When my daughter was little and something would scare her, a bee, or a heffalump or a woozle from Winnie the Pooh, she’d freeze in place, unable to move. I started singing her a little song, to the tune of “Accentuate the Positive” that went “Be brave, and keep going.”
Earth Day turns 50 this week, and what began with 20 million Americans taking to the streets to demand better stewardship of our planet has evolved into a one billion-person-strong global day of action.
As parents, we’re wired to seek safe, healthy environments for our littles. When disaster strikes, whether it’s a pandemic, a fire, or a hurricane, it’s deeply unsettling. A little support can go a long way.
“I want people to think about how the earth is going to be in a hundred years,” says Reese Dubenko.
We all tell our kids that we love them, but when was the last time you really talked to your kids about love—what it feels like, how it’s shown, how it relates to the self, the family and the broader world?
In 2015, President Obama shared his thoughts about how books make us better humans:
“When I think about how I understand my role as citizen…the most important stuff I’ve learned, I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy…and the notion that it’s possible to connect with someone else even though they’re very different from you.”
Making and keeping friends can be fraught with pitfalls. Some well-timed social-skills reinforcement can go a long way towards boosting the happiness of littles (and their parents!) when it comes to friendship.
Scientific studies seem to roll in daily, confirming that kindness increases oxytocin and dopamine in the brain, making us happier.
Spend enough time in the company of little kids and you’ll find that it’s easy to imagine a world without prejudice and bias, because it’s their natural state.
Peace. Sometimes it can seem so far from reach that we forget that the best place, really the only place to begin, is with ourselves. Our book picks this month make the impossible seem possible, illuminating the ways in which small acts of mindfulness and caring can make a huge difference at home and in the world.