A gift is defined as something willingly transferred to someone without payment. Two of these four books will give dads fun ideas on projects with kids about giving. And that is just part of the equation. thx thx thx will open your kids’ eyes to the many gifts they have received themselves and things to be thankful for; while Consider This helps to stretch their thinking even more.
Do you know that people in the whole world walk around carrying an invisible bucket that holds good thoughts and feelings about themselves?Have You Filled a Bucket Today? will help your kid visualise and practise kindness.
The book is suitable for young kids, up to 10 years old, as it is easy to read with plenty of illustrations. It includes tips for kids on how to fill a bucket, such as smile and say “Hi!” to the bus driver, invite the new kid at school to play or spend time with grandpa. Conversely, it discourages bucket-dipping behaviours such as ignoring or bullying someone.
The book also explains how we are either filling up or dipping into each other’s buckets by what we say and what we do all day long; as well as the principle of reciprocity – that you fill your own bucket when you fill others’.
Have a regular conversation with your kid on how he is doing with his bucket and his friends’ buckets. And why not reward him with a real bucket full of something he likes when he puts what he has learned into action by being kind to others?
Look your kid in the eye and tell him, “You can be a philanthropist.” The point is to make him feel like he is on a mission. The book is suitable for pre-teens and older but there’s no stopping dads from simplifying and explaining to kids who are younger .
Then embark on this mission together with your kid to make a difference at your home, community, and world – at no cost. How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist has 330 ideas on contributing with your body, family, computer, talents, belongings, trash, time, community, decision, awareness and (a little bit of) resources. Look out for the family/kid-friendly ideas in particular that are relevant to your local context.
Is your kid’s hair getting too long? Chop it off and let your kid choose which non-profit organisation to give it to: Locks of Love, Wigs for Kids or Matter of Trust. Alternatively, test your kid’s vocabulary and help him expand it while donating food at the same time! Check out FreeRice.com and FreeFlour.org. You can also call up the local zoo or nature centres, find out what volunteer programmes they have and take part together.
Write a thank you note a day. Take a leaf out of Leah’s whimsical book,thx thx thx. She could find so many things to be thankful for, and my, they sure are not your usual ones. Here’s a flavour of it:
“Dear stone fruits,
Thank you all (peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots…hope I’m not forgetting anyone) for requiring my touch to determine your readiness. It’s nice to use my hands to make decisions for a change. Instead of my brain.”
She also chooses to see the bright side, for example:
“Dear people who don’t get it,
You make me explain my ideas more clearly, and sometimes that helps me understand them better too. So thank you for that.”
The book is suitable for ages 4 and above. But some of the ideas would require more maturity to understand, so select the appropriate ones to go through with your kid. Be amused at the quirkiness together, then challenge your kid to follow suit and start writing creative daily thank-you notes. Set the example yourself. Then share with each other every week. Do not be surprised if you find the happiness index in your family going up and up.
Dads, Consider this is no ten-year series and there are no standard answers. In fact, there are no answers in this little tome – just philosophical questions, short and simply-phrased. So you may a bit out on a limb here but do go on this meaningful journey of probing deeper with your kid.
The questions are grouped into 10 categories: the arts, cause and effect, existence and death, good and evil, happiness and suffering, ideas and opinions, nature and animals, philosophy and religion, time and space, as well as truth and reality. Choose the category that you are more comfortable with as a start and dive in.
The questions range from more serious ones such as “Can anything change human nature?” to cute ones such as “What is nature’s greatest sound?”.
While the book is suitable for ages 4 and above, dads should choose questions appropriate for the kid’s level of maturity. Hear your kid’s candid responses, share yours and have a dialogue. Gently impart good values as you help shape and stretch your kid’s critical thinking faculties. As this is quite unstructured, dads, you will need to tap into your ingenuity and mine the teachable moments.
1. McCloud, C. (2006) Have You Filled a Bucket Today? Ferne Press, Michigan, USA
2. Boles, N. B. (2009) How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist Workman Publishing, New York, USA
3. Dieterich, L. (2011) thx thx thx– thank goodness for everything Andres McMeel Publishing, Missouri, USA
4. Kipfer, B. A. (2007) Consider this…Questions That Make You Think Random House, New York, USA
About the Author: The Dads for Life Resource Team comprises local content writers and experts, including psychologists, counsellors, educators and social service professionals, dedicated to developing useful resources for dads.
First published on 25-01-2013.
Categories: Recommended Reads