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Children bring the unexpected into the world. Raising children strengthens you and gives you wisdom beyond your years. Some positive attributes that may or may not come along with your brood are patience, energy, and enthusiasm. But, I notice those do show up from time to time. Other positive attributes that can be strengthened or developed as your children grow are: ingenuity, creativity, courage, long suffering. Long suffering is one of my favorite spiritual gifts meaning: suffering for a long time without complaining : very patient during difficult times.
A friend of mine once remarked that she felt Carlo Collodi hated children after reading Pinocchio. It’s true that the theme of the book doesn’t speak kindly of children-kind there are many lessons to learn from the story. The final one being wooden boys who behave that badly would make good firewood. Okay, all joking aside, he did finally get things into his little wooden head and he became a real boy as his reward.
We are a family of voracious readers—now. It didn’t come overnight. Because we have ten children, the youngest two being babies, in our family we all love and adore reading stories that also love children as much as we do. Quick note: children must also be taught to love children, especially those younger than they, by our words and deeds. Kids can be taught to act and feel towards their siblings and other littles in the way we do.
I like this kind of positive attitude to prevail in much of the media we surround ourselves with in our family. Children learn and do what they see and live. Much of today’s media promotes harsh feelings such as survival of the fittest, no room for children or elderly, and much of the time they are outed all together in the popular literature of today. And when the elderly or younger children are included they are made to be pesky and in the way. Some of the following stories may have a little bit of the little kids are pesky energy in it, but they also teach how to get along with each other in spite of ages and differences. And ultimately they teach how to see each other in the same light—through Christ’s eyes. It may not be outright, but the subtlety of the messages in these books are noticed and appreciated.
Beverly Clearly’s Ramona series (she really knows how children think and feel)
The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Nurse Matilda series
Five Children and It
The Railway Children
Mary Poppins series
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne’s House of Dreams
Winnie the Pooh
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Series
The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Understood Betsy by Dorothy C. Fischer
What books would you add to this list?