When our kids curl up on the couch with a good book, they are doing more than improving their reading skills and getting immersed in a great story. In many cases, they are learning valuable life lessons from the fictional characters that grace the pages. Here are a few examples of storybook heroes your kids can learn from:
Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: Your Brain is the Best Piece of Technology
If your kids love reading the same "Nancy Drew" and "The Hardy Boys" books that you did when you were younger, they may notice the lack of technology that they take for granted. The original stories were set back in the 1930s and the revised versions took place in the 1960s and 1970s, long before smartphones, tablets and social media were all the rage. By reading these classic books and cheering Nancy, Frank and Joe on as they escape danger, solve complex mysteries and capture the bad guys, your kids will learn that it’s possible to do all sorts of wonderful things without an electronic device tethered to their hands. After all, Nancy never tweeted out an SOS to anybody and Frank and Joe never used Google to look anything up; they persevered by using their wits.
Matilda: Friendship and Kindness Trump All
This classic tale by Roald Dahl is about an incredibly smart little girl who is surrounded by some of the most crass and obnoxious adults on the planet, including one of the nastiest teachers imaginable. Despite her frequent encounters and challenges from these horrifying adults, Matilda does not lose sight of who she is and what she wants to do in life. As your kids read about the challenges Matilda faces, they will also learn that friendship, kindness and perseverance win out every time. If your kids love reading the book and you live near New York City, surprise them with tickets to see "Matilda the Musical" on Broadway. This way your kids can enjoy an afternoon watching the characters come to life on stage.
Scooby Doo: People Are not Always Who They Seem
Since 1969, Scooby Doo and the gang have solved dozens of mysteries both on TV, in movies and in countless children’s books. While the stories are endlessly entertaining with the lovable Great Dane, his teenage pals and the assortment of cool-looking ghouls and monsters, they are also providing some good life lessons for kids. Among these is that you should never make assumptions about other people. That kindly librarian may end up to be the nasty villain who goes around in a phantom suit, or the creepy-looking hotel owner may be the nicest person in town. Another important life lesson that Scooby and the gang teach kids is to be wary of strangers — the characters are never quite sure until the final minutes who the bad guy really is, which offers a good reminder to kids that they should be careful about who they trust until they truly get to know them.