“Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw
Stephen Covey’s son Sean brings his father’s classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to a younger audience. This book uses seven different stories to illustrate each habit in the original book. I bought it for my kids who were five and under at the time and only the eldest was able to pay attention, understand and enjoy it.
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids tells stories of seven characters who live in a place called 7 Oaks. In each story, the main character has a challenge or problem and finds a way to resolve it, learning an important lesson in the process, a lesson that is the main habit that is being illustrated in the story.
For example, Goob is a bear who’s into the outdoors and bugs. He sees a bug-collecting kit displayed in a shop, a kit he’s always wanted but knows he cannot afford. Goob makes a list of things he wants to do, including saving and buying the kit. When he earns money he keeps saving until he can finally afford to buy the kit. He also manages to make extra to go have fun with his friend.
Goob’s story emphasizes the importance of writing down your goals. This comes from the second habit in the original book – Begin with the end in mind. In the kids’ book it says, “Have a plan.” At the end of the story there are questions and tips to help you have a discussion with your kid.
All the different stories take the same shape. A good and fun story or adventure, overcoming an issue and a valuable lesson. I found that kids can easily understand and relate to the characters, therefore able to also understand the key lesson, especially if you also discuss it with them and ask questions.
It equips kids with important principles. It teaches them responsibility, the benefits of planning or setting goals, teamwork and having a balanced life from a young age.
If your inner child still gets excited over kid’s books then, like me, you may enjoy this more than the original. I’d recommend this to parents, guardians and teachers of children aged five and up. One story can be enough for the day and so you have more to go for six more days, and by the time you’re done you can start again or they can start asking for a specific story they liked.