Llama Llama Calmer Mama: Kids' Books that Model Gentle Parenting
Llama Llama’s tired mama
Read her books to stop her drama
Over and over the same books she read
From the moment she woke up until she went to bed
Llama Llama’s tired mama
Talked to her girl about her drama
She used the words from the stories she read
And watched them work into her heart and her head
Little Llama still throws fits and shouts
But mama’s more peaceful when she goes to time outs
My girl loves to read. She soaks up stories and loves to read the same ones over and over again. We read all kinds of books, and I’ve found myself parenting a little differently because of some of them. I try to use quotes from some of our favorite books to remind my girl of what they say when her world is falling apart. At less than two, I realize she probably can’t make that kind of mental leap herself, but it also reminds me not to overreact to my girl’s outbursts.
When my girl falls apart when I walk to the other room, I remind her of Llama Llama Red Pajama and say, "Little llama, don’t you know, mama llama loves you so, mama llama’s always near, even if she’s not right here.” If she falls apart in the store or during other errands, I remind myself of Llama Llama Mad at Mama and try to redirect my girl and make our project into a fun activity.
It doesn’t always work, but I definitely find myself controlling my own emotions better. I also hope that my girl will at some point, start to make those mental connections and realize the lessons we learn from the books.
I think we’re all better moms when we’re calm and in control of our emotions. Let’s face it, we can’t control our kids’ emotions and reactions, but we can control how we react to our kids. Here’s one way I do a better job being on top of my game.
Some other great books that model gentle parenting:
Sleep Like a Tiger - This little girl doesn't want to go to sleep. Shocker! But the way her parents guide her through her bedtime routine anyway is a great reminder that opposition doesn't always have to turn into struggle.
Valentine Foxes - This mama is trying to make Valentine's special while her brood of four little foxes keep making messes and derailing her plans. I admire her roll-with-it attitude and how she adjusts her expectations as a mom of four "helpful" little ones.
Knuffle Bunny - This book is a great reminder that just because our kids can't talk yet, doesn't mean they don't have something to say. Even though tantrums often happen for no reason at all, sometimes your kids surprise you!
Chrysanthemum - The parents in this book have a small but important role. Each day, their daughter comes home from school and reports that she's been picked on. What I love is that you never see them march up to school and talk to the teacher. They love on, support and encourage Chrysanthemum, but they also let her situation work itself out. Kevin Henkes' other books are also wonderful.
Next time your little llama is causing drama
Try to think about llama’s mama
Your little llama may be bad,
But you don’t have to get mad
Take a moment to find your cool
And remind your llama about the rules.
Jenny Ditch lives in Illinois with her toddler and often amuses herself with lame rhymes and silly songs.