Forward by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein:

I am excited and pleased that my first assistant journalist is now aboard The Truth for Girls website. She is Linh from Vietnam. A school girl herself, who read The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) several years ago in Vietnamese, she will add a depth and richness to articles that only a young girl can. Linh found me after reading The Truth and writing to me on e-mail. She is a talented, insightful, hard-working girl and I am thrilled to add her wisdom and advice to www.thetruthforgirls.com and to the Face book page:  Truth for Girls.

Assistant Journalist, Linh, from Vietnam writes:  Summer Is On Its Way! 

Summer is on its way. Everything around us is changing rapidly : the weather, the temperature, and our life as well.

At this time, what are you doing ? Before looking at your own list of activities to join during summer, let’s see if anything below may interest you.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERATraveling: The arrival of summer means we now can leave our studies behind. After a busy school year with so many lessons, exams and stress, students worldwide are given a permission to begin their relaxing summer vacations.  What is the first thing you think about?

For me, it is traveling.  First of all, we have time; to be more exact, we have spare time. During year, we must concentrate on our work and studies, so we do not have enough time to spend on traveling. Now, with summer, there is not a barrier that prevents us from doing anything that we want.

During summer vacation, I often go traveling with my family, or my class.  Each journey helps me broaden my knowledge and change my attitude to the world outside. For example, it is common knowledge that each region has its own features, such as history, customs, and so on.  We can accumulate a wide range of lore and then become better educated for our dreams ahead.

200304242-001Playing sports: Summer is also good time for us to practice playing sports. If you want to keep fit and shape, playing sports maybe the best to satisfy your demands. In the summer, there are a lot of sports clubs and gyms or swimming pools being opened for people to come and practice. Some popular sports during summer are, for example : badminton, swimming, tennis and more. Last summer, I went swimming and attended a badminton club.

Swimming not only gives me a healthy body, but it is important for safety.  If you can swim, you are able to avoid unexpected dangerous circumstances and protect yourself from most threats related to water. Therefore, personally, of all the sports, I prefer swimming. What about you ?

Attending extra classes : Apart from spending most of your time relaxing by traveling or playing sports, it is a good idea for you to enlist time to participate in extra classes.  During summer vacation, whether I like or not, I try to arrange my timetable to learn in extra classes to enhance my knowledge. Thanks to this, in the next school year, I tend to do better in the subjects that I kept learning during summer. Perhaps you also enjoy studying in the summer?

Doing charity : If you look around you will find unhappy and less privileged people. Homeless people, children with disabilities, orphans,…are people who actually need help. Although we are just little children, I think we still can give them a hand. For example, you can help children who live in an orphanage or in shelters.  Why not start a group of your friends or classmates to help?  Your group doesn’t  have to raise money, but you can hold campaigns that urge people to show more concern.  Maybe you can get people to donate book bags, picture books, new summer clothing or other items.  In some places like where I live, we can even go and visit and play with disabled children who live in an orphanage.  I’ve gone with my mother and I played with the children.  Remember, all the things you do should be from your heart. You are not helping less fortunate kids to build your reputation or draw attention of others to you; you are acting for your community.

These are some activities that you can take part in during summer vacation. Summer is great time for you to color your life with different activities, and I think after summer vacations, you will become more experienced than ever before!  Please write back on this blog or send your thoughts to drbarbara@enchantedself.com or share on the facebook page, The Truth for Girls.

 

A little about me Lihn:

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Hello girls ! My name is Dang Thi Hoai Linh, and you can just call me Linh if you want. I’m 13 years old and I’m Vietnamese. I live in a beautiful two-story house in Haiphong City, Vietnam with my family members, including my paternal grandmother, my parents and my little brother. My hobby is writing and I actually love imagining my own stories. Beside that, I also like taking photos when traveling, especially landscapes. This is the first time I’ve ever become an assistant journalist and written articles about aspects that I’d like to show more concerns about. Truthfully, my biggest dream is to study in the United States in the future, so I’m very grateful to Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein who always tries to give me golden chances to learn and experience. I hope that all of you will be interested in my articles and help me get more experiences in writing. Thank you and see you soon in my articles !

