The Truth

‘The Locket’, a play based on The Truth and Secrets and More!

The Locket by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

A magical, complex one act play in which a woman frustrated and hurt by a serious argument with her husband, is led back to her own strength and coping skills by discovering her childhood diary and the locket hidden inside of it. Magic happens when the girl, her own self from childhood appears to share wisdom and sorrows with her. They are also visited by an Enchanted Person and an invisible character, know as Self, to further assist them in understanding how to recover from emotional wounds and disappointments. Bits of magic and psychological wisdom happen to the very last line. Anyone who has had a fight with a spouse or family member, or is old enough to know that family life is not simple and that even being 10 or 11 can be filled with angst will enjoy this play.

‘The Locket’ will be played at The Grange Playhouse at 4860 Rt. 9, South Howell, NJ on March 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20. Tickets are $18 regular admission, $15 for seniors and students and are available by phone at 732-768-2709. Showtimes are 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 3pm on Sundays. Megan Brown plays the Girl. Karen Bowden plays the Woman the Girl becomes. Gabriella Scerbo plays the Enchanted Person and Fred Weintraub plays the Woman’s husband.

New Short Film, ‘The Truth’, By Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Addresses Social Media Use By Teens And Tweens

New Short Film, ‘The Truth’, By Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Addresses Social Media Use By Teens And Tweens- http://bit.ly/1QsjJUX

Bullies, Yes They Are Out There

http://dailyconnections.ebru.tv/en/Segments/family/398.html

This short interview of me on Ebru television is filled with my suggetions as a positive psychologist and educator in how to stay alert for bullies.

Bullies are scary. We have to stay alert as parents. Watch for certain signs. If your child’s marks are falling down, she cries easily, she just seems different, talk to her. Stay alert. You have every right to be an alert parent. You can always call the guidance counselor or the teacher and see if anything is going on in school.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to be a listening mother, who is aware of your child. Lecturing is not what it is all about.

In The Truth (I’m I girl, I’m smart and I know everything) the girl shares how terrible she feels when her mother walks away from her when she is trying to talk to her. She wants to know from her own mother when she needs a bra. She really doesn’t want to ask someone else’s mother!

Don’t forget, mom, put down the cell phone when your daughter is checking in!

Also, more advice: be a good role model for your kids. They do model off of you and they want to be proud of you.

What I am saying can’t guarantee that your child won’t be bullied, but the more full your home life is, the happier the home is with you staying in charge as the ‘parent,’ the more you will be on top of any changes and be able to help your daughter.

DR. BARBARA BECKER HOLSTEIN INTERVIEWS ALLY VALDEZ, POET AND WRITER, AGE 13

I am very excited about this real life interview with a budding poet and fiction writer. Ally is a student at the Manasquan School in Manasquan, New Jersey. I had a chance to meet Ally when I went to talk to Girl’s Club at the school about being a writer, as well as a psychologist and sharing my first book in The Truth Series, The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything). Since then Ally has shared with me many of her writings and poetry. I am very impressed. She speaks from the heart with eloquence, spirit and humor. I hope she goes very far as a talented writer and poet. Enjoy our interview!

1. When did you become interested in writing poetry?
I became interested in writing when i was young but then forgot about it and put it aside for the 1-4th grades. In fifth grade i was praised by my teachers and started writing again. Then in 6th grade i put it on hold for the summer. This was the first year i truely found my calling.

