Is There Room on the Witch's Broom?
Recent posts about sharing have brought lots of questions from readers about socialization. How to reinforce prosocial behavior is a common one. One reader whose three year old child is being physically aggressive and grabbing toys, lamented that the “how to be a friend” talk that she and the child’s teachers were having with her child wasn’t helping.
Trying to figure out why a child is acting out, ie. fatigue, stress etc. is critical to changing behavior, however, there are other ways to support the child as well. While modeling and reinforcing altruistic behavior are essential approaches to promote social skills, tapping into children's literature is another way to teach young children about how to be a friend.
From time to time, I like to recommend a favorite children's book that reinforces important prosocial values while being fun and entertaining.
A Halloween favorite of mine, Room on the Broom by Julia McDonald does just that.
This tale of a kind witch who shares her broom is just such a story, demonstrating for young children in a concrete way what grown-ups mean when they talk about sharing.
The rhyming saga of the witch, her cat, her broom and her fellow passengers will delight your young child and make you smile. The illustrations are fantastic, and the message that there is "room on the broom" for others, is happily repeated as the witch encounters a sweet cast of characters who have rescued and returned her blown away hat, bow and wand to her.
When things go wrong, and the broom breaks, those same characters work together to scare off the dragon who has appeared suddenly and is threatening to eat the witch. Nothing says cooperation like four friends rising from the bog as a sticky and terrible beast directing a bully to “buzz off”!
This Halloween classic, it was first published in 2001, does a wonderful job of reinforcing prosocial behavior while getting into the spirit of Halloween. Sometimes replacing the lecture with a sweet tale about kindness goes a long way in helping young children learn about sharing.
Enjoy the book, “trick or treating” and all of the season’s celebrations.