So, now that we’re a handful of days into May, it’s time to announce our May Family Focus Trait — honesty! We officially wrapped up the April Family Focus of authentic apologies and genuine forgiveness and kicked off Honesty Month. Thus far, I’ve always published my booklist before the month started, but I have a fun collaboration for this booklist, so you’ll have to wait till next week for it. In the meantime, read on to hear how we kicked off May!
As usual, we anchored our kickoff family meeting around dinner (full tummies usually mean happy family members and more success all around!). When everyone was content, we wrapped up Apology and Forgiveness Month by reading Rising Above the Storm Clouds: What It’s Like to Forgive by Robert D. Enright, illustrated by Kathryn Kunz Finney. While I had read this informally with our youngest daughter, I wanted to be sure to read and discuss it before we officially wrapped up our formal thinking about forgiveness (of course, we’ll return to the idea over and over again, but our official focus is over for now). Published by Magination Press, the children’s book branch of the American Psychological Association, Rising Above the Storm Clouds helps children understand concretely what happens in their hearts and heads when they forgive others. Rising Above the Storm Clouds is, in my opinion, a must-read if you’re talking about forgiveness with children!
From there, Honesty Month officially began when my husband read The Empty Pot by Demi. If Rising Above the Storm Clouds is a must-read for forgiveness understanding, The Empty Pot is a must-read when helping children understand the positive effects of telling the truth, as well as the great courage that it sometimes takes to come forward with the truth, when we might feel that deceit would make us look better to others.
From there, we launched into a discussion about what it feels like in our heads, hearts, and bodies when we are honest, as well as what those equivalent feelings are when we are dishonest. The Empty Pot contains some great descriptions of how Ping, the main character, felt when he realized he needed to tell the truth, how he felt afterwards, and how others received his truth, so we were able to get a few great ideas from this book.
The following morning, however, we also read Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin. I chose this book to read as a continuation of our kickoff night, because Rankin beautifully portrays the various emotions we may feel after we tell a lie, from happiness to anxiety, shame, guilt, embarrassment, and remorse. Discussing this book allowed the girls to add many news ideas of what being honest and dishonest feel like to our chart.
Stay tuned later this week for in-depth reviews of both The Empty Pot and Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie, and then be on the lookout next week for my honesty booklist collaboration!
If you liked this post, be sure to check out the writeups for our other Family Focus months!
- January Family Focus: Developing Growth Mindsets
- February Family Focus: Compassion and Empathy
- March Family Focus: Teamwork and Cooperation
- April Family Focus: Apology of Action Family Meeting
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