November 18th, 2010 | Posted in Thursday's Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: On Bullying

We’ve begun to discuss the importance of reading to your growing child. Further, we have also discussed how what you choose to read can guide your child’s learning and development. For the best results, it is vital to be reading material that is appropriate for the age of your child. By choosing and reading the ‘right’ books at the ‘right’ time, you can expand your child’s vocabulary, teach life lessons, ignite conversation and discussion, and ultimately prepare your child for success. So where do we begin?

There are so many books to choose from. Which books are the right books? Which ones teach the right lessons? Which books have the most exciting characters? Which books have heroes children can look up to and emulate? The decision of what to read with your child can be overwhelming and often leads to reading the same book over and over.

Every other week in this blog, I will be recommending a book for a certain age group and what the concept within the book illuminates. These books will have the age-appropriate vocabulary, content and subject matter. The books I recommend have been books that I’ve used with countless children, with much success. Today’s book is Tyrone the Horrible by Hans Wilhelm.

Proper age to read this book: 4-5yrs old

The overall concept of this book is friendship. As your child prepares for Kindergarten, their world is beginning to expand outside your household. They are beginning to interact with other children. They are beginning to become their own person. As this growth happens, they will come in contact with the many social situations that friendship and interacting with others brings. There are inevitable ups and downs involved. Some people they meet they will get along with easily and they will love, while others they may not like and will find difficult.

Another important concept in this book is bullying. This is a big issue in the world and in our school systems today. It’s something none of our children should have to deal with, but unfortunately will probably come across at some point in their young lives. This book, through the fun use of dinosaurs, will teach about friendship, bullying and empathy. It is important to instill empathy and compassion into our children’s hearts at a young age and it is a beautiful thing when you begin to see it grow in your child. A child who learns empathy and compassion will be much less likely to bully anyone. By experiencing the difficulties expressed by Boland, the main character in the book, your child will learn vicariously through Boland’s tough situation. They will learn why bullying, name calling, and meanness are not appropriate and how much they can hurt someone. Your child will learn a key lesson in problem solving by seeing how Boland deals with his bully, Tyrone the Horrible…who is known as ‘the world’s first bully’.

They will also learn about friendship. Who are your true friends? What do friends do for each other? What things we face together…and what things do we have to face alone?

These are some of the important topics this book will raise. Allow time for discussion while reading and afterward. Give your child time to look at the pictures and ask questions. The use of dinosaurs keeps it fun and separates it from everyday life so your child can absorb the content without it being overly personal and emotional.

Enjoy this wonderful book and the discussions it inspires. Have fun and keep reading!

Please feel free to comment with your thoughts / questions and to share how your child responds to this book and the conversations that result. See you here next week for my ‘Thursday Thoughts’. Have a beautiful week!

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