Friday, September 16, 2011

Choices and Consequences

Choices and consequences is a very strong theme in the Sassy Pants series. For children to become successful members of society they must learn that consequences always follow choices! Another way to say it is that choices always lead to consequences. Some we will like and some we won’t! So we need to think carefully about our choices and the possible consequences and make choices in line with the type of consequences we want or think we can live with! The ability to project to the effect of our choices is a life skill and that is what parenting is about—equipping our children to be successful members of society.

Since Sassy Pants is about animals there seems to be no defensive reactions to seeing issues clearly. Children laugh and while they are laughing, the lesson hits home. It is not a large step for them to make the connection personally! Even adults love the story, identifying with various characters or situations along the way. I did a reading for an adult group and for one gentleman the reading created waves of nostalgia, as that was the way his mother had read to him when he was a boy! Another gentleman identified with the name calling when Sassy Pants was into her “barnyard bully” phase.

The story shows the different kinds of sorry, which fit in with choices and consequences nicely.

Several character traits are easily identified in the various characters in the story. As the child reacts to the different characters conversation can quickly go to, "did you like it when . . . ., how would you feel if someone did that to you?" To, "how did that work for him/her? Was it a good idea? And how would you want to be treated? Is that how you are going to treat others? What kind of consequence do you think will follow?"

Learning the easy way rather than the hard way becomes abundantly clear in this story! This theme is also is woven through other stories in the series.

The final issue is that of bullying which has become such a problem in schools today. Again, the consequences of Sassy Pants’ bullying are very stark: no one liked her or wanted to play with her or be around her. The story makes it quite clear that Sassy Pants chose to learn the hard way. She was given ample opportunity to change her ways and much advice to do so—yet she continued in her headstrong direction! Book I ends with her soaking her tush and her throbbing snout in the mud wallow and no one consoled her! The second book in the series begins with her friendless, crying her eyes out down in a little ditch where no one could see her cry!
The second in the Sassy Pants series, Sassy Pants Makes Amends, will be coming out around the end of the year. Stay tuned for a release date.
Blessings, Carol

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