Best regards,

Linh ♥

The Truth for Girls is Today’s Girl Doesn’t Want to Be Just a Sleeping Beauty!

This girl looks like she is having a lovely night’s sleep and that is wonderful. We want our kids to sleep deeply and walk refreshed. But don’t think they want to be in a fairy tale like Sleeping Beauty! No way. Today’s girl is full of energy and life and she isn’t going to sit around or nap and wait for prince charming to come along on a white horse.

child sleeping

We, now adult women, may have believed, and some of us still believe that we will be saved by the right man finding us. Thankfully, more and more girls in todays world assume they will make their own way as well as find a suitable mate. They don’t always wait for a fellow to call or text them. The chase is more mutual as it should be.

What does that mean in terms of raising a daughter? It means we really have to work hard to make sure our girls grow up strong with good self-esteem and lots of resiliency. And how do we do this?
By building on their strengths, talents and potential.
By not ignoring their feelings and ideas.
By spending direct time with them, without the distraction of technology.
By laughing and sharing parts of yourselves with them.
By going places and doing acitivities together and remembering good times.

And of course by encouraging their sense of self through the written word. There are many books that are great books for girls. Little House on the Prairie never goes out of style! Little Women helps to build character. There are 100’s of these classics. And in today’s world there are great books for girls. The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is a wonderful place to start building self-esteem with your daughter or granddaughter. It is an easy read and you can have a great discussion after every page. If she is 8, read it together. If she is 9, 10 or older, after she reads the books sit and discuss the questions in the back and discuss page by page.

Have fun making sure your daughter or granddaughter is no Sleeping Beauty!

Author Dr Barbara Becker Holstein talks about children’s anxieties and how to help

Secret Diary Entry not in The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything).

I just finished reading A Summer Camp Miracle Story. Angela said she loved the book so I borrowed it from her. In the story Jackie goes away to camp and has all sorts of adventures, both bad and good. She wins an award for paddling a canoe the fastest and she makes lots of friends. But something bad happens. She almost drowns in the deep end of the lake. It’s a long story. She gets saved by the senior life guard and has fun at the hospital having her lungs checked out cause she swallowed so much water.

I don’t think I should have read the book. It made me so afraid. I’ve always been a little afraid of swimming in deep water and now I’m really scared. I don’t want to go to the beach this summer. What am I going to do? Kids are supposed to love to go to the beach. Who can I tell that I am pertrified? I don’t want to die that way.

I can’t tell Angela. She’ll think I’m a baby! I can’t tell me mother she will tell me I’m being ridiculous and that I’m a good swimmer.
I can’t tell my dad cause he was so proud of me when I passed the intermedite swimming test.

It’s times like this I don’t know what to do with myself. Can you help me Dear Diary?

———————————————————————-

We often forget that kids have lots of fears and concerns. Even something they have appeared to have mastered can worry them again. They get triggered by upsetting information just as we do. The girl was triggered by reading a story where a child almost drowned. Even though the girl in the story was fine, the girl was left with increased anxiety and concern. And to top it off, she didn’t know where to turn.

We have to make sure as parents, teachers, grandparents, etc. that we are there for kids to turn to. We need to be alert to mood changes and/or remarks. Hopefully, the girl will get up her courage and ask the right person, or one of her parents will notice that she looks upset. Our job in real life is not to leave a child to just roam freely with anxiety and concerns. Our job is to pick up on nuances and spend enough time with our kids that we help to quiet the fear.

Great books for girls contain universal truths, as does The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)

Do you remember as a child knowing the truth about a lot of things? I remember clearly. It may have been something small, like the litter in a public restroom. I knew at six that people should have made sure the litter got into the pail. Sometimes I even picked up other people’s paper towels to make sure. If my mother had seen me, she might have been rightly concerned about germs!

