I just purchased six sets of books for my children who have children ages 1 through 10. I purchased them because these are concepts that all of us have to teach our children and hopefully the books will launch discussions and help each family do just that. Feedback from one mother was that she was reading the same book every evening before bedtime for a week and then moving on to another one. She said the books had created great discussions even though they were on a very simple level.
Here are the names of the books that I purchased: Hands are Not for Hitting, Words Are Not for Hurting, Be Honest and Tell the Truth, Be Polite and Kind, Join In and Play, Respect and Take Care of Things, Try and Stick With it, When I Feel Afraid, Understand and Care, Listen and Learn, Share and Take Turns, Know and Follow Rules, Talk and Work It Out, Accept and Value Each Person, Reach Out and Give, Be Careful and Stay Safe.
I ordered all of these, but you can select whichever ones you want. They come from Boys Town Press, Father Flanagan's Boys' Home, 14100 Crawford Street, Boys Town, NE 68010, www.boystown
press.org. Their catalog contains other wonderful books on various levels. They have books on peer pressure, alcohol and drug avoidance, dating ideas, character building, etc. I have liked everything I have ordered from them.
I especially like Hands Are Not for Hitting. It is so straight-forward in teaching that hands are for waving and saying "hello," for drawing, writing, using hand signals, shaking hands, doing a high five, etc. It brings up why children hit and talks about other ways to express feelings when they are upset. It presents ideas about how to talk through problems of every day life.
And for teens one of my daughters suggested that I might like to read Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli. She got it from the local library. It was a New York Times bestseller and is available at www.random
house.com/teens. It is an easy read and for me, the kind that I just didn't put down. It did not contain sexual content or violence but dealt with teen peer pressure and teen condemnation of someone who was different. It will encourage some great discussions in your home if you read it along with your youth. The girl in the book is so wonderfully delightful in so many ways and the response to her is thought-provoking.
Child's Work/ Child's Play, www.childswork.com, is a catalog that features games such as the "What Would You Do Series." The catalog states: "For ages 6-12--Is it wrong to sneak into the movies if your big brother says it's okay? If 'everybody' is cheating on the math test, shouldn't you, too? What if telling the truth gets your best friend in trouble?" (Childswork/Childsplay, P.O. Box 9120, Plainview, NY 11803-9020, 1-800-962-1141).
Courage To Change, P.O. Box 486, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703-0486, 1-800-440-4003, is another excellent catalog with books and games. (www.Cour
In my opinion all of this is far better for our families than what most television and movies have to offer.