The children’s book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? was recently given to us by a friend who loves it and now that we have read it, I am passionate about spreading the word because I feel it is a book that needs to be in every child’s library.
The book deals with two incredibly important topics – positive self-esteem and kindness.
I was taught from a very young age the importance of kindness. My mom always told me, “You don’t have to be friends with everybody, but you do have to be kind to everybody.” That lesson has served me well through the years, and it is a value I try very hard to teach my girls on a daily basis.
Now that I am a mom myself and around young children all the time, from what I have observed, I don’t think kindness is innate. I believe it is something that has to be taught, coached, modeled and reinforced. The same goes with empathy, I think kids have to be taught how their words and actions affect others.
This book does exactly that through an easy to understand symbol.
When you show kindness and love, you help fill someone’s bucket. The great thing about being a bucket filler is you also fill your own at the same time! Bucket fillers are happy because it feels good to make others feel special.
But on the flip side, when you are mean to someone, you dip into their bucket. It talks about how sometimes bullies will try to dip into other people’s buckets to fill theirs, but that never works. A bucket dipper empties their own bucket at the same time, because it never feels good to be unkind.
When reading this book, my daughters will give me spontaneous examples of friends that dipped their bucket or someone else’s bucket during the day.
By talking about what happened, we are able to brainstorm ways they could have helped someone, or how they could have communicated how someone hurt their feelings by something they did. It has started a gazillion priceless conversations and created a bunch of unexpected teachable moments. The kind of recess stories that I might not have otherwise heard.
Every day when I kiss Emma good-bye at school, I remind her to “be a bucket filler today!” and she knows exactly what I mean.
I just LOVE this book because the world needs more bucket fillers, don’t you think?
Has anyone else read it? Do you agree?