Children’s books aren’t just for teaching your children how to read, but they can also teach them to be great friends to others.
Personality is shaped by nurture and nature influences – nurture being genetics, and nature being one’s environment. This means that while genetics may play a part in people’s personalities, such that one may inherit some of their parents’ traits, their environment and interactions with society will still impact such development. Hence, if a child’s parents are generous and kind, chances are they can inherit this predisposition and be like their parents. But if they surround themselves with those others might label as “bad influences,” these people’s behavior can also rub off on them.
Research shows that children aged eight to ten are the most receptive or vulnerable to social influence. During these ages, children are incredibly observant and pay close attention to the world around them. They watch and learn from how the people around them interact with the world. And as these are kids susceptible to influence, they are prone to mimicking behavior they see, regardless of its moral nature.
This is why people tend to be cautious around children. They either watch their language or how they react to certain situations. However, what children mimic transcends what they observe from people they interact with. Sometimes, they are also influenced by the media they consume. Here are a few excellent materials that can help teach children great values:
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
In this book by William Steig, Sylvester is a donkey who finds a magic pebble that grants all his wishes. But when he bumps into a lion, he accidentally makes a wish that ends up separating him from his family. And Sylvester only reunites with them after overcoming some obstacles. This animated story is an excellent material to teach children how to be grateful for their families and help them appreciate the people close to them better.
The Ladybug and The Bully Frog
Caroleann Rice teaches children that love is a powerful tool to change bad behaviors. This Ladybug children’s book is about a group of animal friends who can’t play in a pond because of a bully named Milton the Frog. The group of friends then made him realize that he was being cruel while being kind to him.
Giving children the opportunity to read this book widens their understanding of bullying and how to deal with real people like Milton the Frog. Caroleann also aims to teach children that kindness does go a long way.
The Giving Tree
If your aim is for children to learn about the concepts of friendship, selflessness against selfishness, and generosity, then The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is the perfect book for them. This story is about a tree that gives apples and sacrifices everything for a boy she loves. This book can also teach kids about unconditional love and introduce them to the idea of giving without expecting anything in return.
Sam Tells Stories
Thierry Robberecht writes Sam as a boy who’s excited to make new friends at his school, so much so that he tells them stories that aren’t true. When the truth comes out, Sam realizes his faults and changes for the better. By showing the consequences of lying, Sam Tells Stories teaches kids the importance of honesty and being true to themselves.
Lastly, if we’re talking about children’s books that teach children life lessons, we can’t dare miss the classic Winnie-the-Pooh. This book by A.A. Milne is a collection of stories about a child, Christopher Robin, and his stuffed animal friends. This story aims to teach children the pureness of friendship – that caring for their friends means being there for them even in the most challenging times. Additionally, this story teaches children that dark times will never last when you have friends by your side.
Children’s books aren’t just given to them, so they would sit still and allow their parents a few minutes of free time. These are also excellent sources that can help shape children’s personalities and behavior towards others.