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The Book Connection…: My Favorite Books from 2008!
By Cheryl
by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein My favorite book across all genres for 2008! Posted by Cheryl at 12:01 AM. Labels: adult non-fiction, Amazon, book review, children’s fiction, …
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Finding Joy after Relationships Fail

Maureen states, “I didn’t want the book to end. I want to find to what happens to the girl!”

Come and listen to this lively conversation about the psychology behind The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything).

Archives: Finding Joy after Relationships Fail with Maureen Staiano – Contact Talk Radio

The Truth is resiliency is important. Dr. Sandra Prince-Embury Discusses resiliency with Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, author of The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)

Dr. Sandra Prince Embury, nationally know expert on resiliency had this to say to Dr. Holstein:33a

The definition of resiliency is the qualities in the child, teenager or adult that allow them to face adversities and social pressures in a way that they can recover from, ride through, maintain functioning, and in some cases, grow, and function even better.  And what I consider the underpinnings of resiliency are basically core aspects of development. 

 The reason that I’m focusing on that right now, especially in children and adolescents, is that in society, we have had to face a lot of adversity, perhaps more adversity than in the past, and there is more of a focus on preparing our youth for adversity.  Of course, women are a special group in that there are special forces on girls and women that need to be dealt with.

 

But basically, it’s about surviving and dealing with adversity and maintaining your functioning and growing, even in the face of adversity.

One reason I wrote The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is to show girls how resilient they naturally are.  To learn to recognize their coping powers and their abilities to overcome obstacles and have fun in the process, by identifying with the girl in the book.  As she says on page 19: “I know a million ways to have fun.  I better know they because I feel so rotten when I’m picked last for kickball…”

 

What do you want in the next edition of The Truth(I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)?

19aThe book is selling so fast that I am already thinking about reprinting.   The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) was #6 in the top 100 on Amazon today in the category of BEING A TEEN.  Thanks to everyone who helped with that rank by buying the book!  And thanks for telling me that yes, there is a place for the world of positive psychology and fiction to merge!

So, I thought you might want to share some ideas with me.  In the next edition, would you like: 1. more secret diary entries that have never been public before?  2. Pages from the second book in the series where the girl is a year older?  and/or 3. More questions and activities you can do after you read the book?  Please let me know what you would prefer!

The Truth is: We have all had a crush! Dr. Holstein talks about crushes, and so does the girl in The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)

32aOn p.43 of The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) the girl says: “Paul and I are the same height now.  I grew this year and he didn’t.  My mother says that is common at my age.”

“I liked it when he was taller than me.  But I still love him.”

Yes, we have all had crushes.  I remember how in love I was with a fellow who took me to the movies when I was 13 and my family met up with his family at a summer resort.  I barely knew him but just sitting in a summer movie house for two hours with him and wow! holding his hand was enough.  All summer I waited for his letter that he had promised to write.  Day after day.  I carried the torch for two full months.  I couldn’t believe he hadn’t written.  After all, he had said he would!

My mother tried to console me and told me there would be lots of other boys.  Her kindness only partly helped.  I had to live through the esctasy and the agony myself.  Good news, by September, he was but a vague shadow in my past.  Someone else had my eye .  But that is another crush story!

How about you?  Who did you have a crush on?  What happened?  Was your mom helpful? 

And what about your daughter?  Does she share crush information with you?  Do you think she should?  Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is #11 in top 100 on Amazon for BEING A TEEN

I would think the girl in The Truth would enjoy knowing that she is captivating the hearts of girls and moms in lots of different places.  She loves to travel, but so far has only traveled to one place that wasn’t where she lived.  That was the time she got to take a ride in a small plane, sitting alone in the tiny cockpit, with the pilot directly in front of her.  What a ride that was.  Going up, up, up into the sky, seeing all the houses and then neighborhoods below her, and realzing that her very own parents had become tiny specks.  It was an amazing adventure for her, filled with a little fear, offset by holding the pilot’s hand.  Of course, he was handsome and dashing and that helped quiet her fears.  She came down all too soon, back to the somewhat dull reality of visiting her relatives.  That episode is on p.53 of the book.  (She tells it better than I can).

She would be amazed to hear that people are sitting at what looks something like a typewriter and ordering her book from a place called Amazon.  She does know about THE amazon from her geography class, but what is this?  Is her book being stored in the jungle somewhere? 

What I do know for certain is that she wants to hear from you.  So please write to her after you read The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything).  Tell her what your greatest adventure has been or have fun explaining what a computer is.  Be pen pals.

Mother-Daughter Book Club in Manasquan, New Jersey

I’ve been talking so much about my new book. But they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I thought all of you would enjoy seeing me in action with my book. Here I am with the girls from the Mother-Daughter Book Club in Manasquan, New Jersey. One of the girls, April, had read my book The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) this summer and recommended the book.

As you can see by our smiling faces, it was a wonderful night. I was so happy that all the mothers and daughters had read the book and were ready to discuss school, social, family and communication issues brought up in the book. See the paper heart necklaces I am wearing? Each of them has on it a question that April had prepared so we would have plenty to talk about.

Here is a sample of several of the questions: “What are five things you promise to do when you grow up? How would you react if your mom told you you’re too young for a bra but you wanted one? Do you think teachers have an affect on kids emotions? explain…”

The more I work with The Truth I realize how different from other books it is as an educational and motivational tool. The kids fall in love with the girl who keeps such a truthful diary. They read it as fiction. But it opens up so many doors for education, communication and helping girls develop their true potential.

