Positive Psychologist Barbara Becker Holstein Designs Amazing All Encompassing Approach To Help Teens And Tweens Build Self Esteem – http://bit.ly/2d9y6lK
#LikeaGirl Means Breaking Through The Glass Ceiling And Overcoming Old Ideas About Gender Limitations Says Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein – http://ow.ly/Jfz8k
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: The Top Technology Tool For Teaching Children Self Esteem And Resiliency – http://ow.ly/HEon9
ABC Series Premier, ‘Selfie’: Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist, Offers Insight – http://ow.ly/BYrcz
Selfies – The Good, The Bad And The Dangerous – Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein Urges Caution – http://ow.ly/vOaZG
As adults we forget how important mentors are to kids. A mentor can be a family dog that shares endless love, a teacher who never forgets to recognize and praise successes, a tree that teaches the comforts of just relaxing in the shade or even a television personality who is always there for a child to come home to. For me, one of my favorite mentors was Lucille Ball.
Oh, what ecstasy in my childhood to finish a dreary Monday by watching Lucy come to grips with her life in hysterical ways! She gave me courage to believe as a little girl that one could overcome adversity, have a life worth living, fill that life with positive emotions and fun, and stay happy even when faced with momentary distress. No one in the world could eat as many chocolates as fast as Lucy, working on an assembly line, bake a loaf of bread so large it overtook the kitchen, or carry a smelly cheese onto an international flight, wrapped up as baby! No one could make me laugh so hard!
Lucy has held the key to my humor heart at any time of day or night! Ah, I wish I could find her any time I need her — after a bad day, after bad news, after too big a dinner — after almost any occasion that could be buffered by a good laugh, and a comforting sense of the familiar.
What was her magic? How has she managed to take me to my Enchanted Self since I was a 10-year-old child, watching her in Fairfield, Connecticut on Monday nights? How has she engendered positive states of being again and again?
First of all, for most of us over 25, Lucy has become part of our history. She was always there, on a snow day, a day of illness, a late night when one couldn’t sleep. If you were lucky and flicked enough stations, there she was. Her smile was infectious, and her ineptness made us all feel comfortable. It was as if she revealed our most embarrassing moments for us. We never had to feel the shame or humiliation of tripping down the stairs with a giant showgirl hat on our heads or try to catch up with the real superman on the ledge to our apartment! Lucy did it for us. Yet, inside of each of us was the youngster that would have given anything to be in a show or looking for superman!
Secondly, she gave us the ‘real’ family that had a lot going for it, which not all of us had. They really seemed to love each other, they had good friends, they always made up when they fought, and nothing happened that was truly devastating. Silly mistakes were just that, and grudges were not held! They got to travel and meet famous people and eat in fancy restaurants! And, they had a baby and everyone was happy and loved the baby and no one was jealous. Lastly, they got to move up in life when they finally moved to the suburbs into a big house with lots of land and funny happenings. They even raised chickens!
What a beautiful world Lucy and her gang recreated for us. It was our country, our way of life, but on top of the familiar were humor, love, and always recovery from problems or embarrassments. In her own way she created positive psychology, before it had a name, for kids, tweens and teens.
In essence, she made the familiar the best it could be! She helped us live in our imaginations for a while, yet kept us earthbound at the same time. Yes, we were in states of well being, again and again — which is what THE ENCHANTED SELF is all about.
I realize now that she was one of my most important mentors. She was as important as Laura in Little House on The Prairie, one of the best books for girls that I ever read. Laura came to like in her books. Lucy came to life on our black and while tv screen. Thanks, Lucy! I hope I see you stuffing chocolates into your mouth again soon, so I can feel good about my silly moments and have another wonderful belly laugh!
In Secrets: You Tell Me Yours and I’ll Tell You Mine, the girl really worries about getting older and how hard it will be to be a teen. She is very aware. Aren’t all of our girls? She is writing a lot of songs, a few of them appear in the book. In one of the songs she says:
“What is in store for me as I get older?
How can I leave behind so much of me?”
Yes, we do leave behind parts of ourselves at each transition in life. And of course, we get new aspects to ourselves. It is very hard to transition. If you have had to move as an adult, or started a new job, or maybe lived through a marriage that fell apart, you know how terribly hard transitions can be. However, sometimes we forget how hard it is to grow up. It is but a distant memory as we go through our busy days. Yet we need to remember and to find ways to help our kids transition.
Can you remember being a kid moving toward puberty, and the teen years? I am asking readers for input. Here is what one reader shared:
“When I was growing up I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. My parents were not ever happy and I was always fighting with my brother and sister. The cool kids in school made fun of me because I was little heavy and most of my clothes were made by my mother or grandmother. We didn’t have a lot of money, in fact I cannot ever remember a time growing up where my parents weren’t worried about how they would pay the bills and put food on the table.
I was thankful that they made my clothes (and in some varity of my favorite color – red) and I wore them proudly but the feelings of shame and confusion because of the kids at school put me in an emotional whirlwind. Sometimes I didn’t know if I was coming or going!
I was worried about it getting worse as I approached middle school and having older kids around that would probably push me about and make fun of me as well. I was scared to death of getting older and things getting worse. I just couldn’t see that life is what I make of it and if I’m not happy with something then I’m the only one who can change it. At that age you are more worried about what your friends think, what rumors are being spread, your school work, and trying to have a little peace and harmony at home then to look at how you can better your own situation and emotional chaos.
Then there was my little sister who got away with everything, blamed me for the things she actually gets in trouble for and who I had to share everything with. We shared a room, had bunk beds, and I never had my own play things. In fact I was stuck with my sister in the same room until I was 17 and my older brother moved out but that is a story for another day and a whole different set of problems.
