When you go to a bookstore you will find an entire self-help section for adults. Books on how to be happy or how to get motivated, choose a career, stay positive, find love, alleviate anxiety, and so on and son. But what about children? Don’t children need motivation, a pick me up, a way of staying positive in a world where everything they see on TV is telling them that the world is a big scary place? If you agree that this is necessary, then here are five titles for books and short motivational stories that are written specifically for children to inspire and make them happier.
1. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
One of the best books on positive thinking. Children need to be taught a very important lesson from a young age. It is ok to make mistakes in fact it is great to make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn and grow, if children are taught that making mistakes is good, productive, and best of all normal then we will have a much smaller group of children who see themselves as failures. Whether your child can’t tie shoelaces, or fails a difficult school project– any flaws can be turned into strength with the smart approach.
2. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? By Dr. Seuss
Many psychologists agree that a key step to happiness is feeling gratitude. Feeling gratitude for what you have and lessening the constant desire for more is important to happiness. This is a lesson that is taught to children by the wild old man in the desert of Drize. In this Dr. Seuss classic, is the character of a wise old bird who tells children that whenever they feel unhappy or unsatisfied, if they feel mad or sad or disappointed then they only need to remember what they have to be happy about and why they should feel lucky.
3. I Believe In Me by Connie Bowen
Any adult who has explored the concepts of yoga, meditation, enlightenment, or fulfillment knows what an affirmation is. An affirmation is something that you tell yourself everyday such as “today will be a great day” the idea being that is you constantly reinforce this idea in your mind then it will start to manifest itself. So here we have a book of affirmations designed for children; containing beautiful illustrations that will appeal to children this book contains affirmations such as; I am creative, I am blessed, my dreams can come true.
4. The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell
If you have ever read the comic strip “Mutts” then you are familiar with the characters of Mooch the cat and Earl the dog, unlikely friends who are always there for each other. They go on adventures or just walk around the neighborhood chatting. In this story it is almost Earl’s birthday and Mooch can’t decide what to get him. He already has a bed, a bowl, and a chew toy so what more could he need. So Mooch gives Earl an empty box though he says that it contains the best gift of all, his friendship. Earl responds by saying that the empty box is the best gift that Mooch could ever have given him. This happiness book is meant to teach children that material possessions are nothing compared to the happiness we receive from non-tangible items such as friendship, love, trust and loyalty.
5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Written by Shel Silverstein, a writer who specializes in fun poetry for children, the Giving Tree is meant to teach children the gratification and happiness they can receive by selflessly giving to others. In the story a young boy befriends a tree and has he grows he asks the tree for things like apples and lumber to build a home, in the end the tree has given everything he has to the boy but as he now is only a stump the tree still provides a place to sit for the boy who is now a very old man. The tree never expects anything in return and its sole joy is in giving. A lesson that can be valuable for children and adults alike is to give your skills and your own uniqueness to the world and to gain joy from the results.
Robert Everett: I am a freelance writer currently based in Chicago. Solving students career and university problems. Having an interest in marketing and business.
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