2. Can you remember your first poem? Can you share it?
Yea i remember my first poem, i wrote this when i was 3 or 4 and my dad wrote it down for me. Here it is:

Dad is the wind which carries me through the day
Mom is the sun who brights up my day
Kiki (my sister) is the stars above
And me? I smile

3. How do poems come to you?
Wow this is a great question. Poems come to me like a shooting star but more often. Sometimes ill be sitting in math class, taking notes and ill just spark. My friends like to call it overdrive because ill have a two page poem finished in 2 minutes. And sometimes ill write poems in my sleep

4. When did you start to write other forms such as fiction?
I started writing other forms of writing when i was in fourth grade. I remember writing a story called “The world behind the water” it was about my friends and a story about atlantis, then this year i really got a kick out of it

5. Can you share with us one of your favorite poems that you wrote?
Dear Heartbreaker,

You are sick

You stabbed my heart

Until I couldn’t cry

Dear, Heartbreaker

You’ve have made me

Un-satiable to your effects

On my soul

Dear Heartbreaker,

You stole my heart and

Toyed with life

I was the marionette

And you held the strings

But then you randomly decided

To cut them

Dear Heartbreaker,

I love you

6. Are there adults in your life who have encouraged and helped you on your writing career? Who were they and want did they do for you?
Yea there are many adults who have encouraged me and helped me. My teachers Mrs.McWilliams and Mrs.Kim- they both taught me what i needed to know and encouraged me to go out there. My principal Mrs. Carlolson has been supportive of my writing and funded my classes. My friends Alice and Tess(even though they aren’t adults) have proved to me that i am a really good writer even when im hard on myself and have inspired me. My best friend Griffin too. He was there to read my writing and encouraged me to go out there and not care what people think. You, Dr.Holstien have encouraged me the most and have helped me truley go for it. I’d like to thank them and you for all the help and encouragement.

7. What advice would you give another young person interested in writing poetry or fiction?
If your interested in writing then go for it. If its a passion and you live and breathe it then your on the write track. If its your passion then just go for it submit your writing to publishers like Teenink.com ( i have a subscription to they’re magazine) where they publish everything imaginable. Show your teachers and get yourself known. Develop a portfolio and look at those old notebooks because there may be some gems in there. And most of all don’t care what people may think is weird or strange about your writing you’ll be surprised.

8. What are some of your dreams for your writing?
Some of my dreams for writing are to become an author and speak to kids around the country-maybe even world. I have always wanted to have my own colum in the New York Times. I’d also like to become has famous as Robert Frost or Edger Allen Poe.

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – Selfie Filmmaker And Positive Psychologist Barbara Becker Holstein Provides Powerful Resources And Solutions For Kids And Their Parents

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – Selfie Filmmaker And Positive Psychologist Barbara Becker Holstein Provides Powerful Resources And Solutions For Kids And Their Parents – http://bit.ly/2Sgwp4H

School Shooting Lockdowns Can Traumatize Young Children – Award Winning Author, Psychologist And Selfie Filmmaker Barbara Becker Holstein Helps Open The Doors Of Communication Via The Selfie Project

School Shooting Lockdowns Can Traumatize Young Children – Award Winning Author, Psychologist And Selfie Filmmaker Barbara Becker Holstein Helps Open The Doors Of Communication Via The Selfie Project – http://bit.ly/2MbKqio

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – What 2019 Holds For Kids On Social Media According To Selfie Filmmaker And Positive Psychologist Barbara Becker Holstein

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – What 2019 Holds For Kids On Social Media According To Selfie Filmmaker And Positive Psychologist Barbara Becker Holstein – http://bit.ly/2PJ67Xw

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – How Selfies Are Transformed Into Therapy For Young People

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – How Selfies Are Transformed Into Therapy For Young People – http://bit.ly/2Pfm4sY

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – Kavenaugh Hearing Reveals What Teens Deal With Every Day Says Award Winning Selfie Filmmaker Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – Kavenaugh Hearing Reveals What Teens Deal With Every Day Says Award Winning Selfie Filmmaker Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein – http://bit.ly/2IEw6xp

First Annual Selfie Film Awards Sponsored By The Selfie Project By Award Winning Selfie Filmmaker Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein Now Open For Submissions

First Annual Selfie Film Awards Sponsored By The Selfie Project By Award Winning Selfie Filmmaker Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein Now Open For Submissions – http://bit.ly/2wZLrnq

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – Selfies Change The World Says Award Winning Selfie Filmmaker Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – Selfies Change The World Says Award Winning Selfie Filmmaker Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein – http://bit.ly/2O5Gu2n

Tween and Teen Danger Around Holiday Time

Anyone raising a child realizes how exhausting and difficult it can be to be a parent. At every stage of development there are problems: How to potty train?; separation anxiety starting school; nightmares; siblings fighting; poor eating habits; whining; loss of a pet; getting adjusted to a new school; bullying; friend drama; etc.

