Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Guest Blog: Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything
THE TRUTH, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is a delightful, humorous secret diary, written by a girl who is 10-11 years of age. She is wise and yet so innocent. She makes us laugh and cry and know that we are secretly heroines. This easy read for girls, (the mother’s edition has a different introduction, different questions at the end, and some pages that are slightly more sophisticated) has within it a psychological message for girls, that they can and must hold on to the best of themselves as they grow up. Girls love the book and so do their mothers. Girls recognize themselves and finally feel totally understood while their moms remember themselves, feel closer to their daughters and everyone has lots to talk about.
Dear Diary, date: September 20
I am in love. I thought I would fall in love when I was much older, maybe 15 or 16. Not today.
I was sitting in class, reading a social studies chapter, trying to answer an awful question at the end of the chapter, “Which state has the most coal mines,” when the door opened and a new kid walked in.
There he was! I knew as soon as I saw him. He was wearing a cute plaid shirt and he had brown hair and brown eyes. I could imagine kissing his lips.
My heart felt like it turned over in my body. My pulse started to race. I couldn’t concentrate. I felt excited, like I suddenly had a big secret. “Our eyes locked.” I read that in a book that my mom had by her bed. It was true. When I looked into his brown eyes, I felt we had known each other forever. Looking at him made me feel all fluttery inside.
I wanted him to sit near me so badly I could have died. But he sat in the row in front of me, a little to the right. Not too bad. Now I can look at him all day. My best friend, Angela, sits beside him, to his right. I hope she doesn’t fall in love with him too. He’s mine! His name is Paul.
Why I wrote The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything)
I believe that my introduction to this book, which is designed to be read by the girl reading the book and her mom or grandma, or teacher, or guidance counselor, explains why I wrote the book best. Here is what I say:
"When I was ten, and eleven, 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 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.
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.
I better get out of the way and let the girl begin……"
I would just add, that since the book has been published, most girls relate to THE TRUTH at a deep level of connection. Most have had a crush, or a problem in school, or been afraid of moving to a new town, or upset if parents did not get along. However, some kids have a whole other 'TRUTH' that is uniquely theirs. And that is great. Even those few kids that don't relate to the girl at all, if they take from the book to be true to themselves, and have the courage to grow up strong and resourceful, then my mission as a women and a psychologist has been successful!
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is the originator of The Enchanted Self(R). She has been a positive psychologist in private practice and licensed in the states of New Jersey and Massachusetts since 1981. She is currently in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.
She is the author of The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! and There Comes A Time In Every Woman's Life for DELIGHT.
Her newest book, The Truth, I'm Ten, I'm Smart and I Know Everything! is another first in positive psychology. Written by a ten year old girl as a diary, Dr. Barbara has been able to imbed lots of positive truths that we all need to remember and live by, regardless of our age.
The girl's edition, titled: The Truth, (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) debuted February 2008 in bookstores nationwide. You can get your copy now at www.enchantedself.com.