Setting Healthy Boundaries – A Kid’s Story Retold

One of the most important ways to set your child up for success is by teaching them how and when to set healthy boundaries. Growing up in an environment that values hard work and kindness may subconsciously teach us to perceive unrealistic requests as normal and something we must do. However, sometimes saying “no” is the way to go.

Take a look at an alternate ending to Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” a book that follows around a young boy as he grows to adulthood and a tree. The tree does everything it can to fulfill the wishes of this boy, from his youthful desire to swing and play, to his monetary wants of his middle age, and finally to his last wish of using the tree to create a boat. Silverstein leaves readers with the somber image of the old man and his penultimate use for the tree – simply sitting on the stump.

The relationship between the personified tree and boy lead some to feel uncomfortable with the apathy of the boy as he uses the tree over and over again. The rest is from Topher Payne’s blog:

“Just read ‘The Giving Tree’ as usual, right up to the point where the Boy comes hustling for a house. Then feel free to print these pages and paste them over everything that follows.

‚ÄčThe alternate endings are available for you to print for free. If you enjoy them, I hope you’ll consider a donation to The Atlanta Artist Relief Fund, which is providing crucial assistance to my colleagues during the COVID crisis.”

the tree who set

healthy boundaries

by Topher Payne


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