Yippee! I have finished my Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours and I’m delighted that psychological evidence in the last 20 years suggests that connecting to a loving, transcendent force is good for our wellbeing (it doesn’t matter what this force is called). This evidence has reinforced the work of three famous historical psychologists, William James, Carl Jung and Abraham Maslow. All three wrote about the importance of connecting to a transcendent force to rise above the human ego to achieve a state of fulfilment. That’s excellent news for the Sparky and Shady program because Sparky is a loving, transcendent force!

As a result of my studies over the past four and a half years, I will be updating the program in the first half of this year to make sure it includes all the psychological tricks I have learnt, and then in the second half of the year, I will be evaluating the effectiveness of Sparky and Shady in primary schools and families too.

One change I have made is to shorten the holiday workshops to 90 minutes for parents and accompanying children/young people; this will be enough time to cover the essential stuff and make the workshops more accessible in terms of time and money.

January school holiday workshops will be on Saturday before school goes back. It would be great to see you again or meet you for your first Sparky and Shady event! Here are the details:

When: Saturday, 28th January

Where: Serendipity Learning (15A North Street, Coffs Harbour):

Who:   9.30 – 11 am Parents and children aged 5 – 8 (Kindy to Yr 2)

             11.30 – 1 pm Parents and children aged 9 – 12 (Yrs 3 – 6)

             2 – 3.30 pm Parents and young people aged 12 – 15 (Yrs 7 – 9)

             4 – 5.30 pm Parents and young people aged 16 – 18 (Yrs 10 – 12)

Cost:   $30 for adults (you can attend alone)

           $20 for children and young people (children under 16 must come with an adult).


  • Human beings have needs – to have healthy wellbeing, we need to look after our physical self (body), emotional self (feelings), mental self (thoughts), social self (personality) and spiritual self (Sparky). We will talk briefly about all our needs.
  • We can meet our needs in loving or fearful ways – when we listen to Sparky, we might choose loving ways to meet our needs. When we listen to Shady we might choose to say or do something that is not good for us, other people or nature. Sometimes Shady helps us, but other times Shady is unhelpful. We will meet Sparky and Shady in our imaginations and write a list of their qualities.
  • Sometimes it is hard to manage our fear – we will learn some strategies to manage our Shady thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We will also learn how to feel love from Sparky.

Please bring something to write on and with. The workshop will be directed at children and young people first, and then while children draw their Sparky and Shady or write some messages from Sparky, more details will be provided for parents. Questions welcome.

Important to know:

Other social-emotional learning programs do not include a spiritual component. Sparky and Shady, in comparison, is a holistic wellbeing program based on physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual wellness. It is designed to prevent mental ill-health in children and young people by helping them understand their whole self, which includes their fearful self (Shady – their psychological fear) and loving self (Sparky – their spiritual force of love).

Depending on a family’s religious and/or spiritual beliefs, Sparky could be described as a transcendent force of love that humans can access in their imagination or inner world. For those parents, children and young people with more secular beliefs, Sparky could simply be the personification of the most loving qualities of humans.

If your family’s religious and/or spiritual beliefs include the belief in a spiritual force of evil, then the persistence of fearful thoughts, beliefs, feelings and actions could make someone susceptible to a spiritual force of evil; however, this force is not Shady.

For healthy wellbeing, children and young people need to learn to love themselves unconditionally, this includes loving their Shady. Having a loving relationship with themselves helps them manage their fearful thoughts, feelings and behaviours. In turn, self-love also helps them have healthy relationships with other people.

To book a workshop spot for you, your child or young person, please send me an email kathy@sparkyandshady.com

Love Kathy