Everyday I put my DS7 and DS5 on the school bus. I kiss their cheeks, check their backpacks, and wish them a great day at school. When the bus doors close and the bus drives away, my heart begins to fill with dread and worry. Have I taught them what to do if they got off at the wrong stop (it’s happened before!)? Have I taught them how to deal will bullies and how to not to be a bully themselves? I have I taught them to be aware of the surroundings, about stranger danger, and who they can trust? Our role as parents is to provide our children with the right tools and responses needed to survive in the world when we are not present. It can be the important things like knowing to dial 911 when there is an emergency, to the simple things like choosing to put the library book back in their school bag instead of leaving it on the bus. Arming our kids with knowledge is the best way to protect them !
For a 5 and 7 year old, I can ask them what they would do in hypothetical situations and nine times out of ten they choose the appropriate answer. Actually being in that situation can provide an entirely different scenario. One of my children’s biggest problems is delayed gratification. Delayed gratification is one’s ability to resist temptation for an immediate reward and the exchange for a great reward later on.Similar to other social skills such as patience, impulse control, self-control and willpower, delayed gratification is a skilled that needs to be practiced before it is fully understood by a child. Children under 5 years old normally demonstrate a marked lack of delayed gratification ability and most commonly seek immediate gratification. For example, my son received money from the ‘tooth fairy’ for losing his first tooth. Instead of saving it for the infinity game he really wanted, he begged to go to the dollar store and spend it on a cheap toy that he forgot about ten minutes later.
When I read the synopsis for the book “Can’t Wait Willow” by Cindy Ziglar, I knew this was the perfect teaching technique I need to help my children understand the consequences of immediate vs delayed gratification.
Willow is so excited that the Over-the-Top Circus has finally come to town! The Only problem is, that when left to her own devices, she can’t say “no” to some good things. On the way to the show, she is distracted by enticing treats and fun that she just can’t turn down. Willow arrives late and is sad to find that, not only has she run out of time, but money, and she won’t be able to enjoy the pink cotton candy she’s been dreaming of. Willow is given valuable advice and a second chance and is ultimately taught the lesson that sometimes in life you have to say “no” to good things to end up with something great!
Not only was Can’t wait Willow a heart warming and genuine story, but it provided my boys with an easy to understand story to learn about delayed gratification. I love the beautiful pictures and the precise and clear examples of how easily it is for a child to get distracted. They were situations that my sons have been in many time and could see the dilemma that Willow was in. I love the addition of the star on every page. It helped my DS5 to understand when Willow was making a good or bad decision based on the appearance of the star. It provided a great opportunity to discuss why Willow was making bad decisions and what they would do if they were in Willow’s place. It has become a favourite book in our house and is requested on a daily basis.
If you have young children at home, I highly recommend Can’t wait Willow and other books from the Shine Bright Kids. This series was created to teach young children important life skills and character traits (good judgment, taking responsibility, etc), through colorful, heartwarming stories.. Check out the Shine Bright Kids website for free reward charts, activities and other parenting resources.
Can’t Wait Willow is now available at BarnesandNoble.com
Disclosure of Materials Connection: I received on or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hopes that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Par 244: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
One lucky 1Heart1Family reader is going to get the opportunity to #WIN a copy of Can’t wait Willow for themselves!
Open to Can/US
Ends November 11, 2013