#BullyFreeReadtoMe Reading Initiative!

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Whether it’s October, which is National Bully Prevention Month, or any other month in the year…

I feel strongly that it is our job as parents to do all we can to educate & safeguard our children from becoming a bully or being bullied. Of course my preferred method of teaching children is through books. So I’ve decided to start an ongoing Reading Initiative using the hashtag #BullyFreeReadtoMe and I really hope you’ll join us, so let’s get started…

What is the #BullyFreeReadtoMe Reading Initiative?

Our #BullyFreeReadtoMe Initiative is an opportunity to teach your children important life long social skills, such as,
1. identifying emotions & learning how to regulate them,
2. exploring diversity & the importance of inclusion,
3. empathy, kindness & friendship
4. standing up for yourself and others.
The best part is… all of this happens by connecting with your child through reading.

How Do I Participate in the #BullyFreeReadtoMe Reading Initiative?

Put very simply… read to your child.

You might be thinking that there is a “catch” or something, but there isn’t. I think too often parents underestimate the power of reading. There are so many amazing children’s books, with stories that not only captivate your attention but can easily touch your heart.

I’m frequently selecting books that I feel are character building and are great stepping stones towards Bully Prevention, and I also post bookish play using #BullyFreeReadtoMe throughout the year.

I hope you join in! Please feel free to use #BullyFreeReadtoMe & tag me on Instagram @parentingnotperfection to be a part of our community of caregivers working on Bully Prevention through reading. Show us your books, your play or your bookish play related to the following skills…

Identifying Emotions & Learning How to Regulate Them…

Children being able to identify their emotions is an extremely important skill. It helps ease frustration and unwanted behaviors. There are many children’s books that talk about feelings in a variety of ways. Aside from being able to identify their emotions, its just as important to help your child learn how to regulate them, in other words, what to do with them. Storybooks are a great outlet for children to discover what they can do, what works and what doesn’t work when you have these big emotions you’re just getting to know.

Recommended Reading…

  1. I’m Gonna Like Me” by Jamie Lee Curtis
  2. The Feelings Book” by Todd Parr
  3. I’m Sad” by Michael Ian Black
  4. I’m Worried” by Michael Ian Black
  5. The Color Monster: A Pop-up Book of Feelings” by Anna Llenas
  6. How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad” by Jane Yolen
  7. The Bad Seed” by Jory John
  8. The Good Egg” by Jory John
  9. What Do You Do with a Problem?” by Kobi Yamada
  10. Today I feel Silly and Other Moods that Make My Day” by Jamie Lee Curtis
  11. The Story of My Feelings” by Laurie Berkner
  12. Glad Monster, Sad Monster: A Book about Feelings” by Ed Emberley
  13. I Feel Teal” by Lauren Rille
  14. I Think, I am! Teaching Kids the Power of Affirmations” by Kristina Tracy
  15. Big Boys Cry” by Jonty Howley
  16. Llama Llama Mad at Mama” by Anna Dewdney
  17. Ruby Finds a Worry” by Tom Percival
  18. Orion and the Dark” by Emma Yarlett
  19. Angry Cookie” by Laura Dockrill
  20. Grumpy Bird”by Jeremy Tankhard
    *Click here to access the FREE printable list

Exploring Diversity & the Importance of Inclusion

Children (and grown ups) tend to react poorly to people and things that are unknown or different. Bullying often occurs when a child has been set apart from the group. Books can help show your child a world of people, cultures, religions, families, etc… that are different from their own or the same. They can identify with characters that remind them of themselves and feel comforted they are not so different after all or they can explore societies they never would have known if it weren’t for that book.

Recommended Reading…

  1. Red: A Crayon’s Story” by Michael Hall
  2. Huff & Puff: Can You Blow Down the Houses of the Three Little Pigs?” By Claudia Rueda
  3. We’re All Wonders” by R. J. Palacio
  4. It’s Okay to Be Different” by Todd Parr
  5. All are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold
  6. Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae
  7. Strictly No Elephants” by Lisa Mantchev
  8. Pink is for Boys” by Rob Pearlman
  9. A Normal Pig” by K-Fai Steele
  10. Lovely” by Jess Hong
  11. Zero” by Kathryn Otoshi
  12. A Family, is a Family, Is a Family” by Sara O’Leary
  13. The Other Side” by Jacqueline Woodson
  14. Chocolate Me” by Taye Diggs
  15. Where are You from?” by Yamile Saied Mendez
  16. Mixed” by Arree Chung
  17. The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson
  18. Neither” by Airlie Anderson
  19. Except When They Don’t” by Laura Gehl
  20. What Riley Wore” by Elana K. Arnold
    *Click here to access the FREE printable list

Empathy, Kindness & Friendship…

After learning about their own feelings and understanding themselves, children can begin to understand other peoples feelings and how they may differ from their own. Characters can show what it means to have empathy and how to be kind to one another. They can depict a variety of situations that gives your child a solid framework to building solid friendships.

