Be Proud Book Summary
In Be Proud, a young boy sneaks out with a toy that his mother told him not to play with. (character trait issue: honesty)
The old oak tree in the story helps the boy realize that even if he doesn’t get caught by his mom, the boy knows in his heart that he is doing something that is not ok. The boy decides to return the toy so he can be proud of himself for doing the right thing. (character trait issues/character building: conscience, honesty, respect for others, self esteem and self confidence)
When the boy still feels badly for trying to hide in the first place, the tree helps him understand that making mistakes is part of life and that if he learns and tries to make things right again, then he should forgive himself and move on. (character trait issue: forgiveness)
The boy returns the toy in triumph at having made a good choice all on his own. (character building: self esteem and self confidence)
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Discussion Guide Answers
Why was the boy hiding behind the tree?
He was hiding because he knew he was doing something he was not supposed to. He wasn’t being honest and he knew his mom would be disappointed.
Being honest doesn’t just mean “not lying”. It also means acting in a way that you don’t have to hide what you are doing. If you have to hide what you are doing, you are probably doing something you shouldn’t.
Why did the dad’s heart hurt when he was a boy?
Because even though his mom didn’t know he’d been dishonest, he knew in his heart that he was doing something that wasn’t ok. His conscience told him that what he was doing wasn’t in line with what his family thinks is right.
How was the boy treating his mom by breaking the rules?
He wasn’t showing her respect because respect for others means showing them that you care about their feelings and well being. The boy might not have agreed with his mom, but sneaking and being dishonest was showing her that he didn’t care about her feelings.
Which feels better in your heart, doing something you aren’t supposed to or doing something you are supposed to?
Doing something you are supposed to do feels much better. Feeling badly about yourself for making a bad choice, even if no one else knows about it, is no fun. So when you are considering making a choice that doesn’t feel right in your heart, think of how good your heart will feel to do the right thing instead. Think how proud you can be of yourself for making the good choice. This is called listening to your conscience. Your conscience is the voice in your head and feeling in your heart that tells you if something is right or wrong.
The boy still felt bad even after he decided to put the toy back. Have you ever had trouble feeling ok after making a mistake? What can you do to feel better?
Everybody makes mistakes (even moms and dads). The important thing is to try to make it right, and learn from the experience. If knowing how bad it feels to make a bad choice helps you make a better choice next time, well then something good came out of having made the mistake.