Is it Pink Shirt Day in your area today? Daycare and preschool is a fact of life for many young kids and some centers will be talking about personal safety and bullying. Little children are still sorting out what kinds of behavior are acceptable and sometimes hitting, grabbing away and pushing can happen. As parents and caregivers sometimes it helps to have books that we can read to little ones about what kinds of behavior are okay and how to deal with strong feelings. Here are some suggestions for books to read to kids to help them develop social skills for getting along with others and kindergarten readiness. Some of these are for older preschoolers and some can be understood by younger ones.
- Leave Me Alone: A Tale of What Happens When You Stand Up to a Bully by Kes Gray. A little boy actively tells a bully to leave him alone, rather that being submissive and passive, with the help of some animal friends.
- Enemy Pie by Derek Munson. A new boy moves onto the block. Dad helps his son learn some ways to be friends.
- The Way I Feel by Janan Cain. Colorful illustrations show lots of expressions and a variety of emotions.
- When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman. A little bunny learns how to cope with strong, angry feelings.
There are lots of other books that will offer support as you help your child develop social and emotional coping. Listening to the news can be very discouraging as we hear about all the stresses and challenges for our youngest and most vulnerable. One of the messages of Pink Shirt Day is that we are not alone and friends can make a difference. Do you have some thoughts to share that can help others?