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!

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 .

Yes, One Little Girl Can Make a Difference in The Quality of Life for Many!

Several years ago I received an e-mail from a young girl in Vietnam who had read The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything), in Vietnamese. She loved the book and decided to write to me. It is a long story, but Linh and I have been penpals for almost two years now. And not only have we written about our lives and our families, we have talked about many subjects, including how important charity is and how important it is to try your best to make the world a better place. Linh shared with my the problems on an orphanage in Vietnam that she is very concerned about. They don’t have enough money and certainly inadequate equipment to try to rehabilitate children with physical and mental disabilities. The women who work at the orphanage try their best, but still the children are not getting the chance they deserve.

I felt for these children and sent money to Linh, mom, Le Thi Hoai Thanh, who took the money for me to the orphanage. Of course Linh went with her. They have actually gone twice and I have been awarded two certificates! Here are a few of the pictures.

Linh and I are determined to raise money for these children and hopefully find some ways to get them the resources to develop their minds and bodies that they need. I never thought I would be working on a cause with a girl I have yet to meet in person, who lives 8000 miles away from me. But Linh has an unbelievable heart and the ability to convince a grown-up like me that we must try to save a small part of the world! These are babies and children and they need our help and resources. Here are some reactions to Linh’s second visit to Hoa Phuong Village:

Well, Hoa Phuong Village is here again, I thought.
I was standing with my mother in the boundless garden of the village. Truthfully, I wanted to visit families there very much ; but first of all, we had to meet the village Vice-director. She was still friendly ; I felt so because she gave me a lot of guavas. They were very sweet and tasty….My mother took a number of photos. After that, a woman took us to a family in which babies and homeless children were brought up. The family had many lovely kids. They were so cute that I just wanted to kiss them, especially an innocent baby. Unfortunately, I don’t know his name. We talked to the two mothers in that family. They were both middle-aged women and they told us a lot about the children. Finally, we said goodbye to the mothers and the kids, and we left with packets of guavas.

I had nice memories after going to Hoa Phuong Village. Therefore, I think all of us-everyone all over the world-should help poor people and children with all our best. To be more exactly, please don’t make them feel lonely and disappointed….” Linh Hoai

HOLIDAY STRESS-Yes, Girls, Tweens and Teens Feel It Too!

The Holiday Season is beautiful and we all hold on to some precious memories that go with the season.  But the Holiday Season is also stressful.  As adults, we often live an exhausted life of lists and obligations that go with the season.  For some women, particularly moms with children living at home, an exhausting month is finally finished off by little sleep and the patter of little feet very early on Christmas morning.  Even for those of us that celebrate simply or observe other traditions, such as Chanakah, the frenzy builds.  Nobody wants to forget someone they should have remembered with a card, a present or a phone call.  And most of us have certain favorite foods that go with the season.  That means extra calories, an outfit that suddenly doesn’t fit right, or the tug of war with the latest batch of Christmas cookies sitting in the kitchen.  And we know who usually wins!  (The Cookies)
 
What some of us forget is that the kids have stress also.  Particularly in harder times, like now, kids worry about how the season will go down for them and often for their families.  Kids hear, know and feel a lot more than we give them credit for.  If your family is having money problems, whether you tell them or not, they are most likely aware of the problems.  If you and your husband are in disagreement over how to do the holidays, even if you argue behind closed doors, your daughter will be aware of the tension.  Some here are a couple of suggestions to lower the stress for your kids:
 
1.  Have a honest, but not overly dramatic or discouraging talk about this year’s decisions around present giving. If everyone will be receiving, say half of what they got two years ago, be honest about it.  Discuss this openly and maybe agree on what gifts are the most important for an older child or a teen.  If say your daughter really wants an item that is twice what you can afford, see if there is a way to figure out the purchase.  Perhaps it can be for both Christmas and her birthday, plus she can take on a chore in the family for a few months that may help you out or even cut some expenses for you. 
 
2.  Also, have an honest chat about what you will do and not do for the Holidays.  If you are not buying a big tree this year, let them know early so they won’t be disappointed.  Perhaps it is the year for a family evening of making home made decorations and stringing popcorn trim?  That can be a lot of fun.  Also, kids are very creative and if they know that a food budget for a big Christmas gathering must be slimmed down, they will come up with ideas to help do that.  For example, they may be willing to bake or help you cook more from scratch, as that usually costs less than packaged foods. 
 
In summary, the important thing kids need is to feel in the loop of making decisions about the Holidays and presents and that they have something of value to offer the family either in terms of ideas or actions.
 
If you can help them feel valuable and in the loop and make clear that you want a great Holiday also, you will find yourself under less stress and for sure you daughter will feel even better about herself than she expected!
 
Happy Holidays!