Sometimes kids and adults forget how much resiliency and persistence we can really muster. Life is not always easy, but we can grow as we never give up. I was so lucky. I had a great mentor in my father. It is ten years since he died, actually on May 16th. So in memory of my dad and in the hopes of further inspiring all of you, here is one of the stories my Dad loved to tell, even when he was gravely ill and in the hospital.
When my father went to camp at age 12, he was voted: ·The laziest ·The least deserving. ·The least likely to succeed.
Perhaps this was because he was tall and placed with boys several years older than he. Ironically, he was probably the least lazy, the most deserving, and one of the most successful people I have ever known. My Dad was a loving husband, a loving father, and certainly a loving son. Beyond these roles and all of his connections with others, I believe he was an encourager of the human spirit. He was a realist who truly saw untapped potential in everyone who crossed his path–even me!
I remember him saying that persistence and perspiration would help me meet my goals. He loved to explain that most accomplishments are “Ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration.” For example, when I was a teenager he would help me wake up at 5:00 AM if I had homework to finish. “Take a shower, have something to eat and then get back to task.” He was always there to ease my burden but not take it away. My responsibilities were my own to meet, not his. How could he be helpful but not do my job–Proofreading? Driving me to school late? Brainstorming a topic? He never however, did work for me–it was mine to do. Like all good teachers he never promised that he could remove my pain. He taught that I could live with the pain and get beyond it.
He was always my teacher. He taught me how to polish my shoes and to count my packages as I shopped so I would know how many things I had with me. Above all he taught me determination. Never give up. You can do it!
Book Bites for Kids interviews me!
Description: Host Suzanne Lieurance talks with Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein about her book, The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)
Listen to the Interview Here
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Last year I wrote my secret entry about Paul on Valentine’s Day. Do you remember? I sent him a Valentine and I was so desperate to see if he sent me one. I had to open Valentines from everyone in the class until I found his. Do you remember what it said? It said, “Be my Valentine.” I was so happy. I could hardly sleep that night.
This year I will of course be sending Paul a Valentine. Even though I don’t feel quite the same about him. I’m not sure why, but I know one reason is that he looks away a lot when I look at him. I think he might think I’m staring at him.
Anyway, I decided to do something else this year. I read about the idea in one of my mother’s magazines. It was in an article called BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND. There was a long list of things you could do to be nice to yourself.
Some were stuff like skip the laundry this week , buy yourself a new nightgown and get a new hairstyle. Some of the list sounded stupid. Anyway it was for women, not girls. But the one thing I liked was Send a Valentine to Yourself. So I’m doing that this year. I have almost finished it. I made it out of construction paper and lace and it is very beautiful. And you know what I’m saying?
“I love you very much and I’ll never forget you!” I am very excited. I’m even going to glue little candy hearts on it.
Don’t tell anyone. They would think I was silly. Remember, it’s a secret.
The 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!
“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
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.
Today on the TODAY SHOW a young woman was interviewed in China. She works in finances and is doing very well, living in Beljing. However, her grandmother grew up in a farming area, was forced to have her feet bound at age 10 and was never given a name, except the name of her town. The differences in generations is amazing. The gal interviewed is a college graduate. Her grandmother never went to school.
In my new book, The Truth (I”m a girl, I”m smart and I know everything) the girl also does not have a name. Why? For very different reasons. She doesn”t so that every girl, tween, teen and woman who reads the book can identify with her. She is not nothing. She is everything. She is all of of us. She incorporates in her the universal dreams, energy and wisdom of us girls and women. So not having a name can mean very different things. The girl in the book would be horrified to hear that at her age of 10, this grandma had to have her feet bound. She would be furious.
Be thankful for freedom. It is a gift to be treasured!