Reading a good book

"Hermie?" We'd been reading, "Hermie, A Common Caterpillar," by Max Lucado.

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"Hermie eats leaves," she said.

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Another time I needed help was when my son wanted a pirate ship toy. A big one. He didn't want the cute Veggie Tales pirates (The pirates who don't do anything). No, he wanted angry, nasty pirates. We had an exhausting daily battle that sucked the life right out of me. (See that puddle? That's my life force On the floor Daily.) Most parents wouldn't have a problem with this, but me? I'm uptight. I freely admit it. As a writer I always look at what message it sends. I have a pet peeve about making the bad guy look cool. Pirates are bad guys. Outside of the house it's beyond my control, and I relax about it. Inside my house? Different story.

At the library I searched for a book that would portray pirates as they really were. I found, "You Wouldn't Want To Be a Pirate's Prisoner, Horrible Things You'd Rather Not Know," by John Malam. It showed how pirates stole, murdered, tormented prisoners, and suffered from scurvy. The illustrations leaned towards the graphic and the gross. It was awesome! As gruesome as I'm making it sound, this series of books is great. They educate kids and do it in a fun way. The pirate book became the first in a series of books that my son has been obsessed with reading continuously for years. He would often rather recheck one of these out of the school library than read anything else. Fair warning, these books probably aren't for preschoolers. Maybe not even first grade. Probably starting in second, depending on the child. Third grade should be fine. These are just a few in the massive series:

Teaching the value of saving money was another quandry that was solved with the right story. My daughter is an awesome saver, always has been, just like her dad. She'll be rich someday I'm sure. My son, however, was a different story. He was a spender. Everything he saw he wanted. We required that the kids do chores, but we didn't want to give them loads of money, so they had a small allowance. Ellis begged me to go to the dollar store right now as soon as he had his allowance every single week. He would get jealous of his sister's larger toy purchases and constantly claim he was going to save up for a $15.00 Lego toy only to get derailed $3.00 in. Then later the whining and regret would kick in.

It became a circular argument in the house that frustrated me and my husband (who is a saver, by the way) so much that we started arguing about how to handle the issue. My husband, Steve, felt Ellis shouldn't be allowed to waste his money if we knew he'd be sorry for it later. I argued that he'd earned the money, so it was his to decide what to do with, and that he'd never learn the consequences of his poor choices if we controlled all his choices. What to do?

At the library, the clouds parted and the angels sang when we found, "Rock, Brock, And The Savings Shock," by Sheila Bair.

In this book, the twin brothers we're a parallel of my own kids, one saver one spender. Their grandfather issues a challenge to both boys. For ten weeks, he'll give them both a dollar each week. Every week that they've not spent their previous amount he'll double it. So, first he'll double the dollar to two. Then the next week he'll double the two to four, and so on. At the end of the ten weeks, Rock has a bunch of junk because he couldn't stand to wait and spent his money. Many of his purchases are already broken. Brock has earned quite a bit of money and buys some large and expensive things for himself, as well as gifts for his family. This story really hit home and I'm proud to say that my son broke his obsession with spending and is now much more of a saver due to the influence of this book.

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Posted in Internet Post Date 01/08/2021






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