Growing up is hard, but I think if we stay positive and teach our kids that if they think positive and work towards shaping their life to how they desire it to be instead of following the herd that they can be happy, even during the emotional roller coaster of puberty!”
What a moving story. Our reader overcame many obstacles. And the truth is that most of us do come through puberty and grow up with strong resources, some degree of optimism, humor, caring for others, the capacity to love and many other great traits. But it isn’t easy, and we owe it to our girls to help them through the process with wisdom and support. That’s what I do in my work as a positive psychologist. You may be doing it as a parent, aunt, teacher, guidance counselor, grandparent.
Try reading passages together with your youngster from either The Truth or Secrets. You will find it fascinating, as feelings and thoughts and memories start to be exchanged. This is one of the most therapeutic ways to make sure you have really ‘heard’ and understand your youngster and the bonus is she gets a better chance to ‘hear’ and understand YOU! It is a win, win for both.
The Truth: I’m a Girl, I’m Smart, and I Know Everything
(now available as an ebook or a paperback)
For those grown-ups reading this blog: Do you realize that it is the ‘girl’ inside of you as an adult woman, who is your clue, not only to the real you, but to your energy bank of all the positive deposits that can still be withdrawn in your life now. These deposits have within them the sparks of emotional, physical and spiritual energy that you need to move forward to enjoy a meaningful fun life …
Also, do you want to know more about how to help your daughters to keep their positive energy alive as they grow up, so their self-esteem will stay strong and their zest for life will be terrific?
That’s what my life work is all about. Give me the an age of a girl or a woman and I can teach the same steps to help her either keep or get back the zest for life and the love of herself that she deserves!
Here are some simple steps to get you or your daughter started:
1. What you perceive to be your talents. Not what others tell you. For example, you may know you have a talent to get people in a better mood.
2. List your strengths. Again, not necessarily what others say. For instance, you know that you can think of new solutions to a problem even when others are ready to give up.
3. List your untapped potential. Go for this one. Dream on. Think about early hopes and longings and things you wanted to do. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem to make sense now. A dream to be a ballet dancer can get reinvented as a person who enjoys square dancing or walking in the sand.
Now circle one item that seems to me the most to you from each list.
Play with how you could use all three items (one from each list) or just one or two to further your happiness over the next year.
Remember PLAY right now in your mind. This is not an exam or scary. Let the creative spark come alive and watch it dance.
You will be amazed. I’ll be back with more!
In The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) the girl talks, at times, about not wanting to grow up.
Feelings about not wanting to grow up are common and often not discussed, as kids realize that most of the time parents expect them to want to grow up.
We as adults have often forgotten about how hard it is to move into adolescence. The bodily changes alone, are overwhelming. How many of us suffered with pimples, anxieties about getting our period, and all sorts of other issues? Just about all of us, although these issues may seem very far away now. I remember some mood swings that seemed to come out of the blue when I was 11. Hormones raging through my body, I’m sure didn’t help.
We have to be compassionate and helpful to those young ladies in our lives who are transitioning. Giving advise, and sharing about our own ups and downs as we moved through those years can take the pressure off a lot of what is happening.
The girl in The Truth realizes there are some great things about not being a grown-up yet. For example, she doesn’t have to earn a living. She can focus most of her attention on herself, her school work and other interests. Later in life it is harder to focus on ourselves. Multi-tasking takes over and there is little time for self-development.
At the same time, it is for most of us, a blessing to be part of a family of some sort, and to have a chance to participate in raising children. It is often exciting to work at a job and to have the power to make decisions about the course of our lives.
So really, all stages of life have their benefits and their losses. If we can stay light hearted as we see some of the pluses and minuses and keep a sense of humor, we can have such fun talking to kids about our stage of life as well as listening to the successes and frustrations that our kids feel about their lives.
The simple message is: Keep sharing. Your daughter will grow up even if she doesn’t want to for the moment. Don’t panic. Keep talking and sharing. Laugh and cuddle. Spend time together and give her your wisdom. But…make sure your don’t block out hers! She has wisdom also! Enjoy listening to it.
Starting a new school year, whether your daughter is returning to a school building she has gone to before, or you have moved and all is new for her, can be very upsetting. You may find your daughter nervous, perhaps tearful, not sleeping well or wishing she could go to a different school or even not go to school. Here are some ideas to help your daughter adjust:
Reassure her that it is normal to be nervous before we start anything new, even if we have done the same routines in the past. Tell her that you realize that sixth grade is not fifth grade, etc. and that you are on her side.
If you have moved or she will be changing schools, she may also be upset that she is leaving behind a best friend, or several good friends. See what you can do to make this transition less painful.
Maybe you can invite over some of her old friends for a pizza supper, or transport her back to where you did live so she can visit these friends.
At the very least, encourage her to stay in touch with them.
Also let her know that she will make new friends. It just takes time.
If you had something similar happen to you when you were growing up, take the time to share your story with her.
Try to get in touch with the feelings she may have. She probably feels lonely and/or jealous that her old friends may have new friends already to share with. These are very human feelings and you can do her a great service by sharing feelings you have had at times growing up and how they were resolved.
You daughter may also be scared that the work this year will be too hard for her. If she has already started school and complains it is too hard sit down with her and see what she is referring to.
Sometimes a child is correct and may need your help to go into school with her and sit down with her teacher or guidance counselor to see if the work is on the right level for her. Take her seriously. Even if she is exaggerating, remember it feels real to her for now.
Being your daughter’s ally can really help her. She doesn’t have the perspective we have as grown-ups to know that things feel strange when they are new. Help her understand that we are resilient to most situations and after awhile she will feel herself again and also feel relaxed and at ease in her new environment.
And best of all, with all of the above, by being your daughter’s ally, the two of you will grow even closer as you show you really care and you take the time to talk to her.