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Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids Hardcover – October 15, 2007
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When I read it to my daughter that evening, however, I found a major flaw in its premise. The book does a great job of creating the bucket analogy, but blatantly states that you need "others to fill your bucket". While it does circle back around to explain that filling the bucket of others (i.e. by being kind, helpful, etc.) can help fill the child's own bucket, I think it misses an important point - kids can fill their own buckets!
Unlike other reviewers, I didn't feel like it created co-dependence, but I do think it gives the message that a child needs the affirmation of others to have a full bucket. There is no mention of talking nicely to and about themselves, appreciating what they have, expressing gratitude for what they have, recognizing their own strengths and skills, seeing the beauty within themselves - all of which fill their own buckets.
I don't believe that one book will define a child, but this book certainly does loosely make the case for being approval and praise junkies - not a message I want my kid to take away from a book. It would have been a far better book if it had included the ways you can fill your own bucket, because there are times in life when that is the only way your bucket is going to get filled. And it would be a far better skill to have than waiting around for someone else to fill your bucket!!
Personally, I told my daughter flat out that the author made a mistake and we discussed all the ways one can fill their own bucket. Because of the beautiful illustrations and the springboard for the discussion, I left it at three stars. But I would not recommend this book to any parent unless they are willing to have more in-depth conversation about it.
This is one book every elementary teacher should have. And one book each teacher should discuss with their children.
It was good in that it dealt with both adults and children (but it only showed children being mean to other children...I think it is important to give children permission to realize that adults can be bullies also...including their own parents and teachers. Often children think the authority figure is just "right" and accept whatever is said to them.)
It was good that it said that a bully dipper was someone that says or did mean things that made others feel bad. And that they did this because they thought that the could fill their own bucket by dipping into someone else's bucket.
It was good that it told the reader that when they did good to other they would feel good and fill their own bucket.
BUT what I wished it had also said was just TWO more things:
1. That you can help fill your own bucket by saying good things to yourself everyday.
2. That when you realized someone was dipping into your bucket...that you could help stop them from empting your bucket by asking yourself, "Is this 100% true?"
I would have like a few examples with each like:
BULLY: You are stupid. BLOCK: My mother says I am smart, and so do my friends...or they say I am nice, loving, good....
What IS stupid? I am smarter than my little brother, does that make him stupid? Sam is smarter
than the bully, does that make the bully stupid? IS what the bully said ALL the truth? (of course
this needs to be a little simpler maybe...but that's the idea.)
BULLY: You are ugly. BLOCK: I may not be the prettiest person, but I am OK. I like how my hair looks. My dog thinks I am
beautiful! So WHAT IS the truth? I have a zit right now, but the rest of me is OK, I am NOT ugly.
I think that it is IMPORTANT that we take responsibility for ourselves, and our own thoughts and feelings and not just wait for things to happen TO us. I think that is important to teach to children, that though what others say or do to us can hurt us, we can help prevent this and heal this. Otherwise we LEARN stinking thinking, and often don't change even when we become adults.