Reading with children

a blog by Magic Tales

child reading

Navigating Friendships: A Guide for Parents through Children's Books

In the life of a parent, there are always certain challenges that arise which need to be met, harmed, and conquered. One such challenge I am currently facing with my child revolves around the topic of - Friendship.
The art of making friends, understanding others' perspectives, empathising with them, setting boundaries, and resolving conflicts amicably, aren't easily learnt. Friendship, an integral part of kids' social and emotional development, offers a rich landscape where they learn several key life skills.
Navigating through this phase can be quite a task, both for children and their parents. As parents, we often grapple with questions like - How can I help my child make friends? How can I teach my child about the important aspects of friendship while still keeping the topics age-appropriate?
As I navigated through these tricky waters, I found solace, guidance, and an incredible teaching tool in an unexpected place - children's books.
How Reading Helps
Reading has always been more than just a hobby in our household. It's a conversation starter, a gateway to different worlds, and more importantly, a teaching tool. When words fail to encapsulate the complexities of life, books step in to save the day.
Presenting friendship issues in the form of stories allows children to understand better. When they see characters in books struggling with the same issues they are, they feel understood and can empathize with them. It's easier to then discuss these topics as they're already invested in the character's life.
Choose Age-Appropriate Books
Depending on your child's age, choose books that target their level of understanding. Characters that they can relate to, stories that mirror their world and challenges are more effective. Series like 'Frog and Toad' or 'Henry and Mudge' are great for young children to understand the nuances of friendship. For older children, books like 'Wonder' or the 'Harry Potter' series offer larger life lessons.
Engage in Interactive Readings
Don't just read, engage. Ask your child about their thoughts, their learnings from the story. Discuss the characters' actions, their decision-making processes, and the results of their choices. Make reading a two-way process. This not only enhances their understanding but also helps you bond with your child better.
Real-life Applications
Finally, endeavour to carry the lessons from these books into their real-life situations. If a character in a book shared their toys, ask your child how they can do something similar. If a protagonist faced a conflict with a friend, ask your child what they would do in a similar situation.
Using books as guides, children can explore their emotions, fears, and uncertainties in a safe and structured environment. Friendship is but one aspect. As they grow, these children's books will continue to light their path, aiding them to navigate the complex labyrinth of life with better confidence and understanding.
And as for me, I have learnt that books aren't just for children, they're also for parents like myself, who sometimes require a little bit of wisdom and a whole lot of patience to guide their young ones through the ebbs and flows of childhood.

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