That night the mothers, girls and I could have talked for hours and hours. We did talk for over 1 1/2 hours, but we had to stop for luscious cupcakes and brownies that the kids had made!

Seven Gateways to Happiness For Girls-How Do We Help Our Girls Walk Through the Gateways to Happiness?

39aThere are Seven Gateways to Happiness that we all need to walk through, in fact, we must walk through them again and again to attain true happiness.  Why?  Because although each is different, they all hang together.  We can”t be complete without success in all seven.  I”ve talked at great length about how as women, we best walk through these Gateways.  In fact, you can download for free, off of the front page of www.enchantedself.com a paper that will take you through the Seven Gateways to Happiness.  But what if you are a girl?  Is it exactly the same?  No it is not.  Kids are different from grown-ups and so is the journey to happiness.  Are parents essential in helping their kids walk through the Seven Gateways to Happiness?  You bet!  You are critical.  So let”s take a look.

The first Gateway to Happiness is Recognizing the Best in Ourselves.  Having good self-esteem is another way to put it.  How can we help our kids recognize the best in themselves?  Certainly not by criticizing them, nor putting them down, nor by talking about embarrassing things in front of other people.  Certianly not by showing disappointment in their achievements, or evaluating them in comparison to other siblings or friends.  To help kids, and in particular, girls, get through the first Gateway to Happiness we need to encourage their talents, their strengths, their coping skills and their potential.  Sounds easy?  Sometimes it is.  But sometimes it is hard.  What I would like to see as a strength in my child, may be what she is weak at.

So we need to learn how to discuss and communicate effectively with our daughters.  For instance, I would like my daughther to be social and comfortable with people.  She may be instead somewhat of a loner, who”s strength is a feel for nature and all that is in it.  She collects rocks, she feeds birds, she studies spider”s webs.  Bottom line is she is different from my expectations.  Most kids are.  But the responsibility of a parent is to love and develop your child to the best of her abilities anyway.  So to the best of my abilities I need to let her know that I treasure and value her strengths and yes, that I am also very proud of her when she combines those strengths in ways that develop her weaker side-in this case, her social side.  I”m proud because I love her, I respect her differences and yet as a parent I know it will be better for her if she develops many facets of her personality.

When you read, The Truth (I”m a girl, I”m smart and I know everything) you may begin to recognize how I have woven the Seven Gateways to Happiness into the story.   Of course, as even the “girl” in the book needs to walk through all seven to achieve happiness.  Next time we will look at the Second Gateway to Happiness: Falling in Love With Ourselves.

Tips to Help You Communicate With Your Teen

15aToday I had the pleasure of discovering a wonderful blog, www.wearyparent.com with a great article, entitled 9 Tips to Help You Communicate With Your Teen. I left a message emphasizing how great the list is, and also mentioned how important it is to be a role model to your teen.  It is not only what we say, and how well we listen, but how we live our own lives. That means it does matter how gracious we are, how kind we are, whether we are generous of spirit and eager to not hold grudges or be petty. It does matter what we say, but often it matters just as much how we say it. Can we cushion a criticism with some sweet honey? Can we wait until the right moment to say something personal when no one else is listening. It all matters!  If you think back to being a teen, can you remember when someone was gentle in what she had to say, instead of rough? Or when someone was extra kind? I can and those people are still with me today. I’ll say ‘thank you’ right now to Mr. Masters who made me feel good playing the violin, even though I really wasn’t very good at it, and Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester who always knew how to boost up my spirits when some boy I thought I was in love with, had dropped them down so low, I could hardly muster the strength to answer the phone.

 

Enjoy four of the tips and then go to www.wearyparent.com to read the rest of the tips!

  1. Give her your undivided attention. We’re parents. We’re busy. But we need to make time for our kids. Sometimes it feels like they’ve gotten so independent they don’t need us anymore. But they do. Put the Blackberry away. Shut down your laptop and just concentrate on your teen.
  2. Fight fair. Don’t bring up the past. Don’t say, “You always do this. Remember in the 2nd grade when I couldn’t get you to…” That’s not going to help anything. Stick to the issue at hand. Present your case. And then really listen to your teen’s rebuttal. Try to be understanding, but still be firm.
  3. Share your day. We all know what the answer to “how as school today?” So instead of asking that question, tell your teen about your day. When you open up, it may get him to open up. Tell him about a funny conversation you had with a co-worker. Or about somebody that really ticked you off that day and see if he has any advice. Get him talking.
  4. Don’t force him. Ask “Do you want to talk?” and if the answer is “no” then respect that. Sometimes teens (and sometimes parents) just want to be left alone. But let him now you are there if and when he is ready to talk.

First Positive Psychology Fiction Book, The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is a Hit!

Tonight I was at a book signing in Howell, New Jersey at the Barnes & Noble there. As I was meeting and greeting some many different people, and busily signing books, I found myself explaining how The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is so different from other books for girls, tweens, teens and moms. For one thing, it is based on Positive Psychology principles that encourage living up to one’s potential, celebrating our strengths and holding on to our most authentic selves as we grow.

On the other hand, rather than being a typical self-help book, it is a true fictiional read. It is a girl’s diary and one quickly becomes involved with the girl and her life. There is a mystery to be solved and lots of action. It is a fun read.

Also the book can be used after one reads it for endless discussions as the topics brought up in the book are vital to growing up, and even to being a woman.

Soon on this blog, I’ll be taking you through pages and sharing ideas for discussion with you.