When I first read this new book by author Diana Smith, a huge smile popped on my face and I knew it was the perfect fit for Happy Science Mom. My Welcome Book is a beautiful book that is the perfect gift to give when a new baby is born or for a young child’s birthday. Its cheerful, bright, colorful illustrations and messages filled with hope and love will bring joy to you and your children.
The book starts by welcoming a baby into the world and explains that every child is born with a beautiful soul that is special and unique. Although we may not think about it often, it is so important for our children to realize how special they truly are. Give them a big hug right now and show them! Having a joyful spirit is essential to their happiness and success as they face life’s ups and downs.
My favorite part of the book is when the author asks children to keep an open heart to learn and grow, and to make kindness their priority throughout their life. “Remember kindness to others is all that you need to know.” Kindness is such an essential part of our toolkit for maintaining balance. Our brain chemistry actually changes when we do something nice for another person. Studies show that thinking about, watching, or practicing kindness stimulates the vagus nerve, which is linked to the production of oxytocin in our brain. Oxytocin is a hormone that soothes us, making us feel calmer and happier. Kindness also triggers the production of dopamine, the hormone responsible for positive emotions and that natural high feeling we get. As a result, we experience positive health changes including a decrease in stress and anxiety and less depression.
She also talks about not letting mean people—the bullies—bring them down and taint their hopes and dreams in their own life. Sadly, we see bullies at all levels of our society, from the school playground to government offices. It is shocking that nearly 43 percent of kids have been bullied online, according to PACER, the organization who developed National Bullying Prevention Month that is held every October. This book is a reminder that bullying is serious, but we need to give our children the love, support, and tools to be strong and not let the bullies win.
Next, she asks kids to not let their bodies, or appearance, weigh them down. Kids today are surrounded by all types of powerful images. The internet and social media are full of perfect bodies and beautiful people. It’s hard growing up in this type of environment with pressures coming from all directions that can chip away at their confidence and self-love. It is more helpful to their happiness and success if they focus on their mind so they can use their unique skills to make the world a better place.
The messages of kindness, togetherness, and community are so relevant today as we see so much bickering and animosity in the world. It’s up to us to end this toxic cycle and to teach our children that kindness trumps everything else. As Diana Smith writes in this book, “We’re here to love each other, be kind and caring. Accepting all people, be open and sharing. No need to fight, we can play and get along, to this Earth we all belong.” I hope this book brightens your day and gives you hope for a happier tomorrow.
My Welcome Book offers such positive messages that we can use to spur conversations and activities with our children about kindness and making the world a better place for all. Here are some ways to take the lessons from this book one step further:
Discover what they are thinking. After you read the book together, ask your children what they think about what the book is saying. What acts of kindness did they perform today? What ideas do they have to show kindness in the future? Who has been kind to them recently? Have they ever been bullied, and what did they do about it?
Look for family volunteer opportunities. I encourage all of you to explore volunteer opportunities in your local community that you can do as a family. There are so many ways that you can give together.
Perform random acts of kindness. Sign up with Random Acts of Kindness Foundation to spread kindness in your community.
Add good deeds to family dinner time. For those of you feeling overwhelmed by your schedule and not sure how to fit in volunteer activities, start by adding an act of kindness to something you already do anyway–make the most of your family dinner experience with a few big-hearted tweaks.
Teach your children lovingkindness meditation. We must love ourselves before we can offer kindness to the world around us. Prepare your family to help others by practicing lovingkindness meditation together.
Guide your children in becoming ambassadors of love and kindness, not hate. Review this post that provides steps to inspire acts of love by your children.
About The Author
Diana Smith is an early education professional, “mompreneur”, busy wife, and mother of two adorable kids. They live in the gorgeous beach town of Yanchep, Western Australia. Originally from Dunedin in New Zealand, Diana’s love of reading came from her mother and big sister reading the wonderful stories of Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter to her at a young age. She plans to produce an entire series focused on life lessons for small children. For more information about Diana’s work and to purchase her book, please visit her website.
*This post was sponsored by author Diana Smith.