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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Budnik

What to Do When You Gotta Teach the Hard Stuff


Talking about hard topics with kiddos can be difficult. Where do you start? What is too much? Did I get the message across? Was it too soon? We as teachers and parents sometimes come into conversations with kids about the hard stuff and do not know what to say or the best way to say it so it gets through to them.

I have found the best way to talk about challenging subjects is through children's books. When I first started teaching, the books I read always paired with the lesson. Some books are great for sequence, some are awesome for character analysis, etc. It wasn't until I had children of my own and my son was biting everyone at the birthday party that I started finding books to teach him something that he was struggling with.

Even at a very young age kids respond to being read to. I have found it is actually one of the times of the day that they will sit still. LOL! There are so many challenging subjects that we need to discuss with them and the way that a children's book lays it out is perfect. They have big pictures to illustrate for visual learners. The way that the author expresses the theme, you know will not be inappropriate because it is a book for kids. There are sometimes characters that the children can connect to and learn from.

Where Do You Get Great Books for Kids?

1. The Public Library

I have a love for our public library. It's like it feels safe to me. I know whatever I need, they will help me find it and that I will always walk away more prepared than I came. There are thousands of books to choose from to get the convo going on those hard subjects.

2. YouTube

I go to YouTube almost everyday for books online. I teach at a small private school and sometimes we don't have the book I am looking for and I can't make it to the library because #lifehappens. You can search for books by title and just add "read aloud" at the end. Kiddos love YouTube and it is a great way to get the books in a snap. I will say though, in my opinion, nothing is better than a true read aloud from you, the adult that they know and love.

3. Amazon

I mean, you can find anything on Amazon and if you have a day or two that you can wait for the book you need, go for it. This way you would also be able to own the book if perhaps the same issue needed to be discussed again. I got this great book for Patriot Day on Amazon and I use it every year with my class.

4. Your Child's School Library

If you do not have a public library near by, you could always go to your child's school librarian and see if you could check out books from their school on your child's account. I know they would be able to help you find great books because librarians are possibly the coolest peeps on the planet!

Wherever you get the books from, they are going to be great resources to teach your children or students about those challenging subjects. Those topics, whatever they may be, are inevitably going to come up. Having this little trick in your back pocket just might give you the tools you need to have a good hard talk and come out on the other side feeling successful and your child or students feeling like they are equipped to handle the world. Happy reading!!!

If your child seems to be struggling with having a happy heart about helping out around the house, there are so many books geared toward chores and helping. Check out my post on Contribution Cards that you could pair with some books to get the kids into helping more at home.

Growing my gifts according to His grace.

~Danielle Mae

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