Do you ever look around at people in the world today and think that something has gone terribly wrong? I see YouTube videos of fist fights between children, girls video blogging racist rants against their peers and mothers beating each other on the subway while their babies watch. I even read a story recently about daycare workers starting a “fight club” for the toddlers that were left in their care. I can only imagine what the mothers of these children thought as they watched their babies (again, on YouTube) be encouraged to beat each other by the very women who were being paid to keep them safe.

Basic morality and common decency is harder and harder to come by. One of my greatest wishes as a mother is to teach my children to be generous, forgiving, industrious, gentle, kind and humble people. I have been a mom long enough and have enough kids to know that people with those character traits are not born, they are made. Parents have to take responsibility for their children and actively teach them values.

I few months ago I saw a book on The Redheaded Hostess that looked like a perfect addition to our character building bookshelf: The Story Hour Library by Barbara Saylor. Before I could order it I was offered a chance to review it. What a blessing!

This book is a wonderful resource for parents! Within the pages are 50 book suggestions and their summaries each with activities to help teach character traits to children.

After the table of contents there is a list of values and the stories that correspond with them. Along with a summary, each page shows the list of character traits taught within…discussion suggestions…activity suggestions…and a worksheet for the kids.

The summaries are concise and very well done, so if you don’t have a chance to pick up the book itself or if your library doesn’t have it, you can still teach the lesson!

I love this and my kids get excited every time I get it out. We sit at the table after breakfast and they stare at me with wide eyes as I tell them the stories and then we talk about the meaning and morals. While I don’t like to have conflict in our home I am always grateful when I have stories to draw upon to show them how to handle those situations. When a child is being impatient I can remind them of Natasha and Babushka’s doll. When they are being lazy and procrastinating, all I have to do is mention the ant and the grasshopper.

Stories teach my children how to behave far better than lectures and punishments and it’s such a blessing to have simple children’s stories to help them handle real life situations and relationships.

As parents we need to instill these values in our children. I want my children to stand tall as men and women of character and integrity. Without morals and virtue we are nothing more than animals (as YouTube has so painfully shown us). I highly suggest picking up The Story Hour Library by Barbara Saylor. It would make a wonderful addition to family devotionals, family home evening or just good old fashioned story time.

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