Brie and Baby Three: Help for families and best books with a message

Posted at 8:43 AM, Mar 08, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — In this week's video I sit down with Safe Passage, Executive Director Mo Basenberg. Every year, Safe Passage serves more than 1,000 children and non-offending caregivers in the midst of abuse investigations.

A majority of the children have suffered sexual abuse and Safe Passage staff is specially trained to handle these most difficult cases, making them the regional resource for child sexual assault services.

They have their biggest fundraising event of the year coming up on March 14th. Tickets are still available. More information:


I also want to share with you my list of 10 inspiring children's books with messages for parents and kids:

Big Brothers are the Best by Fran Manushkin

This is a helpful reminder to mom and dad that siblings can help too. It gives specific jobs that you could allow big brother or sister to do once the baby gets here.

It also let's them know how special and important they are, but that the transition isn't a simple or easy one. There's the reassurance of that special time with mom and dad will still be there.

This book is a big plus for me because my kids look like the characters in it. Little blue-eyed towheads.


The New Baby (Little Critters) by Mayer Mercer

It's a classic, funny and heartwarming book. Bringing home a new baby is tough for for the whole family and this book shows the true struggles that older siblings experience.

At first Little Critter tries to do things like making silly faces, reading his sister books, showing her toys and playing games... all with no reaction. He's frustrated that she won't play back, but slowly learns new ways to interact- things like cuddling, holding and loving on his sister. By the end he loves taking her on walks and showing her off to friends.

It did a great job of showing children that what they are feeling is normal and that growing a family can be hard and rewarding.


The Room in my Heart by Beverly Evans

Every child needs to know that Mommy's love will always be there. This book takes the approach of a conversation between a mother and child. The mom explains to her first-born that when another baby comes along her heart only grows bigger.

She says she has special rooms in her heart for different things: one for Daddy, one for her child, and then another one that is growing for the child she is pregnant with.

Throughout the book, she makes metaphors explaining how her child might have to share a room with her little sibling when it's born, but she'll never have to share room in her mom's heart.

Such a sweet and reassuring message.


What Am I Feeling? by Dr. Josh Straub, Christi Straub

Plot Summary: After several unchecked feelings threaten to ruin the big day, Sam and his friends start to learn how to give each emotion a name and ask God to help them remember that “a feeling is just a feeling—it’s not in charge of you.”

In a world where kids are dealing with everything from sibling rivalry to bullying, divorce to tragedy, it is so important that we validate our children's feelings.

This book is huge in helping them recognize and work through their emotions, as well as develop empathy and self-control. As parents, we know how frustrating that ride can be.

They get frustrated, excited, nervous, sad, jealous, frightened, worried, angry and embarrassed. They usually don’t have the vocabulary to talk about how they are feeling. This book has an awesome pull-out chart you can hang on your fridge. My kids love to make all the different faces.

"A feeling is just a feeling, it's not in charge of you." While it's a book aimed at children we as adults can benefit as well.


Hands Are Not for Hitting by Martine Agassi, Ph.D.

It's never too early to teach tolerance and that violence is never okay. This book teaches kids how to manage their anger and other strong feelings.

A simple message that hands are capable of positive and loving actions like counting, making music, and playing. It also has a section for adults with ways to further this discussion and activities to practice.

With two ornery boys on my hands it assures them that they have the power to choose not to hurt people. They get to decide that and that makes all the difference. It also gives more positive alternatives to hitting when you're frustrated and life isn't fair.


Let's be Honest, P.K. Hallinan

When the character tells a tall tale or hides something he breaks, he admits his mistakes.

It's a tough subject explained so simply. We always preach to our kids to "tell the truth". They don't know what that means. This is a great place to start with teaching little ones values.

It's an easy ready that tells kids how important it is to be honest and that it's okay to make a mistake here or there, but telling the truth will set us free.


No, David by David Shannon

Plot Summary: David is young and mischievous. He often gets into things that he should not. He feels that the only thing he ever hears from his mother is “No, David!”. However, the story ends with the assurance that David’s mother loves him very much.

Have you ever felt guilty for yelling at your kids all day. Gone to bed questioning, "Am I a good mother?" Well apparently you're not alone.

This book was created by a five-year-old told through his point of view.

Maverick thinks these books are hilarious and with his mischievous personality he can relate to David. Because of this, it's also easier to teach him (and I) a lesson throughout these simple reads. It's a message of following rules through the cause and effect of misbehavior, while knowing you are comforted by unconditional love.

We love this whole series of books "David gets in Trouble", "David Goes to School", "Grow up David", etc. Anyone that has ever been around young boys will appreciate these books.


Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud

It’s an important lesson to teach and remind us all, from time to time, that showing kindness and appreciation of others goes a long way to making this world a better place.

It builds upon the idea that we all carry around an invisible bucket to ‘hold your good thoughts and good feelings about yourself.’ A full bucket means that you’re happy; an empty bucket signifies sadness or loneliness.

Kids learn that other people’s happiness should matter to them.


The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

This book celebrates the dreams, acceptance, and love that parents have for their children… now and forever!

It is full of imagination for babies and bigger kids. It's creative and clever and helps to express all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their kids.


Love you Forever by Robert Munsch

Plot Summary: Love You Forever is a story about a mother’s continual love for her son as he goes through the stages of adolescence to manhood. Every night his mother sings to him “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be”, while rocking him as he sleeps. In the end, the man then drives across town, holds his mother in his arms and sings to her “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my mommy you’ll be”.

The best for last. This is my very favorite book in the world! If you know anything about "Love you Forever" you know it has a very sad story behind it, but it also hold endless lessons of unconditional love.

This breaks gender stereotypes set in place by society. Women are seen to take on the more nurturing role. This shows the son turn into a father, showing his affection for his mother and daughter. Gender should not define our ability to show affection.

The Circle of life. It delves into a deeper concept. The story explores a young boy's life, but also the mother and her journey through aging.

For me this book can be read at all ages. It is beautiful, sentimental, and empatheticly written.

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