The Ant and the Elephant written by Bill Peet, is an amazing find. It was written 45 years ago but it is still very relevant to children today.
We can have different excuses for why we don’t want to do something; we want to relax, teach someone a lesson, are worried about how we will look, or what we will get in return. These are not very good reasons not to help another person/animal in need. We need to help anyone in need even if they refuse to say thank you or acknowledge you.
The thing I really liked the most about this book is no matter what your size is, you can do the impossible. The elephant was in need of help and the ant was able to help him. He didn’t do it by himself but he enlisted an army of ants to help. Together they were able to do the impossible. What can your child do with the help of others? Help them to dream impossible dreams and then help them find others that can make them come true.
Have you ever felt like giving up? If you have felt that way you can be sure at some point in your life your children will feel that too.
In Kayla and the Chocolate Tree, Kayla gave up and went home discouraged. But she didn’t stay discouraged. She talked things out, she thought of new ways to tackle her problems, and she tried them.
Teaching Moment: There are times in life when you are trying to do something but nothing works. You might get discouraged and give up. Take the time needed to regroup and find a new way to tackle your problem.
Problems are a fact of life but it is our attitude towards them that determine if we will fail or succeed. How can you nurture in your children the attitudes that will help them succeed in life?
One thing you can do as a family is to create a family perseverance book. Each person draws or writes down a problem they are facing. Parent can do this as well because we are always facing some sort of problem. Then everyone discusses how that person might be able to overcome those problems. If you get out the book once a week then you can write down each person’s successes, setbacks or any new problems and how to overcome them. After your child has a couple of successes their attitudes will change from I am a failure to I can overcome this. If you aren’t careful your attitudes might change as well, if it needs changing.
Can difficult times really be for our benefit? What about the pressures of life and school? There will be different situations that will come up in your life that will add pressure(heat). Even though these situations are not comfortable while you are going through them they will help you to change into something that is good and useful if you will let them.
To show you how pop a bag of popcorn and dump it into a bowl, after you enjoy eating the popcorn with your children show them the un-popped kernels and ask the following questions:
What made the kernels change from a seed to popcorn?
Do you think the kernel liked the heat (pressure)?
Was the heat (pressure) necessary to make the popcorn?
Why didn’t these kernels pop?
What are the kernels good for now?
Popcorn is great to eat especially with butter on it. But trying to eat a kernel will probably break a tooth. The pressure we feel doesn’t feel good but in the long run it will make us better.
The pressure we feel doesn’t feel good but in the long run it will make us better.
Some pressure your child might be feeling; fighting with a friend, getting homework done, not being picked for a game. When your child is experiencing any of these things or something else get out a bag of popcorn and discuss it. Afterwards show them the unpopped kernels.