Books for Kids About Character Building

Here is a another book I want to share with you – although it is not a cookbook. Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures, by Bob Bohlken is an insightful book for kids which received the Mom’s Choice Award from The Just for Mom Foundation. It is a story about the lives of Mukies living in the land of Mukies and how they overcome obstacles through patience, cooperation, and understanding.

In the story, The Happy but Unhappy Mukie there lived a Mukie farmer named Marvin. He and his wife and three children lived comfortably farming and harvesting melilot, the Mukies’ favorite food. One night a wondering Mukie, the Old One, came along and was invited to share a meal and spend the night.

The Old One told of far away places of gentle streams and rolling hills where everyone was truly happy all the time. It was a place of real contentment and happiness, free from cares and responsibilities. This got the farmer thinking that his life wasn’t as good as he thought it was. He now viewed himself as a poor, unfortunate person who had missed his opportunity for “true happiness”.

Throughout the trials of Marvin seeking true happiness, children can discuss how “grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence” and other influences. They can discuss what makes the greatest difference in a person’s happiness and even role play what might happen in Marvin’s home if he decides to leave and search for happiness. This might even lead to a discussion on the rights and responsibilities of family members in making a happy home.

This is but one of the eight short stories in the book, Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures. Parents and teachers have told us it is a good way to begin an exchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas about values and other issues.

This book can be ordered from Snaptail Press or through Amazon.

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Finding Happiness in Your Own Back Yard

I’ve been doing a series on making a difference, to spotlight Make a Difference Day on October 23.

Today I want to highlight another aspect of making a difference. This time I want to relate this to our search for happiness and how it makes a difference in our life and the lives of those we love.

People search for happiness in many places. Often times others, such as mass media, the internet, and those with whom we associate, influence us into thinking that possessions, places, or things will make us happy.

Questions here point to:

Do you think a place can provide happiness?
Do you trust all the people you listen to?
Where do you find happiness?

Taking a look at another story in Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures we find that eventually the Mukie realizes happiness is working at what you like to do, having optimism and a faith in the future. It is sharing with others, and most of all, being loved and loving others. He realized he didn’t need to seek a place elsewhere – it was in his own backyard.

The author, Robert Bohlken, Ph.D.  relates lines adapted from The Man in the Mirror by Dale Wimbrow that include:

It is you alone who makes your choices
No matter what others may say or do
You may listen to other voices
But the voice of the reflected one in the mirror
is the most important to you.

This book has been highly recommended by parents, teachers, and counselors in bringing out important ways of making a difference in personal lives as well as those of others. It won the Mom’s Choice Award from The Just For Mom Foundation.

Order these books for your home or school at Amazon here or at our website here. They provide the basis for an easy exchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas about values and ethical issues.

These books help children share a vision for a better world.

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Helping promote family well-being through knowledge and skills.
Books for home and family living
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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Make a Difference by Helping Children

In his circle of peers, one Mukie in the book, Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures, is a different color. He and his father were the only purple Mukies in the community of brown individuals.  Can you imagine the thoughts and feelings of the single young purple Mukie among a large peer group of brown Mukies?  Or of the large brown group and the single purple one?

This story examines racial bias before it becomes a prejudice. The purple colored Mukie’s identity is first one of curiosity, then distrust, and finally indifference.

Ignoring someone and demonstrating a non-caring attitude can be as hurtful as verbal abuse or name-calling. Self-esteem diminishes and the awareness that one has little or no influence upon others or the situations becomes painful.

The story points out the importance of caring associations – friends, family members, and other associates. A single event can change the mental perspective of those involved. However, often there are “fences to be mended” before mutual acceptance, respect, and friendships can develop.

These and other stories in the book, Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures, make a difference by helping children become more tolerant and understanding of differences in others. By being open-minded and truly listening to one another, issues such as racism, violence and aggression can be overcome. When people know how to talk to each other and work out their differences, they are more willing to cooperate and compromise.

Make a difference by helping children understand important character building skills. Building character is not done in a vacuum. In families and faith communities, adults have long taught children about character. Children watch and observe how others act and react. The traits they develop are linked to personal experiences, beliefs, upbringing, culture, laws, and many others. Being a good role model helps to develop positive character traits in children.

This book, Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures, has been highly recommended by parents, teachers, and counselors in bringing out important ways of making a difference in personal lives as well as those of others. It won the Mom’s Choice Award from The Just For Mom Foundation.

Order these books for your home or school at Amazon here or at our website here. They provide the basis for an easy exchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas about values and ethical issues.

These books help children share a vision for a better world.

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Helping promote family well-being through knowledge and skills.
Books for home and family living
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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Making a Difference in a Troubled World

Here are questions from one of the stories in the character skills book, Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures:

Do you think one individual can make a difference and influence a community?

How can rumors create conflict?

What are alternatives to violence and war?

Why do you think the Mukies were able to live without conflicts?

One of the characters in the book expressed the beliefs and hopes of St. Francis of Assisi in his prayer:

My wish is that peace may begin with me.
Where there is hatred, may I create love.
Where there is discord, may I create unity.
Where there is doubt, may I have faith.
Where there is falsehood, may I find truth.
Where there is ignorance, may I find learning.
Where there is despair, may I create hope.
Where there is sadness, may I bring joy.
May I realize that it is not as important to be understood,
as it is to understand,
and to be loved, as it is to love.
May I realize that it is in giving that I receive,
and in pardoning that I am pardoned.

This is adapted from the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.

For more of the insights from the Mukies and their character building adventures, go to Amazon here or to our website here.

This book has been highly recommended by parents, teachers, and counselors in bringing out important ways of making a difference in personal lives as well as those of others. Order these books at Amazon here or at our website here.

These books help children share a vision for a better world.

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Helping promote family well-being through knowledge and skills.
Books for home and family living
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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Good Article on Listening

right now, you sit down there and pay attentio...
Image by gian?merz via Flickr

Good content here on helping your children listen better. See http://bit.ly/b9eNis. It has lots of good suggestions for parenting.

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Are you Listening? Really Listening?

I have to admit I don’t always listen very well. Sometimes others are telling me their story and I’m thinking of what I will say in response and not always tuning in completely. I remember when the children were little, one of their comments was “Mommy, you’re not listening with your eyes”.

Listening is a skill that can be developed. In order to hear what the other person is really saying take time to listen  – to be willing to give of your time and attention. You can show you are listening by nodding, smiling, making eye contact, or showing other ways of paying attention. Asking questions helps to clarify points. The art of communication has not died. It is a two-way street though- someone needs to talk and someone to listen intently.

The ability to listen does influence quality of life as well as the lives of those around us. When listening to your children, make it absolutely clear that the only thing that really matters at that time is what is being said. Ask questions if you don’t understand. Listen not only with your eyes but with your heart as well.

One of our authors, Robert Bohlken, is a listening expert and has written a book for children that enhances reading and listening skills. The stories in the book, Listening to the Mukies and Their character Building Adventures are set in a primitive society, but their problems and conflicts are much like our own. The stories are intended to be read aloud between adult and child. This encourages much sharing of thoughts, ideas and feelings about issues that concern children. There is room for discussion, such as, “if you were in this situation, what would you do?” “Do you think this is the only solution?” “Can you think of other ways to solve this?”

To learn more about this book, go to Listening Stories and Lessons.

Lee Jackson
Snaptail Books for children, families,
and parenting professionals

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