I Choose: A Book Review

I Choose: A Book Review

Children feel all sorts of emotions and make so many choices in any given day. Guiding  our children and talking to them about  making choices is a really important part of parenting.

Recently, I had a chance to read a really nice book called I Choose. The book was a great spring board for talking to my children about making good and not so good choices (safe vs. unsafe, how choices affect ourselves and others), feelings and emotions.

The book is written by Suzin Helen Carr and sweetly illustrated by the authors son, Chandler. The text is simple but captivating with a really powerful overall message

“We choose what comes out of our mouth,

what stays in our head, and what lives in our heart.”

Choose well.

All three of my children are really interested in the book. My six and four year olds have spent some time making illustrations that are inspired by the book and they often ask to read the book. While reading the book we have had a lot of wonderful conversations about feelings like happiness, anger, being upset, wanting to cry, needing things and so on…

One page says “I choose between giggles and frowns” to which my four year old immediately said “I like giggles but sometimes I frown like this…as he made a frowny face!” We talked about the things that make all of us giggle and all the things that make us frown. My children loved hearing my version of the things that make me giggle like “imagining a rhinoceros in a polka dotted dress” and then coming up with their own super silly ideas. Plus we talked about things that make us frown and my six year old was really honest and explained he feels like he has to frown when he thinks about the day that he moved away from his friends.

Another few pages that created really great conversation were “I choose whether to hug…or to punch.” My two year old piped up and said “Punching hurt…biting hurts too. I not bite anymore.”

Through out the whole book we found ways to talk about making choices or looking for different choices, accepting our feelings, how to talk to others about our feelings and it’s happened a few times that while feeling really angry one of my children have said “I am mad but I am choosing not to hit!”

My favorite part of the book and what really resonated with my children was the end of the book

“I choose to be the me that is me…”

I really appreciate authenticity and believe families should make choices that fit their needs while helping children be the unique self that they want to be. This book is a wonderful tool for parents to open a dialogue with their children to talk about choices and feelings. The companion book I Chose Too, written for adults  is full of fantastic questions and narratives that inspire change and making choices too.

***

Suzin Helen Carr & Illuminted Publishing  choose to gift three books to Positive Parenting Connection readers! One copy each of I Choose, I Choose Too (For Adults) and  Yo Elijo will be given. If you are interested in receiving one of the books, please leave a comment below  letting us know How are you encouraging your child to make choices? or tell us why you would like to have the book!

Come join the Positive Parenting Connection page on Facebook and visit Illuminated Publishing: Home of I Choose, I Choose Too and Yo Elijo on facebook too!

Book recipients will be chosen using random.org and announced in the comments section as well as contacted via e-mail on August 15th.

Disclosure: I received a courtesy copy of I Choose and I Choose Too for review purposes from the author Suzin Carr. I was not compensated to write this review and the opinions are my own.

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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a Masters in Psychology and is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, one cuddly dog and "bluey" the fish.

13 Responses to I Choose: A Book Review

  1. I think this would be a fabulous way to start helping my three year old control his very large emotions. He has been having some craaaazy tantrums when he doesn’t get his way (adjusting to being at home with Mama and little sister instead of daycare) and we’ve been working on it, but giving him a different script might be just the ticket!

  2. My two year old had started biting a little while ago. To get her to stop we asked her to choose to kiss instead. We made it fun,, with no yelling, demanding or anger from any party involved (even her 4 year old sister). Now, she comes up and takes your hand or arm and says, “Not biiiiite. Just kisses”. And then she proceeds to give you a kiss. Our 4 year old likes choices, giving her a sense of self and of control – I think it’s a product of her being an oldest of two oldests! She will say, “I have angry hands” and storm away – choosing instead to leave and verbally vent her frustrations rather than hit or shove her younger sister.Later, you can tell she’s proud of herself for choosing to talk out her feelings rather than hurt someone.

  3. This is so awesome! I’ve trying to find a book or something so my daughter could understand choices. She is still a little young but I give her chances to make choices each day. These would be so good to have!!

  4. Oh, I love this concept. Thank you for sharing! From early on, I have tried to give my little a foundation to recognize and communicate her feelings. From using baby sign, to using the feeleez game to teach empathy, to giving her safe space to work through her feelings, either together or alone…this particular tool is lovely and an element that is missing in our work. The matter of choosing how to share. I love this!!

  5. We are trying to encourage making the right choice in our home with our two toddlers. We try to point out the positive consequences of good choices (brother happy, mommy/daddy proud, etc) and the negative consequences of not so good choices (brother crying, time out, mommy sad, etc) I would love to have this book to reinforce this and learn new options.

    If this book is as good as I hope it is, I plan to make this part of my gift pack to friends. Everyone needs to learn in a simple way that we are responsible for our own happiness.

  6. I encourage my 2 year old to make choices by giving him choices to make. I can say would you like an apple or an orange? Do you want to wear your red shoes or your blue shoes? or if he doesn’t want to hop in the bath I can say do you want your drink of milk before or after your bath? He seems to be so pleased with himself when he makes a choice and because he’s made the decision of course he is happy to go along with it. I haven’t delved into emotional choices yet and this book sounds like an awesome learning tool to tackle it.

  7. This book sounds great and I would love to have it. I’ve started talking to my 3 year old about these kinds of choices but a tool like this would be really helpful. I try to encourage her to talk about her feelings and accept feelings and this book seems like a great way to reinforce that.

  8. This book looks wonderful, I would love to have it for my son. I always try and help him make his own decisions based on a couple of acceptable choices I give him (he’s only 2 years old).

  9. I am humbled to see your comments and to read how you are choosing to guide your children. “I Choose” is a wonderful book for the entire family because it encourages young book lovers with plenty of repetitive sounds and sight words. The illustrations are sweetly drawn through the eyes of a seven year old. The words are simple, and yet create a message that is so important for every one in today’s world. We thank you for your support. Choose well. Peace.

  10. I would love this book as I think it would help myself and my daughter to talk about emotions and other issues. She is not a huge talker and so this sounds like it would be a fun way to have a dialogue that isn’t heavy or just too much for her

  11. I try to teach my four children daily about the impact of their choices, and this book sounds like such an encouraging companion. I would love to share this with them.

  12. I would to start the coversations as you have with this book. I think my 7 year old, 4 year old and 18 monthold would really enjoy it.

  13. Congratulations to Daniela, Mary and Missy. Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories and expressing interest in the book.

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