Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss

by Caitlyn Stace

Life Lessons from Dr. SeussChildren rhyme nonsense syllables, improvise grammar and invent words. Theodor Seuss Geisel speaks their language. His rollicking rhythms and rhythms instill a love of language. His quirky wisdom teaches kids to create worlds with words and change them for the better.

Ted Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books for children under the name Dr. Seuss, and wrote additional books for children under the pen name, Theo LeSieg.

From gentle teases at childish behavior to lighthearted pokes at adult stuffiness, Dr. Seuss's magic teaches and entertains with syllables that you can barely roll your tongue around and silliness your imagination can hardly contain.

Which of these "lessons" have you or your child most enjoyed?

Individuality

"Today you are You; that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than You." ~Dr. Seuss, "Happy Birthday to You!"

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss

Creativity and Imagination

"Big Z, little Z, what begins with Z? I do.
I'm a zizzer zazzer zuzz, as you can plainly see." ~Dr. Seuss

I'm pindering, pondering, snaffarawrdawning. Your child's imagination moves into overdrive to pull up a picture of this critter and so many others.

Stubbornness

"I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I am." ~ Dr. Seuss, "Green Eggs and Ham"

"No!" The resolute expression and stiff body says it all. There will be no negotiation.

Dr. Seuss takes a small child's stubbornness to absurd extremes. Children read the book, giggle and learn a new skill -- when to say no.

Dreams

Dr. Seuss encourages kids to dream big dreams, in motion-sensing video, the panoramic view!

Why settle for seeing an ordinary horse on Mulberry Street, when your mind can see elephants and sleighs and police and marching bands?

Why limit your circus to ordinary lions and tigers and acrobats when you could have a Drum-Tummied Snumm, a Spotted Atrocious, and To and Fro Marchers striding on top of each other?

Inspiration

"And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!" ~Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

He shows children they have tools for mastering their world -- brains in their head, feet in their shoes, kindness, honor -- and encourages as them to reach for their goals.

The Power of Words

"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." ~Dr. Seuss, "Horton Hatches the Egg"

Horton believes that your word tells who you are and what you stand for. His tale teaches children to chooser words wisely and be prepared to stand behind them.

Perserverence

"Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. Oh! The places you'll go!" ~Dr. Seuss, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

The world might be scary. You might meet some "Bang-ups" and "Hang-ups." But keep moving and climbing. You'll get to the goal.

Problem Solving

"And what would you do if you met a jibboo?" ~Dr. Seuss, "Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!"

Well, what would you do?

Knowledge

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." ~Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

Like maps, reading enriches life's journey. What opportunities and entry points could this newfound knowledge open up for your child?

Humor

"ASAP. Whatever that means. It must mean, 'Act swiftly awesome pacyderm!'" ~Dr. Seuss, "Horton Hears a Who!"

Medicine goes down easier with a little sugar. Social issues become clearer with Dr. Seuss's humor and absurdity.

Champion for Justice

"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues." ~Dr. Seuss, "The Lorax"