“Virtuous” Preschooler Books
When I’m having trouble with a particular behavior in my kids, I often look to books as one way to help them see their unwanted behavior from an outside perspective, in hopes of something “clicking”.
We’ve been reading through a set of 4 books that do just that, in a way that is very preschooler friendly- good pictures, diverse characters, and developmentally appropriate settings.
The first one is called The Friendliest Ballerina, and it’s about a girl who is a really good ballerina, but is not very nice to her fellow dancers. She figures out that while it’s fun to be the star of the show, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have friends!
Next up is Cowboys can be Kind, and it’s about a boy who is really quite rude to others, but afterwards feels sad about his meanness and decides to make it right by not only apologizing, but actually making the situations right again (something that I think is very important to be teaching our kids- and ourselves!).
The Princess Who Learned To Share is the third book, and as you can guess, is about sharing toys with friends. Polly liked her toys just so, but when her friend Chloe came over to play, she messed them all up. After spending some lonely days at home, Polly realized that sharing toys is pretty essential to having fun with friends.
Finally, The Pirate Who Said Please features a boy who was left with no playmates after he treated them rudely and demanded everything for himself. Once he began saying please and thank you, and treated his friends kindly, his friends were happy to play with him!
In all four of these books, the behavior that is focused on is the positive behavior, with a smaller portion of the story being about the unwanted, hurtful behavior. I read somewhere that when kids read books where the protagonist is doing wrong things most of the book, with just a small “make it all better” wrap-up, the children end up being more focused on the wrong behavior than the good behavior. Uh oh!
We’re in the middle of NEEDING to read these books with our 4 year old, and in fact, she came home the other day from a rough playdate and asked for me to read a couple of them over….and over…. and over. I think it was her way of figuring out what went wrong at the play date and how she could make it better.