what is the giving tree really about

We Need to Talk About The Giving Tree

For those of you who dont remember, The Giving Tree is a childrens book about a tree who happily gives what she can to a young boy. First, she gives him shade. Then apples. She even lets him carve initials into her. As the boy grows up, he needs more. So he takes her branches and eventually cuts down her trunk. Oct 08, The Giving Tree is a mystifying story of a boy who asks a loving tree to give him everything, still has academics, religious scholars, parents, and activists scratching their heads. If you are looking for a story with a clear and simple resolution, then The Giving Tree probably isnt the book for you. In fact, fifty years later, Shel Silversteins story is still prompting lively debates over its meaning.

This story was originally published on Oct. But when we read it, something felt wrong. Sign up now to get NYT Parenting in your inbox every week.

As he grows up, he visits her repeatedly. He takes her apples and sells them for personal profit, removes her branches so he can build a house, and chops down her trunk so he can build a boat and sail away.

In the end, the tree has nothing left to give and is reduced to a stump. Despite being poignant and beautifully written, it was kind of depressing. Research shows that people who care about others and neglect themselves are more likely to become anxious and depressed.

Self-sacrifice is a risk factor for burnout and declining productivity. For example, selflessness predicts emotional exhaustion among nurses and low productivity among engineers. They scored higher on concern for themselves, too. Paradoxically, being less selfless actually allows you to give more : Instead of letting other people sap your energy, you maintain your motivation. Although the tree seems to take joy in giving to the boy, their relationship is entirely one-sided.

Even an editor of the book, Phyllis Fogelman, felt that way. Instead, this book should be used as a starting point for conversations about healthy behavior and healthy relationships.

In a healthy family, giving is not one-sided. Of course parents make many sacrifices for their children, and they should. In each scene, we find out that taking from protein skimmer how to set up tree makes the boy happy. The tree has mastered the formula for raising a spoiled child. Neither the boy nor the tree are good role models for our children, but their mistakes are lessons that we what is the giving tree really about use.

The book was written in a different era, when etiquette and manners were often how do i delete books on my kindle touch focus of child-rearing. Half a century ago, parents were less worried about their children becoming self-centered. Today we live in an age of immediate gratification and filtered selfies.

In a world where there is cause for concern that children are growing more entitledwe need better role models for generosity. Research suggests that the role models in the stories we read to our children can have a lasting impact. And when children as young as 4 pretend to be strong-willed characters like Batman or Rapunzel, they focus better on boring tasks.

Imagine the tree had not been reduced to a lonely stump, but had been surrounded by a whole forest of other trees. Imagine a what is the giving tree really about ending where the boy, now grown, returned with his own children to visit the tree. Imagine a new generation of children swinging from the branches and resting in its shade. Imagine the kind of lesson that would be. It can be a joy something you choose to do for the benefit of others. Home Page World Coronavirus U.

Site Information Navigation

Apr 15, If you ask parents to think of a childrens book about generosity, The Giving Tree is usually the first and often the only one they can name. But heres the thing: Its not really about. Sep 10, THE GIVING TREE is a fable about giving (not always wisely, but deeply) and taking (often without thought but almost always with profound consequences). It follows the relationship of a boy and a tree, from the boy's childhood through old age. This is deservedly one of the bestselling children's books of all time.4/5. Oct 17, As its name suggests, the story is a tale about giving. The tree gives the boy her branches to hang from when he longs to play, apples to sell when he needs money, her branches to build with when.

It may come as a surprise that many of your favorite childhood books, from authors such as Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak, have been deemed unfit for reading in the US.

In fact, each year hundreds of books are challenged or removed from schools and libraries. The Giving Tree was banned from a public library in Colorado in because it was interpreted as being sexist. Some readers believe that the young boy continually takes from the female tree, without ever giving anything in return. As the boy grows up, he always comes back to the tree when he needs something, taking until the tree has nothing left to give him.

The Lorax by Dr. Members of the logging community were so upset by Dr. The Lorax has also been criticized for its excessive portrayal of consumerism. The Once-ler represents a greedy America who wants the latest and greatest items, regardless of the consequences.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Harriet the Spy was challenged in at a school board meeting in Xenia, Ohio, where some argued the book encouraged children to disrespect their parents by lying, talking back, cursing, and spying on others. The female character of Harriet was also believed to be a bad influence on children because of her abrasiveness and improper behavior. It has also been challenged several times for its images of witchcraft and supernatural elem ents.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. James and the Giant Peach has been banned and challenged several times since its publication, namely, for being too scary for its targeted age group. The death of the aunts has been targeted as an exceptionally scary part of the story.

It is also believed to promote poor behavior , such as diso bedience and, as some references note, communism. Back to Blog September 28, Five children's books you didn't know were banned. Seuss Dr. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh Harriet the Spy was challenged in at a school board meeting in Xenia, Ohio, where some argued the book encouraged children to disrespect their parents by lying, talking back, cursing, and spying on others.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl James and the Giant Peach has been banned and challenged several times since its publication, namely, for being too scary for its targeted age group. Engaging communities. Empowering students. Become a Reading Partner.