October 5th is David Shannon’s birthday, and if you aren’t familiar with his David series of books, go NOW and read them. They are simple books that cut to the heart of naughty (but very funny) behavior and how no matter how bad a child’s behavior may be, parental love is unconditional. At least that’s how I see them.
In No, David the original book in the series, a little boy named David gets into all sorts of trouble. He eats with his mouth open, he splashes in the bath, he even runs down the street buck naked. Through all of this his mom is telling him no. The brilliant part of this book is its power to involve the young audience. I have read this book with students in groups and my own children snuggled up in bed and kids have always responded in similar ways. They correct David’s behavior. They tell him what he should be doing. Can you see why this is so powerful? It gives children the chance to giggle at the misbehavior and then be the authority and correct David. Through the laughter they are reinforcing rules you have probably been telling them, and like David in the book, they may have been tuning you out. They won’t tune David out.
Far too often I have heard from parents how they dislike this book because it could give their children ideas about how to misbehave. Kids know how. Kids will figure out these things on their own because none of these behaviors are terribly inventive, they are all classic naughty, curious, regular kid things to do. Taking the time to read this book will give you the time to share your opinion with your kids too. Splashing is fun, and it’s hilarious in the book, but why do you think mommy gets angry? I wouldn’t address each behavior all at once, but don’t worry. Your kids will love the book so you can spread it out over many, many readings! Just don’t forget to stress the message that the author stresses, a parent’s love is unconditional.
Happy Birthday, David.
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