We all have those times when our children don’t make the best choices. I’ve found using a story can help engage great conversations about appropriate behavior. So, today we have a list of books that address poor decision making and some more titles that encourage positive self-esteem.
Books to Deal With Specific Situations
Bullying, unfortunately, has become a huge problem in schools. It is so sad to turn on the news and hear about young children taking their lives due to bullying. I think it’s important that we teach our kids not to be a bully AND how to not be a victim of bullying. The Tale of Sir Dragon- Dealing with Bullies for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean E. Pendziwol and Martine Gourbault is an adventurous story taking place at Camp Camelot. A girl and a dragon encounter a bully knight. When the dragon is bullied, the girl stands up to the bully and petitions the king for help. A roundtable discussion occurs and the bully comes to accept that everyone has a right to play.
Is It Right to Fight? A First Look at Anger by Pat Thomas is an appropriate book for young children who are in need of learning that anger is normal, but that you have to resolve your anger in a peaceful manner.
Turning a learning opportunity into a game is always a clever choice. The book, I Did It, I’m Sorry by Cralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner uses a quiz format to point the way to good behavior.
Why Should I Listen? by Claire Llewellyn and Mike Gordon utilizes simple text and pictures to point out the importance of being a good listener. There is also a section at the end of the book for parents and teachers on activities to do with your child during and after reading.
Starting a new school or moving to a new neighborhood generally means that new friendships need to be developed. How to Be a Friend by Laurie Krasny and Marc Brown is a children’s guide to making friends and keeping them. Each mini chapter explores topics such as ways to be a friend, feeling shy and making up with a friend.
Books to Support Positive Self Esteem
Being proactive instead of reactive is generally a better practice. Below are several books that help children develop a positive self-image and learn how to recognize their feelings.
I Am a Lovable Me! by Sharon Penchina and Dr. Stuart Hoffman is a simple and cutesy proclamation of one’s specialness. Affirmations fill every page, “My light shines bright, for the whole world to see, I give love to others, and it comes back to me…” is just one sample line. You can’t help but feel good about yourself after finishing this story.
Another very similar story, I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont and David Catrow also showcases the power of loving yourself.
The Way I Feel by Jana Cain explores the numerous feelings that we all encounter such as frustration, shyness and silliness. The illustrations beautifully pair with the rhyming text.
Deepak Chopra who is a well-known writer for adults has created a children’s book, On My Way to a Happy Life. This story talks about kharma (doing good attracts goodness to you) and also finding your purpose in life. Very positive learning lessons for kids fill this book.
I just love this next book. A fabulous 5th grade teacher (Yes, that’s you Ellie if you are reading!) I worked with last year did a filling a bucket activity with her class. The premise is that we all have invisible buckets. Comments that we make and that are made to us either fill or empty our bucket. Of course, we all want full buckets, but it’s also important to fill other’s buckets by saying genuinely nice things to them. Check out, Have You Filled a Bucket Today by Carol McCloud.
I hope these lists are helpful in growing happy and confident children!