I also remember knowing that a lot of the fights my mother and father had and even fights I heard my grandmother and grandfather having were silly and not worth it. I wanted to stop them, but I didn’t have the power. However, I did promise myself that I wouldn’t fight over stupid things when I grew up.

Did I keep my promise? Somewhat. I wish I could say 100% but life is tough and I didn’t realize as a kid that I would still have to deal with moods and emotions when I was a grown-up.

In my book, The Truth, the girl makes a lovely list of the things she promises to do when she grows up. It is simple and rings true. Here is her list: Things for Grownups to Remember: Don’t be mean to animals; Try not to swear for a month; Don’t fight with anyone you love; Don’t put people down or call them names; Believe your child if she tells you she is in love; Answer a kid’s questions; Listen to their ideas.

It’s a good list for even us grown-ups. We might not always succeed but trying is better than not. And the world will be a better place! So let’s put our best foot forward.

Our kids will thank us, so will animals, so will people we don’t fight with and think how nice everything will feel without much swearing going on!

The Truth for Girls are Universal Truths Ring a Bell for All

In one of my interviews on Askimo televison I answered many questions, including but not limited to:

How does our behaviour as children have a bearing on how we will be as adults?
How will understanding your 12 year old self impact your life positively now?
How does shyness affect us as adults?
How can we connect with our inner child?
How can we nurture the best of ourselves as we grow older?
Can we hold on to the energy and confidence we had as a child?

I want us as paretns and grownupse to realize that the way we were as kids affects the way we behave as adults and even our feelings and emotions. At the same time we need to honor aspects of ourselves that are part of our history as they contain the strengths, talents and potential that often lie dormant and you might even say, afraid to come out, within us. Our ‘inner child’ is calling out to us on many occasions. We need to learn how to listen and turn on our inner resources, no matter what our age.

On the other hand, we have to always remember to listen and connect to our children and grandchildren. The ways we handle them will have an affect on their strengths, talents and potential for the rest of their lives! There is no way around bringing up a child. Ignoring a child or not treating a child appropriately always has lasting consequences.

In The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) the girl speaks from her heart in her diary about all her struggles and her successes growing up. She is speaking The Truth for Girls for all young girls. She resonates so much with us because her voice is an universal voice. We all had hopes and dreams and problems growing up. And we all wanted to be heard. And we still want to be heard and understood as adults. These are the simple truths that make the world go round! Let’s keep it turning at full potential!

Good Girl Books Help Girls Grow Up Strong and Happy, such as The Truth

For a girl to grow up strong and happy in today’s world she needs all the assistance she can get. Hopefully, she will have good parents who love her and are devoted to her care. Hopefully, she will have a chance to receive a good education. She will also need good health care, a safe place to live, clean water and good food, lots of loving relatives and good neighbors. Of course, she will also need friends that don’t bully and opportunities that cater to her particular talents, interests and potential.

This does sound like a lot, and I guess that is why they say ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’.

Thankfully, lots of us do manage to grown up to be grown-ups in pretty good shape. Sometimes it is almost a mircle.

But one thing that really helps the process are good books to read that help a girl grow socially, emotionally and intellectually. There are many.

As a positive psychologist I did feel though that we are lacking in books written to help girls grow up feeling strong, happy and sure of themselves. Books that could really take a girl in and let her identify with another girl who manages to conquer all the negatives in her life and stay whole. Books written by a psychologist!

I decided to fill that gap, at least in part, with The Truth Series. In these books, The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) and Secrets (You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine…maybe), we get to know a girl, inside out.

Good Girl Books include The Truth and Secrets

You may be wondering about the purpose of The Truth for Girls. This is where as a positive psychologist and an educator I showcase two great books for girls, The Truth (‘m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) and Secrets: You Tell Me Yours and I’ll Tell You Mine…maybe. These books, part of The Truth Series, are diaries written by a girl who encapsulates the hopes, dreams and reality issues that young women face growing up. She is wise and yet still a child struggling with every growing up issue from crushes, to sibling problems, parental fights, having to move, a death in the extended family, a new baby, girlfriend problems, bullying, trouble in school, and having to figure out a way to grow up strong, happy and resourceful. The girl gives kids, parents and teachers a way to enter into fruitful discussions around all of these critical subjects.

