Usually when it comes to Chicken Soup for the Soul books I am sent to review, I read them and then pass them along to family and friends to enjoy. I never plan to hold on to them to share with my girls, until now. I was recently sent "Be the Best You Can Be: Inspiring True Stories about Goals and Values for Kids and Preteens." As I read through the inspirational stories I couldn't help but want to share each and every one with my girls. While they are only 3.5 and 4.5, they are old enough to start talking about values and behaviors.
Just the other day at the local park, Bella, my youngest, saw a little girl a few years older than her being picked on by some older children. She quickly jumped in and told them to stop hurting the little girls feelings. I don't think the group of bullies expected a three-year to stand up and say something, but they quickly backed down and walked away. Bella then pulled the little girl in towards her and gave her a hug. She told her what her name was and said that she and her sister, Savannah, would be the little girl's friend. I wish I had my phone to capture this moment. Not only did the little girl tear up, but I did as well. I was so proud of my daughter and how she understood the what the group of kids were saying was hurtful and how this is the not the behavior to have. She stood up for this girl and even offered her friendship. Seeing how my daughter reacted firsthand, I could see that they could learn and grow by listening to me share these short stories with them.
So, last week instead of reading the same old bedtime books to the girls, I ended up cuddling up with them in Bella's big bed and read a few stories each night to them. After I was done, I would start a conversation with the girls to see if they understood what I had read and what the lesson was. The girls found themselves learning about setting and reaching goals, how hard work pays off, compassion and tolerance (which I saw firsthand in the park with my girls) and values and good choices. My girls loved hearing me read these true-life personal stories, and hopefully they will take away things like tolerance, respect and compassion, as they journey from child to pre-teen and then teenagers.
Once the girls are able to read, I will definitely be sharing this book with them again, so that they can revisit the stories and the themes. As a parent, I especially loved how the stories resonate with kids of all ages, and how it feels like they have role models telling them their personal struggles and challenges just by reading their story.
If you have children and pre-teens, I highly recommend picking up this book. You will want to read it and then pass it along to your children. Then, once you have both read it read, come together for meaningful conversation about the personal stories and how your kids can relate or learn them from.
Thanks to the kind folks at Chicken Soup for the Soul, three lucky readers will win a copy of this new release to read and share with their child(ren). To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.