Building Character

Three years ago I had the amazing opportunity to visit Washington D.C. with two of my girlfriends. We took the time to visit incredible historical sights and museums. One of the most influential and memorable was the Holocaust Museum. I have read many historical fiction novels that take place during the holocaust and have studied it during school however visiting the museum was like nothing else. To see images and artifacts from that horrendous time left such an imprint on my soul.

One of the exhibits that struck me most was walking through a Jewish child’s perspective. We walked through a model house of a Jewish family and experienced the fear and horror through a child’s eye. Leaving the exhibit with tears streaming from my eyes I realized I needed to work with my kids on seeing the world from different perspectives. Aptly placed there was a gift shop outside the door and I was drawn to this incredible book.

Character Building Day by Day

This fantastic book is a filled with 180 short stories broken down into topics based on characteristics. These five minute stories are geared towards elementary school children help kids think outside the box of their own world.  The part that I like best is the discussion questions after each story that prompt discussion about what has been read and experienced. The topics vary from bullying, allergies, disabilities, friendships, and family structure.  For my own boys it’s great to enlighten them to think differently and for ourselves as parents to highlight the morals we want them to know and live by.

In thinking of morals such as The Golden Rule-

Another wonderful book, a bit more simple for the younger crowd is called Do Unto Otters. Yes I did say Otters and no it is not a typo. This cute, funny book goes over what it means to treat others (or otters) how you would want to be treated.

There is a rabbit who worries because a new family is moving in and he isn’t sure about how to live with their differences. This brings me back to visiting the Holocaust Museum and how I want to instill into my children that it is important to always treat people how they would like to be treated. That it is important to have an open mind and realize that we are all different and that kindness trumps all. We need to spend time teaching these important values to our children.

I hope you have the time to check out these two books, smile, be kind and as always…

Happy Reading!


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