Growing up, I used to spend hours on the floor in front of our family record player listening to Free To Be, You And Me. A project of the Ms.Foundation for Women, this album launched in 1972, with Marlo Thomas at the helm. According to Wikipedia, Marlo produced this album because she wanted to teach her young niece, “that it is acceptable to refute or reject the blatant gender stereotypes in children’s books of that time.” Regardless of still being able to recite most of the skits and lyrics from that record, I have to admit that I too learned a great deal of serious and valuable life lessons, at a young age. The lessons covered a wide variety of topics, such as: children empowerment, gender stereotypes, race relations and so on. The lessons were shared through song, story, skit and with lots of upbeat humor and reality.
I recently read Marlo Thomas’s biography “Growing up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny” and it got me thinking about children’s books, videos and cds – which led me to wonder what’s out there? And, is there anything similar to “Free To Be, You And Me”. Not having any children of my own, I’ve lost touch with what kids are growing up reading or having read to them.
So my questions to you all, as parents and friends, are:
- What do you read your children that teach them the bigger life lessons?
- Are there good role models out there, that your children want to listen to/learn from – that you also like?
- What topics are missing from children’s books?
- What books are your children reading or drawn to and why?
I know that many of us are very busy so feel free to answer any/all of the questions, whenever you have the time. Your help is much appreciated. Please pass along and repost and if you have any questions – shoot me a note via my Contact page.
Thank you and take care!