OH NO, GEORGE! by Chris Haughton is an adorable book about self-control. George really wants to make the right decision and behave, but does he? This is the perfect little book to read with young children to start a conversation about the fact that we are our choices. We choose how we behave.
Before we gain self-control, we behave on instinct and emotion. Over time, with proper limit-setting and lots of trial and error, we gain life experiences that teach us how the world works and what is expected. Self-control kicks in when we are able to take what we've learned and use it to regulate our behavior and make reasonable choices. We have to continually practice self-control, because other factors such as lack of sleep or stress can interfere with our ability to stay in charge of ourselves. If you drive a lot, I'm sure you've witnessed some type of road rage on the highway. Those drivers have failed to control their impulses. They are operating only on strong emotions. They have have given up their control. Giving up control, even unintentionally, is scary, and fear is the cause of a lot of negative behavior.
On the other hand, great satisfaction comes from staying in control. It allows us explore a balance between what we want and what we need, which is how we learn what is important to us. We learn that we are a part of something bigger and often find that positive experiences come when we curb our desires for the greater good. Most importantly, we learn that WE ARE OUR CHOICES.