How can we not be influenced by a young girl who has the courage to remind us that it is painful to listen to swearing. It is painful to have a teacher who is dismissive of our thoughts and answers. It is painful to have parents fighting over trivial subjects. And it is painful to worry about growing up and not feel that there is anyone who can take the time to really listen or to answer questions.

Also, how can we not fall in love with a girl who has such courage and determination to make the most out of her life? Whether it is a small thing like feeling the wind as she rides her bike down a hill, or a big thing like finding a way to hold on to some secrets that make it easier to grow up, she is going to be a winner. And isn’t that what we want for all of our kids?

The Truth is We Need Our Inner Child All of Our Lives for Energy, Creativity and More!

I wrote The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) for many reasons.  Perhaps the most important was to help girls hold on to their inner child as they grow up and to help us adults get back to your inner child.  Did you realize how precious she really is? 

Do you realize that she holds many of your dreams, your wishes, your hopes, your aspirations?  She even holds your strengths and potential.  She has your coping skills all neatly there from childhood if you need to grab them again!  She can guide your to what will bring you true happiness.

Find out what I mean in the following video I need for Askimotv.

I Have a Secret to Share About Myself!

When I was in the third grade I couldn’t read and I was ashamed. I pretended to read by trying to memorize some pages in the reader. I sat in agony hoping the teacher didn’t call on me. Phonics just made no sense to me. I couldn’t understand what the teacher was trying to teach when she gave us different sounds that different letters made. I loved Miss Johnson, my teacher, but school was scary. Someday everyone would realize that I couldn’t really read past the first grade level!

But Miss Johnson was going to save me! And that is what you will find out now by listening to my video. She saw more than I realized and she knew how to turn a deficit into a talent!

And see, not only was I saved, but I ended up writing two easy to read books for girls and tweens, The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) and Secrets: You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine…maybe, so that other kids could feel comfortable reading about growing up in a way that didn’t task their reading skills! There is enough in life to task all of us!

VALENTINE’S DAY CAN BE AWFUL OR WONDERFUL!

Sometimes as parents or teachers or grandmoms we forget the pain and suffering that go with certain milestones in growing up. One of those milestones is Valentine’s Day. In America we celebrate the day with fervor and make a lot out of it.

I remember in elementary school it was very important to me that my mother let me buy packages of Valentine’s for the whole class. Some years they were finished Valentine’s and some years I had to punch them out of the paper that held them. And some were more personal than others with cute sayings. I would have a method to my madness and of course my closest friends got the most pretty and personal cards. I supposed most of the kids had the same method. And there in lay the first potential trauma of that day. Would my best friend Lynne, send me one of her best?
I would only know once the Valentine Box had been opened and some lucky child was picked to be the first person to hand out Valentine’s. That was a treat also. Sometimes I was chosen, but often not. It only took 4 or 5 children to get them all passed out. I was only at peace that day when I opened my Valentine’s and felt remembered.

My video is here to remind all of us grown-ups that children have very deep and powerful feelings:

The Girl had a crush which even made her feelings more dramatic on Valentine’s Day. Not all girls and tweens have crushes. But still be sensitive to the fact that the girls in your life may take Valentine’s Day very seriously. Here are a couple of suggestions to weather the day:
1. Make sure you have remembered the girl(s) in your life in a way that she will feel very special.
2. Be sensitive to her feelings as the day approaches. Maybe share your own memories about the holiday.
3. Ask her if you can help her in any way. Maybe she would love to make cookies or fudge for her special friends and you can have some fun in the kitchen together!
4. Most of all, make sure she knows that she is Your Valentine!
~ © Barbara Becker Holstein .