Living in the midst of COVID-19, this podcast episode was really apropos. Host Gabriel Spitzer speaks to Mohr Lone of the University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children as they discuss Arnold Lobel’s book, Days With Frog and Toad.
The story by Lobel begins with Frog leaving a note for Toad. In the note, Frog said that he wanted to be alone for the day. Toad didn’t understand, so he sought him out. He found Frog and asked him why he didn’t want to be friends anymore.
Frog told Toad quite the opposite—that he loved being his friend, and that’s why he wanted to spend the day alone… so he could meditate and think deeply about the matter. So, for the remainder of the day, the two spent the day alone, but together.
Lobel’s deceptively simple narrative conceals important lessons for children and adults about solitude and friendship. Some of them are:
What does it mean to be alone with someone else?
Can you be lonely in the midst of other people?
Is it wrong to want to be alone sometimes?
Is there value in solitude?
This is a great way to jumpstart conversations with your homebound kids about the difference between being alone and being lonely. Also, for parents, do you feel the need to fill every waking moment of your child’s time with activity, or can you teach them the importance of a healthy amount of alone time?
July 2020 Issue