But perhaps nothing equals some of the anxiety, rage and panic a parent can have once her child reaches being a tween and then a teen. Looming in front of her are all the reports on drugs, drinking, overdoses, suicides, guns, constant social media, YIKES.

And now it is holiday time. Parties, presents, time off from school. How can we stay alert to tween and teen danger this time of year?

1. Never to late to sit down with your tween and teen and go over the rules of your home. That can include among your unique rules such as shoes off at the front door, more general rules such as curfew hours, chores, cell phone usage, keeping you up to date on where your child is, money constraints, etc.

2. Rules are great but you don’t have to stop with the formality of the do’s and don’ts. It is a perfect time to talk about values and issues. Tell your tween or teen what your values are around such things as alcohol, drugs, sex, vulgar language, etc. Don’t be afraid, they want to know what you think about serious matters. And make sure you are clear about what is legal in your state. If the drinking age is 21, or even 18, if she is 17 and invited to have a beer at someone’s home, there is only one clear answer. “No, thank you.”

3. Most important is to help your tween or teen understand that you are on their side. No matter what tight spot they may find themselves in, they can always call upon you for help and guidance. Yes, you may be angry and at times even have to ‘act like a parent’ and yell or insist on things going a certain way, but it all comes from love and having taken on the responsibility of helping your child grow up to be a wonderful adult.

Take a look at this film clip from ‘Help From Beyond, A Coming of Age, Selfie Film’. https://vimeo.com/247253509 I directed, wrote and am now creating the finished product. It spins off of my two books for girls, tweens and teens: The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen. In this scene the girl has gone to a party where there is drinking. Her mother is furious but also concerned. Can you relate to this scene? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Take This Pill, or You Won’t Have Any Friends!

Imagine this: Your teenage daughter is at a party. You thought the parents were home, but later find out they were out part of the evening. During their absence, a bully threatens your under age daughter who by this time is feeling sick from drinking too many beers and is in the bathroom, leaning over the toilet. The bully, a girl she has had intimidate her before, walks in and threatens that if she doesn’t take this pill she hands her, she will make sure that your daughter looses her friends. A terrible situation. Right? Unbelievable? No. In fact, teens endure various combinations of being bullied all the time. Nowadays bullies are more blatant, hurtful and dangerous that a generation or two ago.

Why you may ask. The answer is complicated. Certainly one reason is that social media makes it possible to bully someone 24/7. This means that there is no real down time for kids. Many often they feel watched and talked about even during the night.

In this film clip https://vimeo.com/269770320 you see the bathroom bully played by Rachel Gesner and the girl, thankfully not your daughter, played by Megan Brown. Let’s imagine ahead a bit. Even if the girl figures out a way not to swallow the pill, by morning she may find that many of her friends have taken sides, due to the bully reports on social media. Perhaps some side with the bully. The girl may wake up to find herself isolated socially. Once out there, reputations can be damaged no matter how far from the truth the supposed ‘truth’ is.

What do you think ‘the girl’ in the film clip does? Does she swallow the drug?

What happens later? Does the ‘bully’ do anything else to her or does she believe
‘the girl’ swallows the drug and lets her off the hook this time?

What can any of us do to help our kids, whether our child or grandchild is the bully or the good kid?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Help your child recognize that she is special. Praise talents and encourage real strengths. Help her appreciate their heritage, and share with her your history, mistakes, successes and positive values. Make little of her failings whenever possible.

2. Help her develop her talents, strengths and potential. Maybe no one in your family wanted to play the oboe, but she wishes to and hates sports. Listen to what works for her or her and help on that path. There are plenty of other kids who can do whatever your child would prefer not to.

