Children’s books, used in the right way can be amazing parenting tools. Have a problem? Chances are, there is a children’s book that addresses it. It is just a matter of finding the right book and knowing how to make it a part of your parenting toolbox.
In order to get the answers, I was joined by Rana DiOrio (author and founder Little Pickle Press ) and Kara Fleck (editor at SimpleKids ). I moderated a short but rich conversation on the topic. Here are some of the highlights -
WHY ARE CHILDREN’S BOOKS GOOD PARENTING TOOLS ?
- Kids related to characters. Little kids can see themselves in story characters. It is so much easier for them to understand how they should respond to situations based on how story characters responded. One of our favorite books is Molly Lou Melon. We often remind ourselves to “stand Tall” like Molly Lou Melon.
- Books are great conversation starters. http://www.jumpintoabook.com Talking about why a children’s book character behaves a certain way and discussing details, good and bad etc, is a great way for us to talk to kids about things that matter. Books give a great starting point for a little chat about important things.
- Books give kids a framework. Rana mentioned that books give kids a thinking framework. What Does it Mean to be Global is a book by Little Pickle Press that gives kids a global perspective and a thought framework that they can continue to use later in life.
- They give kids a vocabulary/language. As parents,we don’t want to “lecture” our kids – especially in public. Using language from books is a great way to get a point across quickly. My 4 year old will often say she “stood tall” like Molly Lou Melon when another child bothered her in school. It is amazing to have these words that can instantly get across a big idea/response.
- Books help kids see themselves, observe themselves. Kara mentioned that kids will often see naughty characters and relate to how they are being naughty themselves. They catch their own little flaws as they read books. Reading books give kids the time, space and a non threatening environment to observe themselves.
HOW DO WE MAKE BOOKS EFFECTIVE AS PARENTING TOOLS?
- Find the right book – have an issue? There is definitely a book out there. My favorite resource is No Time For Flash Cards. Kara mentioned Jump Into a Book as well, to find the right book for every situation.
- Follow your child – Let your child pick up the books he/she wants to read. Often, they will lead you to the books about situations that interest them or towards books that are solutions to issues bothering them.
- Extend with activities – Book related activities and crafts are a great way to help kids extend the message of the book and let the ideas live on as tangible projects.
- Talk about books, characters and issues – Talk about the books and bring the books back every so often. Once a tool, always a tool. Don’t forget the good books you have read.
- Keep lots of books around. All the time – This goes without saying. Keeping lots of books around, reading as a family makes all this so much more easy and effective!
Don’t forget to check out these book lists – just click on the image and you will reach the post.