Teaching kids how to deal

An excellent book with a powerful message about keeping selfishness in check.Chelo Manchego  Parents of toddlers know that self-restraint is not an easy lesson to impart. When they want something, they want it now. Or better yet, 10 minutes ago. Some...

Teaching kids how to deal

An excellent book with a powerful message about keeping selfishness in check.Chelo Manchego 


Parents of toddlers know that self-restraint is not an easy lesson to impart.

When they want something, they want it now. Or better yet, 10 minutes ago. Some parents give in; it is easier. But it is better? What if that child grows up to think that whatever she wants, however unreasonable, she can have? Consider how awful it would be if a person like that ever came to power.

"The Want Monsters: And How They Stopped Ruling My World" by Chelo Manchego (Shambhala Publications, $16.95) is a delightful book packing a necessary lesson as it teaches a little fellow how to deal his "want monster."

The book, intended for 4- to 8-year-olds - though it could easily be read to those younger and educate those older - explains that everyone has a "want monster." Oskar, our narrator's "want monster" has his attribute: He helps the little fellow get motivated and tries harder.

Lately, though, Oskar is becoming too greedy. He wants more cupcakes, urging the boy to eat until he's sick. He wants to play video games until it is all too much.

"He has a crown on his head because when I get attention, he made me want to be king ALL the time.

"But even royalty needs to be alone from time to
time. I am pretty popular already, and that
extra 'help' he gives me doesn't make me cooler
at all. Sometimes it even does the opposite."

The little fellow meets an even littler caterpillar that explains that he - like all other creatures - has a "want monster" too. But the little caterpillar has his under control.

"You should just let Oskar be Oskar then," and he disappeared into a bush to keep eating yummy leaves.

That's pretty sound advice. Let the monster within be and say no when you must. Have an ice cream, but not five. Play a game, but for a limited time. And you don't need to win at everything.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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