3. Spend time with her everyday. Get to know her friends. If your home can be a place for kids to come and relax at it will give you a great window into your daughter’s reality.

4. Spend private conversational time with her where you can ask about bullying, how school is going, her concerns, etc.

5. If she is having a problem with another girl or several kids stay on top of the situation. Ask her if she wants you to intercede or not. If she can handle it great. But stay on top of the situation and make clear you will intercede if necessary. After all, you are the parent. You are her protector and that must be honored by both of you.

Falling in Love, Do’s and Don’ts

“I’m in love. I thought I would fall in love when I was much older, maybe 15. Not today. I was sitting in class, reading, when the door opened and this new kid walked in. As soon as I saw him I knew. I felt excited, like I suddenly had a secret. “Our eyes locked.” I read that in a book that my mom had by her bed. It was true. When I looked into his eyes, I felt we had known each other forever. Looking at him made me feel all fluttery inside. I wanted him to sit near me so badly I could have died. (film dialogue for ‘The Truth, a Short Film)’.

Falling in love can be sudden, as it was with the girl in my film, based on my book, The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween or it can be slow and steady as many couples have reported who started their married lives with an arranged wedding.

The sudden burst of attraction and then the obsessional thinking that goes with it, is what I’m talking about in this article. Is there anyone who hasn’t been there? Certainly most of us can remember the first time we were overtaken by an uncontrollable attraction.

It may happen as young as five, at least that’s what several women have reported to me.

For me, I was thunderstruck by a boy at nine years of age. Of course I didn’t run off with him into the sunset. In fact, he probably was totally unaware of my passion. It lasted for three years, although by the third year, I had just about given up and stopped thinking about him. The fact that I had grown taller than he didn’t help either.

What advice to I have to the delicious dilemma of falling in love? Should I just say, enjoy it? That depends. If you are of age to date and the feelings are reciprocated then you can proceed. I would say, with caution.

Why with caution? Simply because our biological response that we call ‘falling in love’ comes along as a normal biological reaction to keep the race going. That said, the instruments used to arouse the feelings of being in love may not be the wisest parts of us. That aroused sensation that floats between our minds and our lower parts is lovely, but probably hasn’t much ability to do higher level cognitive thinking.

The truth is, we have to be smart about fall in love. Otherwise it can take us to all the wrong places. Here are some tips if your young daughter falls in love:

1. Don’t make fun of her. Listen, be sympathetic and share some of your own early feelings about love and even some of your early adventures. You being real will be very helpful to her.

2. Encourage her to stay involved with her school work, hobbies, sports, etc. This is the time of her life for her to develop talents and skills that lead to a successful career and the opportunity to be financially independent if she chooses.

3. If it is appropriate for her to spend time with the kid she is in love with, encourage her to invite him over to your house.

If on the other hand, it is you that suddenly finds yourself in love, here is my advice:

1. TRY to not rush into a full romance. Get to know him a bit, and his friends, his hobbies, his values, etc.

2. Do a variety of things together, some you choose, some he arranges, and see how each feels.

3. Watch for deception. You don’t have to be a detective, but just be alert. People are not always who they say they are.

4. If you keep feeling in love, move ahead, whatever that means to you. Just realize that the first waves of infatuation are biological and eventually simmer down. Then what you are left with can be a real attraction, a sharing of values, a sharing of interests, a sharing of goals and desires. If this is the case, move ahead with all the excitement, fun and planning that joining up with a partner demands.

5. If you find you are not sure and it just isn’t feeling right, then by all means get out of the relationship. Falling in love is just one stage of being with the right person.

Going back to me, I moved at age 11 and fell in love with someone else at age 13. Oh, and then I fell in love with someone else at age 14. Oh, and then…. at 23 which is when I felt all the right feelings and guess what? I got married.

Good luck. All of this biology has been with us for tons of years. It helps us meet raise children and have relationships, but it isn’t perfect. However, it is good enough!! Happy Loving!