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Books To Dump the Grump

One of my lovely children has my temper. When he struggles with anger, it floods his body until his entire limbic system has been hijacked. The most effective method I have for helping him regain control in a positive manner is by reading books whose focus is on unconditional love. Perhaps there is an element of anxiety involved that is comforted by the reassurance that he can never become so angry my love for him will falter. When I find the frustrations of the day are beginning to build, I will often pull him into my lap for a snuggle and a read. Many times the day resets, and the tension in the room melts a way.

No Matter What is one of those books that drips sappy in the best kind of way. It also does a fantastic job of hitting the nail on the head for my son. "I am feeling grim and grumpy!" It then takes a turn for the exaggerated -- Something that is sure to illicit a giggle from my boy. On top of that, it isn't constructed like a normal board book. It's a bit squishy! The combination is irresistible. I highly recommend you give this one a try.

Grumpy Monkey is another story that is sure to have your little joy giggling by the end. It doesn't just help empathize with your child though, it also does a great job of calling attention to what is happening in our bodies when we are feeling down. A bit longer, this one also appeals to a more mature crowd. There is nothing babyish about the story that might insult the older child.

The Pout Pout Fish focuses a bit on how the constant blues appears to the people around you. While it isn't as good as the other two at pulling my son out of a spiral, it is fantastic to read in a calm moment. It can help give words to the situation. When I find myself in a grumpy mood, I try to model noticing what is happening to myself using the language the story has established. "Boy. I am a pout pout fish right now. Did I just get my dreary-wearies on you? Sorry about that! Here. I'll wash it off for you." - As I chase my children around the house with a wet finger destined for their ear. Quite frequently my bad mood is not the only one in the house. Admitting my own struggle and making a game of things almost always lightens things up

The Digger and the Flower would win the award for most adorable book of all time, if such a contest was held. This one focuses on sadness instead of grumpiness. It is tricky to balance a real reason for being sad with young child appropriateness, and this one does it perfectly. It is full of love, and kindness, and trucks. What more could my little man need? I loved it so much when I first found it, and my boys were so obsessed, that we created an entire month's unit around it in preschool, and it sits in the Bucket's homeschool curriculum reading list any time it remotely applies to the topic.

I hope you find these stories to be as helpful and lovely as we have! There is nothing in this world quite like a living book.

Blessings in your journey,

Buckets and Berries


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