Welcome to Behaviour Stories!
This week’s story is the second in a series of illustrated tales to read aloud with children.
Each story contains a problem, which parents and children solve by communicating and understanding each other. If I teach about a certain technique in an earlier post, then this story will give you an example of how to use the technique. If your child enjoys the story, you can read it again and again, which will allow the story’s message to sink in more deeply.
For example, this story teaches families to use two important techniques:
- replacement behaviours
Because his mother is able to connect with him, Wolfy learns to express his needs in a better way.
When the story is complete, you will find some bonus questions to help you dig in and discuss, a key element of stories that teach. Let’s begin!
Once upon a time, there was a little wolf pup named Wolfy.
He lived in a little cave with his mom and dad. The cave was a bit small, and quite dark, but it was warm and dry, so they were happy.
The only problem was that when the wolf family was all in there together, it was a bit crowded, and sometimes Mom and Dad would accidentally step on Wolfy’s tail.
Wolfy’s sharp baby teeth would bite his mother or father’s paws, and make them jump up in the air.
OUCH! They would HOWWWWWWL and YELP and remind Wolfy of the rule:
“Remember, no biting!”
One day, Wolfy’s mother got ANOTHER nip on her paw, and she was very sore. She yowled very loudly! Then she took a deep breath. She said “Wolfy, I notice you are having some trouble following the rule about no biting. What’s going on?”
Wolfy said “Well…. I have to bite you, because you step on my tail!”
Wolfy’s mommy said “Oh my goodness! We step on your tail? We didn’t know! We’re so sorry!” and she howled “Owwwwwwwww!”
Wolfy licked his mom on the face and said “It’s okay, mama. I know.”
Wolfy’s mother said “What are we going to do about this? I will try not to step on your tail, okay?”
Wolfy licked his mom again and said “Thank you!”
Wolfy’s mother said “Well, what will we do if there’s another accident? Hmmm… I’ll tell you what. I will teach you something new. Listen!”
Wolfy’s mother growled: GRRRRRRRRR.
Wolfy’s eyes got very wide. “WHAT’S THAT?” he said.
“It’s growling!’ said Wolfy’s mother. “We can growl when there’s a problem, instead of biting! Let’s try it together! GRRRRRRRRR!”
Wolfy growled with his mother and wagged his tail.
Wolfy’s mother gently put her paw on Wolfy’s tail. “What can you do if you feel someone is going to step on your tail?”
Wolfy laughed and said “GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!” “Perfect!” said his mother, and took her paw off his tail.
Wolfy wagged his tail and said “Growling is fun! But Mom? we should also try to get a cave with windows.”
Ed. [The ending was inspired by my son, who paused in the middle of a story to suggest a different way to solve the problem: They moved to another cave and it was not dark. It had windows.]
What problem was Wolfy’s mom having?
What problem was Wolfy having?
How did Wolfy tell his mom when he needed help?
What’s your biggest problem at home?
How do you tell your mama when you need help with this problem?
What can your mama do to help?