8.27.2009

On My Mind

We were on our way to the grocery store and it came up that we are fortunate to have access to so much food when so much of the world's population goes hungry. I am always unsure of how much to share with my kids about the sad/unfair/heart-wrenching things that happen in our world. On one hand, I want to protect their innocence for as long as I possibly can. They will have plenty of time to know that there is great sadness in this world. On the other hand, I don't want them to grow up to be self-centered adults who don't care about the needs of others. Would you be willing to share how you handle this? If so, leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you!

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When Jude was a toddler, my aunt Laurie gave me the book, Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt.



I think she gave it to me while we were in the middle of our move to TX, so I am re-discovering it now. The author is a christian, but this is not a christian book per se. While I agree with most of what the author says, be forewarned that her tone can come across as a bit judgmental and grating at times. Keep reading. She has a lot of good things to say. I am enjoying this book and I highly recommend it! (Thank you, Aunt Laurie!)

The best part about this book is that she has recorded several long lists of her favorite books broken down by age-range. She then breaks the list into sub-categories like, "Cuddly Books for Bedtime or Any Time", "Stories about Animals", "Stories that Make Us Laugh", etc. I love this! I want to expose my kids to good, quality literature, but I sometimes feel like I don't know where to start at the library. Her lists have jogged my memory about books that I loved as a child. For instance, we are currently reading:

Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales




There is a reason this book is a classic! It is so sweet! Jude is loving it!

We are also reading books by another great author, Bill Peet. My fabulous friend, Mindy, and her equally fabulous parents introduced us to these books while we were having dinner at their house. I don't recall ever reading Bill Peet's books as a child. They are hilarious, entertaining, AND well-written. That can be a tough combo to find in children's literature. I found How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head to be particularly amusing! So did the kids!!!




If you haven't already, check it out! I think you'll love it! The pictures are fantastic, too!

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While I was typing this post, the kids were playing "firefighters" and built this fire station for their trucks.





Jude was decked out in firefighter costume (of course!).



I just love this age!

10 comments:

  1. Great Books!
    I love this age, too.
    LOVE the firehouse.
    JUDE- You look just like a real fireman!

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  2. I too have Honey for a Child's Heart...Love it! Would love to hear more about what you think is controversial...I just got a book yesterday that seems right up your alley...Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots. It's all about how to create different child friendly gardens, what creatures to look for if you plant it etc. For instance, a sunflower garden in the shape of a "playhouse" a pizza garden, a moonlight garden...things that bloom in the evening and also it attracts nighttime creatures that glow etc too! As far as how to handle the topic of less fortunate with children...when we lived in Texas, there were some homeless men who hung near Target that was near our house...my kids noticed them too...I really felt compelled to do something many times before I actually did, but one day, I decided that since I was going to Chik-fil-A anyway, that I would get a meal and take it to the man...he was grateful, and more importantly, this spoke volumes to my children... they have never forgotten that and every time we see someone on the streets, they will say, "Mama, he's hungry." They at the tender ages of 2 and 5 learned that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. At Christmas we do the angel tree and let them pick which child they want and what they will get them...again, they know that it is for children who are less fortunate and that helping is good and what we are called to do...I haven't gotten into details with them about children in Africa or elsewhere, perhaps when they are a little older...for now I am content for them to understand that we are fortunate and that not everyone is, and that we are called to help those in need. I imagine that we will run into this issue a lot more soon as we are helping to plant a church in East Nashville...parts of East Nashville are restored and beautiful and parts are right in the heart of the less fortunate area...we will be hoping to reach all of them...I can't remember if I have sent you this link or not but it is very powerful:http://kissfromkatie.blogspot.com

    Love the sound of your vacation...we love that area!

    Hope this helps!