Recommended Reading…

  1. Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller
  2. Sick Day for Amos McGee” by Philip C. Stead
  3. Can I Play Too?” by Mo Willems
  4. The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerrfeld
  5. Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” By Carol McCloud
  6. I Walk with Vanessa” by Kerascoet
  7. A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: a Story about Knitting and Love” by Michelle Edwards
  8. I am Human: A Book of Empathy” by Susan Verde
  9. The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade” by Justin Roberts
  10. My friend Maggie” by Hannah E. Harrison
  11. The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig
  12. Lubna and Pebble” by Wendy Meddour
  13. The Sandwich Swap” by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah
  14. Peace is an Offering” by Annette LeBox
  15. Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug” by Jonathan Stutzman
  16. Truman” by Jean Reidy
  17. A Chair for My Mother” by Vera B. Williams
  18. Zen Ties” by Jon J. Muth
  19. Sam and the Lucky Money” by Karen Chinn
  20. Maddi’s Fridge” by Lois Brandt
    *Click here to access the FREE printable list

Standing Up for Yourself & Others…

Books have the power to help teach us how to stand up for ourselves and others. They can allow children to imagine being in that characters position and walk in someone else’s shoes, all while being curled up next to you safe and loved.

Recommended Reading…

  1. The Proudest Blue” by Ibtihaj Muhammad
  2. Llama Llama and the Bully Goat” by Anna Dewdney
  3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No!” by Llona Lammertink
  4. The Big Orange Splot” by Daniel Pinkwater
  5. Say Something” by Peter H. Reynolds
  6. Malala’s Magic Pencil” by Malala Yousafzai
  7. Stick and Stone” by Beth Ferry
  8. One” by Kathryn Otoshi
  9. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon” by Patty Lovell
  10. How to Be a Lion” by Ed Vere
  11. Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her Families Fight for Desegregation” by Duncan Tonatiuh
  12. Love will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s 6 Guiding Beliefs (as told by his niece)” by Angela Farris Watkins
  13. Just Kidding” by Trudy Ludwig
  14. My Secret Bully” by Trudy Ludwig
  15. Be Who You Are” by Todd Parr
  16. The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes
  17. Elena’s Serenade” by Campbell Geeslin
  18. Lucía the Luchadora” by Cynthia Leonor Garza
  19. Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi
  20. Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match” by Monica Brown
    *Click here to access the FREE printable list

Tips for Success in Our #BullyFreeReadtoMe Reading Initiative!

  • Choose a time that works for both of you. There is no law saying that reading must be done at bedtime, if you’re too tired and in a hurry to get bedtime over with, its not the best time for you, and that’s okay. Maybe you’d prefer to read while your child is eating their breakfast? Or maybe when they are in the tub. (Did you notice I named times when you have their undivided attention? 😉 ) Anytime can work.
  • Make reading a part of your routine and you’ll be more likely to stick with it!
  • Your child does not have to sit still while you read, if you let that expectation go before you begin, you will be much happier. Some kids just can’t sit still. I have one child that never moved while I was reading, and my other one can not stop moving. She looks like she’s not paying attention at all, and to be honest, it was a challenge to let go of my idea of what reading time was “supposed” to look like. But truth be told, if at any point I ask what I said or request a summary of what we read, she has never missed a beat and always knows. So keep that in mind.
  • Join our community of caregivers doing the #BullyFreeReadtome Reading Initiative by using the hashtag on social media to spread the word & tag me @parentingnotperfection on Instagram to be featured in my story!

To help you succeed further, check out our FREE Printables. I’ve created…

1. A clickable & printable Book List of all 80 books (yep, 20 for each of the 4 categories) that are shown in this post, so you can get started today. Please don’t feel obligated to read them all, I just wanted to be sure to give you a nice selection to choose from. Think about where your child might be and go from there. These lists are perfect to bring with you to the library too! 😉

2. A Reading Log for you to write down all the books you’ve read this month, or maybe just the books you really enjoyed that could become a holiday list of books you’d like. 😉 Or perhaps it could be a library wishlist of all the books you saw on #BullyFreeReadtoMe that you didn’t get a chance to read yet!

3. A Reading Sticker Chart for your child to place a sticker (like these you can find in a dollar store) each time they read a book with you. Its great fine motor work to peel and stick the sticker, eye hand coordination and counting how many books you’ve read together! Other options are to have them color in a smiley face for each book you’ve read. It also serves as a nice reminder to read together! 🙂

You can find them all in our FREE Printables Library. Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