If you are a child and cross our path at any time, be it the store, street, library, or restaurant, Greysen will say “Hi” to you. Once, as we were waiting in the emergency room, a gentleman being escorted out by the police in handcuffs made his way by us, and yes, Greysen said “Hi” loudly, clearly, and repeatedly.
Her repertoire of greetings include, “Hi,” a wave, high-fives, a fist bump (“pound it”), a handshake accompanied by a “nice a meet you,” and for her friends, kisses and hugs. Sometimes, she is far more eager to greet friends with hugs and kisses than they may be ready for. She actually has a couple of friends from our moms’ group who prefer to keep their distance from her hearty greetings.
Unfortunately, when some children retreat to a safe distance from her affections, she becomes even more determined. These rebuffs, while disappointing, unfortunately do not deter her from trying to hug others.
I explain their perspective and that perhaps that they are not ready for hugs, and instead suggest other ways she can engage them. Ways that they may feel more comfortable.
Books have been a helpful place for us to talk about the types of feelings others may have when she approaches them. Stories illustrate feelings she may not experiences often – shyness or loneliness to name a couple.
Within these pages opportunities for conversations about strong emotions await. These books are great reads because they give us a context for talking about shyness and frustration, another feeling we talk about daily, while not making it about her and her behavior. They offer her a chance to take another perspective.
Books We Are Reading
The images in this one fascinate her, and I get a kick out of them, too. You know it’s a good picture book when you linger on the inside cover a bit before actually beginning to read the story. Every now and then she looks past the faces and just likes to talk about the foods. Tonight, we lingered on the the page that depicts a shy melon.
Similar to Eric Carle’s books, this book’s illustrations appear to be painted, and Greyson favors this appearance. The rhythm to this book, as with any other Dr. Suess book, is flowing and interesting, and Greysen relates as she has told me on two occasions, “I am a busy, buzzy bee!”
This book is a series of photographs depicting children signing their feelings or state of being. I really like that young children are doing all of the signing in this book. Greysen signs along and we have added yet another language for her to express her feelings.
This book was a gift and is new to us, but is familiar to me from group care. Todd Parr’s distinct illustrative style with bold and bright colors is eye-catching. This is a fun book, but as a place to discuss feelings it leaves me wanting more, particularly because some pages do not reflect deep feelings, such as the passage, “sometimes I feel like camping with my dog.”
I’m not sure that we could ever read enough stories about feelings. Do you have any favorites that you can recommend to us?