Kinder Book Club & Help the Hungry Week 1 Review

Our family has completed the first week of Help the Hunger month, and it has inspired me to dig up a book I raved about  last year.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for you to Read with  Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire by Dharmachari Nagaraja, is a treasure.

This book is worth a second post. Actually it is probably worth a post for each of its stories. I’m happy to report that a year after we bought it, it is still much-loved.

This past week my husband and I have intentionally raised the issues of hunger, generosity, and sharing as much as possible.

Our first week of Help the Hungry month wasn’t flawless.

We missed at least one of the daily counting tasks, forcing us to hastily double up the next day. Our conversation starters fell short a few times when Miss First-Grader and Little Miss Four were just too tired at the end of the day to sit in their seats during dinner, much less talk thoughtfully about how life might be if dinner didn’t magically appear. And reappear an hour later when squirrely girls remembered they were hungry.

Still, the on-going nature of this project and our discussions has had an impact on them.

Yesterday the girls remembered and requested a story from Buddha at Bedtime, which has hidden at the back of our bookshelf for several weeks.

We spent a lazy Sunday morning revisiting “The Small Bowl of Rice,” the tale of a grouchy, miserly rich man who gets terribly lost. He receives the generosity and kindness of a man who offers to share his own small bowl of rice with the wealthy man as well as his well-fed dog. The generous man is so generous, in spite of meager circumstances, that the miserly man is inspired to take up his habit of generosity. His first step is to welcome the poorer man into his home.

The concluding mediation is this:

Greed and selfishness spoil things for everyone. A wise person realizes that the way to true happiness is through sharing whatever they have, no matter how little that may be.

While the story hardly introduces the girls to what hunger must be like, it teaches an important lesson and clearly makes an impact. We haven’t read that particular story since last winter, and yet, when hunger and generosity became the topic of our house, Miss First-Grader especially thought back to this tale.

Are you taking up Help the Hunger month in your house?

If you haven’t yet, consider making it Help the Hungry Week and just participate in the first week of counting (detailed here). You can still raise money for a hunger relief charity and get your kids talking!

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About Sarah

Sarah Aadland is striving to make family volunteering a meaningful habit for her family of five. Join the conversation as she ponders what they may (or may not have) learned and looks for helpful information about raising compassionate kids.Though she plans to one day put her Masters in Public Policy back to work for social justice, she sees family volunteering as a way to build a stronger community, a better world, and a more connected family. In addition to her children, Sarah tends a large garden, a small flock of chickens, and a habit of mindfulness amid the necessary rituals of parenting.

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