist Steven Lester emphasizes the multicultural aspects of the story, including a girl who is the best batter. This is a great book for teachers, counselors, and parents to enjoy reading along with children.
Dr. Donna L. Taylor, Ph.D.
Educator and Administrator