Kids are people too. They have thoughts, feelings, desires and dreams…just like we do. They experience love, fear and rejection…just like we do.
We do them a disservice when we treat them like they’re not people, like they’re completely different than us. Sometimes we dismiss kids or talk about them like they don’t understand, but the reality is that kids are just like us (only smaller), and they understand more than we think.
In our home, we love reading and telling stories. These are a few of the books we’re enjoying this week.
1. Snow by Roy McKie & P.D. Eastman
This book is a cute way to introduce a child to snow (which is very rare in the San Francisco Bay Area). From snowball fights and skiing to fort building and snowman making. It’s perfect for enjoying with a cup of hot cocoa or while wrapped up in a warm blanket.
2. Amelia Bedelia Hits the Trail by Herman Parish
Amelia Bedelia and her school friends discover more than they expect to, in this funny story about the great (and not so great) outdoors.
3. Claude at the Circus by Alex T. Smith
Claude and Sir Bobblysock’s adventures continue in the second title in this adorable series. When Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes leave for the day, our two heroes take a walk in the park. They get caught up among a group of joggers, have an ice cream, and take a nap in the flowerbed. But when a woman calls for help, they find themselves rescuing a runaway baby buggy with the baby still inside! After their daring success, they are invited by The Amazing Alan to come see his circus. When the performers struggle with their acts, Claude and Sir Bobblysock must save the show.
4. Nothing by John Agee
Otis has an antique shop crammed to the gills with stuff. So he’s delighted when someone comes in and buys it all. Next day, Suzie Gump arrives, the shop is empty, full of nothing, and Suzy loves it-and takes it all. Suzie has set a trend, and soon everybody is craving nothing-the stores are full of it. It’s only when there’s not even a towel for drying off after a bath that Suzie realizes she may have gone a bit too far.
Telling a crying child to “stop crying” only makes him/her cry more. Yelling it out of frustration or anger is even worse. (I know. I’ve tried.)
This works: gentleness, compassion and understanding. Hugs work. Prayer works. Acknowledging the pain works. Listening works. Fresh air works.
I’ll remember this the next time I need to comfort a crying child.
The easiest way to organize kid toys…is to give them away.
I want KidFish to love reading, so we’re reading lots of interesting, creative books. These are a few of the ones we’re enjoying this week.
1. Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
This book is based on an old French tale about three hungry soldiers who come up with a way to get the townspeople to provide them with a feast.
2. The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders by Jack Prelutsky
Whimsical rhymes about people and animals, set in such far-flung places as Tuscaloosa, Tucumcari, and the Grand Canyon.
3. The Empty Pot by Demi
A tale about hard work, courage and honesty.
When a little boy named Ping admits that he is the only child in China unable to grow a flower from the seeds distributed by the Emperor, he is rewarded for his honesty.
4. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The story of a train filled with toys and gifts for little boys and girls that breaks down before reaching the children. After asking several passing trains for help over the hill, a little blue train agrees to help the stranded toys. Even though she is small, the blue train tries her best to bring the toys to the children on the other side of the hill.
September is here and that means summer is coming to an end. When I think back on my summer of learning, exploration and growth, my favorite adventure by far was berry picking with my family. (Blueberries and strawberries are my favorite fruits.) I loved seeing how they grow and tasting them fresh off the bush/vine.
Both blueberries and strawberries grow low to the ground so KidFish was able to pick them herself! Bonus points for activities that KidFish can do without much help.
Sometimes my job as a mom is to step in, to help and to direct.
But sometimes the best thing I can do is to just get out of the way and let KidFish explore, struggle and figure it out on her own.
The hard part is knowing the difference.