    Shara

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  3. shara,
    thank you for your book recommendation! i will check it out! i also loved hearing about what you do with your kids -- i love the idea of bringing a meal to someone. we have never done that and i think it's a great idea!
    i didn't think "Honey for a Child's Heart" was controversial. i just felt like she had some strong opinions that could be a turn off to some. i actually agreed with her opinions, but sometimes thought she was a little harsh in the way she stated them. like it "pained her" to type a quote from a disney book. i mean, we don't have any disney books right now, but i think it's fine if someone wants to include them in the mix. things like that, i guess. :)

    thanks again for your feedback!

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  4. Ah! Now I get what you mean....I had forgotten about the Disney thing as it's been a while since I have read the book...We actually do have a few Disney books so I just ignored it! :-) I can see how that would be annoying to some though!

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  5. THank you for the book suggestions-love the Beatrix Potter of course! Loved your vacation pictures too-so beautiful! Great you got to get away before the fall and school starts.
    And, yes, love the portable DVD player-it's a must-although i try to wait until the last possible moment to pull it out. :)

    Love all your pictures of your beautiful creations-again, you cease to amaze me! :)
    nicole

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  6. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for the book recs. I'll have to check my library for them.

    As for sharing the sadness of the world with our kids, here's my take. Be honest but age-appropriate. That means we're doing a lot of simplifying, but I think its important not to give these little ones more than their little hearts can handle or ideas too complex or scary to wrap their minds around.

    So my kids know their are wars, that people go hungry, get sick, etc. but they do not understand the extent of all of it. They know they are lucky to have a safe place to live, a healthy family and enough food to eat and that not every kid gets that.

    Day by day we figure out what we can talk about with them and how. We're all learning day by day.

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  7. When my kids are whining about wanting their lunch RIGHT NOW or fighting over a toy or whatever, we try to remind them that there are many kids in this world who do not have lunch today - or who do not have a single toy to play with - and we need to be thankful for what we have been given. We tell them everything is God's and we are borrowing it from Him so we can always share things with others. We also set out all the toys last fall and let them go through and pick things to give to a pregnancy care center (to them we said it was for kids who did not have any toys). We guided them...by putting out all four baby dolls in the house and asking which one(s) we could give away. All trucks, etc. They still talk about how we gave toys to some kids who didn't have any toys.

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  8. First, do you have The Read Aloud Handbook? This is great for finding books that read aloud well and breaks them down into age appropriate groupings (though not as cute as cuddle time books).

    I have zero words of wisdom on the issue of raising balanced,grateful, and aware children. Sure, one reason is I don't have kids, but I do have a cat who is quite the self involved entity - clearly I failed:)

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  9. Rachel,

    ACK, I've been by a few times and each time I try to comment, someone screams for "Mama" or the phone rings! Gosh, life gets in the way of blogging at times...LOL... *wink*

    I've also been uncertain how to contribute to this post...and I think its such an important topic and concept to share with our children. I guess I just try in lots of little ways to help our 2 lead thankful lives. Well, o.k.,Baby T is still pretty little but L understands some of the larger ideas and I try to lead by example. Sometimes I have failed too, when consumerism has gotten the better of me or an impulsive comment is overheard. :( Then I try to do better!

    One thing we are doing now, just the 2 of us girls is sponsoring a child in Kazakhstan. The donation goes to assisst in several big ways for various orphanages but we also are writing a letter each month to our child which Lauren is taking the lead on. I have been so touched at how careful she has been not to discuss material things, but rather share about her pets, family & school days. My hope is that this tangible activity will help her to see beyond her "own" immediate needs and provide a link to her homeland. Its a small thing, but I'm hopeful its going to be meaningful, both now and down the road.

    Ack....sorry this is soooo long....you may have to start charging me rent! :) Oh, and we LOVED half day K; I think there are plenty of years for all day school and I cherished our mornings! I'm so happy you have that option for Jude!

    The photos are wonderful...that little firefighter sure is mighty cute! Love the book tip too!
    :) Lisa

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  10. The kids and I have always loved Bill Peet too. One of my favorites of his books is The Caboose Who Got Loose; so funny! And like you mentioned, well written. Did you know that Mr. Peet also single handedly wrote and designed the characters for Disney's 101 Dalmatians?

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