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Inspiring Cooperation

An imaginative book to prevent kids from becoming mom-deaf.

Photo of Sarah Monley
6 0

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“Wash your hands!” mama says,

100 times per day.

But I do know just what to do before I go my way.


Thinking tub, thinking scrub, I don't need reminders.

It is true, don't you know, a code word might be kinder!


Today is new,

And I am through,

Hearing wash wash wash,

What if I had just one way to act without a push?


What if there was just a word,

A secret we could share,

One simple phrase that we could say that leads from here to there?


Perhaps it is a made-up word like burple or hapnie -

You could learn to say the word, just try it and you'll see!


But, I am smart and oh so clever, we all know it's true,

What if our word was not invented… a real one might just do!


I like the sound of twinkle, shine and sparkles too...

But when I think of washing up, only one code word will do!


KEEN!


Keen it is! What do you say? Will you recall it?


Keen to you might just sound like a compliment,

But I tell you that saying keen you never will regret.


KEEN Jackson!


I'll spring to action, jump right up, knowing that's our code.

I'll run to wash and dry my hands,

It will become our ode.


To other people it might be a word with one clear meaning,

But mama between just you and me,

Keen means I am cleaning!

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

Caregivers repeat themselves constantly, and often tire from how effectively toddlers can ignore their well-intended direction. Everyone, two-year-olds included, knows what we should do, but it isn't always fun. What if words could make it that way?

Share your suggested book title

Our Code Word

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

“Wash your hands!” mama says, 100 times per day. But I do know just what to do before I go my way. Thinking tub, thinking scrub, I don't need reminders. It is true, don't you know, a code word might be kinder! Today is new, And I am through, Hearing wash wash wash, What if I had just one way to act without a push? What if there was just a word, A secret we could share, One simple phrase that we could say that leads from here to there? Perhaps it is a made-up word like burple or hapnie - You could learn to say the word, just try it and you'll see! But, I am smart and oh so clever, we all know it's true, What if our word was not invented… a real one might just do! I like the sound of twinkle, shine and sparkles too... But when I think of washing up, only one code word will do! KEEN! Keen it is! What do you say? Will you recall it? Keen to you might just sound like a compliment, But I tell you that saying keen you never will regret. KEEN! I'll spring to action, jump right up, knowing that's our code. I'll run to wash and dry my hands, It will become our ode. To other people it might be a word with one clear meaning, But mama between just you and me, Keen means I am cleaning!

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

Rudolf Dreikurs was a psychiatrist and educator whose method sought to stimulate cooperative behavior without punishment or reward by giving children a solid sense of belonging. Inspired by Dreikurs' approach, this book manuscript seeks to give caregivers a playful tool they can use to empower children as valuable contributors to the household. This manuscript utilizes advanced vocabulary to initiate conversation. It rhymes to generate a playful tone. The main child questions his mother as they problem solve - rather than out of defiance.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

I hope children will be inspired by words and parents will be inspired by collaboration. After daycare or preschool pickup, after potty training, before snacks and mealtimes... basically 100 times per day, caregivers remind their children to wash their hands. The same is true for other household behaviors such as "put on your shoes!" and "put away your toys". In essence, the children in our care become deaf to our commands. In an effort to get creative rather than louder, more fun rather than more frustrated, I'm hoping this book will spark patience and problem solving.

Location: Country

The United States of America

Location: State or Department

California

Location: City

Woodland

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a mother of three children ages 4 to 4 months. My middle child has a speech language delay, but my oldest was speaking sentences by 12 months. For me, reading with my children shows me who they are. I can understand what interests them and I can use the ideas we learn by reading together as a foundation when I'm teaching them something new. I think a great deal about the parents I knew when we lived in the Bronx, NY. I spent time with single parents and parents who both worked outside of the home. I wrote this manuscript because caregiving infants and toddlers is exhausting, frustrating and overwhelming. Sometimes it's easier to get louder or more repetitive at our children. Sometimes it's easy to make commands at our children rather than collaborate with them for the common good of the household. When I asked myself, "how might we inspire children and their caregivers to read together" my best answer was: if both audiences could learn together.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am a parent of children ages 0 - 3.

6 comments

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Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

Mom deaf.
First time I've heard the phrase but knew exactly what it meant.
And it's so true!!!

Photo of Sarah Monley
Team

Thank you Dawn! Sometimes I feel like I'm on repeat :)

Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

It's only hours now until the close of submissions.
There are some really strong stories among the 300+ entrees.
Good luck to us all.

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