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Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids (Bucketfilling Books) Paperback – October 1, 2015
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From the Author
This book was first published in 2006 to teach young children, primarily ages 4-9, how to be bucket fillers. Since then, bucket filling has spread around the world to help millions of people of all ages have happier and more rewarding lives. In this revised and updated edition, the verbs "bucket dipping" and "bullying" have replaced the nouns "bucket dipper" and "bully" to help readers understand that "bucket dipping" and "bullying" are negative behaviors (what we are doing) and not permanent labels (who we are). Readers will also learn that you can fill or dip into your own bucket.
I first learned about bucket filling in a seminar for early childhood educators in the 1990s. The speaker, a brain research expert, said it is helpful to think of every person as being born with an invisible bucket. The bucket represents a person's mental and emotional health. You can't see the bucket, but it's there. She said that it is primarily the responsibility of parents and other caregivers to fill a child's bucket. When you hold, caress, nurture, touch, sing, play, and provide loving attention, safety, and care, you fill a child's bucket. Giving that love is filling buckets.
In addition to being loved, children must also be taught how to love others. Children who learn how to express kindness and love lead happier lives. When you care about others and show that love by what you say and do, you feel good and you fill your own bucket, too.
As you read this book with children, use it as an opportunity to model this concept by filling their buckets. Tell them why they are special to you. Help them imagine whose bucket they might fill and what they could say or do to fill a bucket. Tell them whose bucket you filled that day. Practice with them to become daily bucket fillers. Very quickly they will experience the pride and joy of filling buckets.
Learn more about bucket filling through our website, bucketfillers101.com, and be sure to sign up for our free e-newsletter, BUCKET FILLOSOPHY® 101. Keep filling buckets and your bucket will always be full.
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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.