STORIES THAT TEACH FORGIVENESS
By Dan Scott
Forgiveness can be hard. We all have this tendency to hold our hurt and carry it around like a
weight in a backpack. We just keep piling in those hurts, until we bend and break beneath the weight
of our bitterness. Even as adults, this is something we’re prone to do. No matter how we
try, forgiveness doesn’t seem to be our natural instinct. Imagine how difficult it must be for our
kids. They’re just learning to grapple with the emotions associated with hurt. Friends can be fickle.
Hurt people hurt people. And our kids are left aching from the hurt yet unable to process what
they’re feeling and find the path towards forgiveness.
As parents, we try and help them see how forgiveness will free them from the additional hurt
that comes. But kids are often too close to the situation to see any other option than letting
the bitterness sink in making way for revenge to take over. And so, our words fail us and we
need some help. Thankfully, we have stories.
Stories over time give us a perspective on life we can’t see on our own. Forgiveness is one of those
areas where stories can offer a perspective for you and your kids to discover a pathway out of the
pain to find a place where you can let go of that bitterness backpack you’ve been carrying around.
Here are several ideas for where to start with stories that teach the idea of forgiveness for
preschool and lower elementary kids, check these books out:
I Love My New Toy! - Mo Willems
No, David! - David Shannon
We All Need Forgiveness - Mercer Mayer
Will You Forgive Me? - Sally Grindley and Penn Dan
The Berenstain Bears and the Forgiving Tree - Jan and Mike Berenstain
The Forgiveness Garden - Lauren Thompson and Christy Hale
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse - Kevin Henkes
I Am Extremely Absolutely Boiling - Luren Child (Charlie and Lola Book)
Enemy Pie - Derek Munson
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