Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – Selfie Filmmaker And Positive Psychologist Barbara Becker Holstein Addresses ‘Mean Girls’ – http://bit.ly/2xRubDF
Body Shaming, Social Media, Bullying And The Drive To Be Best – ‘Conflict’ By Selfie Filmmaker Barbara Becker Holstein To Premier June 9 2018 – http://bit.ly/2IBsvn0
Dear Diary, I took the most amazing pictures of myself today. I put on my mother’s long earrings, and lots of her make-up. Then I got out her Chinese robe with the big giant flowers on it and put that on. Then after I made sure no one was in the house I started taking selfies of myself. I posed in the craziest positions. I lounged on the couch as if I were lying around on a Greek Island in the the 1920’s. Then I made all sorts of faces, some happy, some sad, some excited, some upset and I just kept taking picture after picture. It was such fun! I felt like I was on some sort of imaginary stage. What was so intereting was after making sad faces I actually felt happier. It felt so good to just be able to do anything I felt I needed to do with my face. I sent a few to Angela and she loved them. She said that when her parents and brothers leave later she will put on a costume of some sort and send pictures back to me. Too soon I had to get out the cold cream and clean off my face and put everything away. Today was my secret. Only Angela knows. And you, Dear Diary.
When I was a girl I knew so many things. I knew a lot of important stuff that my parents and other grown-ups had forgotten. I promised myself that I would find a way to hold on to my knowledge. Then I grew up and became a teacher and a psychologist. I got married and had children. At work, as a psychologist,
I listen to a lot of people’s problems– children and grown-ups. I always try to help them.
One of the things I do is to point out to them what is right with them, rather than what is wrong. Another thing I do is to teach them how to have more fun. I also help them to remember their own wisdom and the truths that they already know in their hearts.
One day I decided to find a way to combine what I already knew as a girl with the knowledge I now have as a psychologist. I had to find a fun way to do this that would really help girls and mothers recognize that what we know growing up is just as important as what we learn later in life. One day, the “girl” just appeared. She knew what to say and how to say it. She did a much better job of sharing the truth than I ever could have imagined. So I just let her go for it. Here is her account of the truth. I hope you enjoy it. Remember your promises to yourself when you grow up and don’t forget to listen to your kids someday.
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)