Wednesday, May 28, 2014

You Taught Me to Be Stronger, To Stand a Little Prouder

I am so inspired and impressed by the many "amateur" efforts to raise awareness around bullying. Simply amazing!

Canadian teen Megan Landry is a multi-talented singer-songwriter who drew from her own experiences being bullied by a group of mean girls to write the song "Stronger". My favorite part is the chorus: "You taught me to be stronger, to stand a little prouder/ yell a little louder./ You taught me to look right over your head, to smile instead./ Forget where I bled in the first place." Read more about Megan and her song at>>

Watch the video for her 2012 song "Stronger" below. You can also purchase the song as MP3 on iTunes and Amazon.

by Megan Landry
----Verse one----
Go ahead and load a gun with all your bitter words.
Guaranteed it'll be the loudest gunshot heard.
Sticks and stones break your bones but one day they will cure.
Nothing hurts, nothing's worst than the taste of hurtful words.
No need for bullets, no need for knives,
your sharpest weapon is your drunken lies
You taught me to be stronger, to stand a little prouder,
yell a little louder.
You taught me to look right over your head, to smile instead.
Forget where I bled in the first place
----Verse Two----
Go ahead and huff and puff and blow my house down.
Go ahead and sink my boat but you're never gonna see me drown.
Go ahead and mark me up with bruises and scars.
Go ahead and push me but you're gonna be behind the bars
No need for bullets, no need for knives,
your sharpest weapon is your drunken lies
You taught me to be stronger, to stand a little prouder,
yell a little louder.
You taught me to look right over your head, to smile instead.
Forget where I bled in the first place
Tear me down, I won't fall to the ground.
Don't say my name like it belongs in your mouth
Don't try to break me, don't try to shake me today, yeah
You taught me to be stronger, to stand a little prouder,
yell a little louder.
You taught me to look right over your head, to smile instead.
Forget where I bled in the first place

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Latest on Social Media and Self-Esteem

Move Over Glossy Magazines. Now Social Media Makes Young Girls Hate Themselves.
by Katy Waldman (

"In case you were starting to feel OK about this newfangled Facebook thing, two recent studies show that the blue-and-white behemoth is ruining young girls’ self-esteem. Do you want to hear about the disordered eating first, or the increase in plastic surgery rates?

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery recently surveyed a group of its 2,700 members and discovered that 1 in 3 doctors saw an uptick in procedure requests for 2013. The researchers attributed the rise in part to “patients being more self-aware of looks in social media.” They write that 13 percent of plastic surgeons mentioned patients who wanted procedures specifically because they didn’t like their appearance on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Not surprisingly, many of these patients were teenage girls. The composite face of plastic surgery is getting younger, the researchers say, noting that 58 percent of the surveyed AAFPRS members reported an increase “in cosmetic surgery or injectables in those under 30.”"
Read the entire article here>>

Study Finds Being Ignored on Facebook May Lower Self-Esteemby Nick Bilton (Bits at

"Social media promises to make people feel better about their lives and promotes the ability to connect with others and share wonderful moments.

Yet according to a new psychology report, when people are ignored on social sites, the rejection can have adverse affects.

The study, “Threats to belonging on Facebook: lurking and ostracism,” was published by Taylor and Francis Group, an academic book publishing house, and found that if no one “likes” a person’s post on Facebook, that lack of interaction can lead that person to have a lower self-esteem. The research was led by a team from the psychology school at the University of Queensland in Australia...

...In both instances, the participants in this second study were mostly ignored. When asked by researchers how that felt, the participants said they felt “invisible.” Some went as far as saying they felt less important as individuals and had a lower self-esteem after the experience."
Read the entire article>>

Self esteem and the online world: More than likes and followers
by Martine Oglethorpe (the

"Are likes, followers, shares and comments the new currency for self esteem? Must every child’s friendship be legitimised with a selfie proclaiming BFF status? Are kids placing their very self worth on the accumulation of affirming ‘friends’ they have neither seen nor spoken to?

With our kids relying increasingly on social networking sites for much of their socialisation, connection and sense of belonging, it appears that for many kids, too much of their self worth is being hinged on their online popularity. Nothing new of course. Kids have always wanted to belong, to be popular and to be liked. That hasn’t altered. But of course with this new playing field, the medium and scope of people they need to be ‘liked’ by has certainly changed."
Read the entire article>>

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Journaling Just Might Be An Effective, Inexpensive Therapy Solution

Ready to explore how you feel about your life, experiences, hopes and dreams? Looking for a private, inexpensive form of therapy that just might improve your mental and physical health? Perhaps you want to strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, or eliminate some obsessions? Look no further than Journaling.

As a fiction writer, I find that I sometimes process the happenings of my life through the lives of my characters. Yet, I'm a big fan of keeping a private journal to record my thoughts and ideas. I wasn't surprised to learn that recent research has only proven what people have known since ancient times: regular sharing of your thoughts and experiences through writing can help in so many ways beyond simply recording the details of your life.

The Health Benefits of Journaling
By Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP (

"I’ll bet you write (or word process) daily. If you are like most women, you record only what you must. In an effort to change your mind and your habits, I’ll let you in on a well-kept secret: A pen coupled with paper can serve as a powerful life tool.

Journaling (or keeping letters or diaries) is an ancient tradition, one that dates back to at least 10th century Japan. Successful people throughout history have kept journals. Presidents have maintained them for posterity; other famous figures for their own purposes. Oscar Wilde, 19th century playwright, said: “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”

Health Benefits
Contrary to popular belief, our forefathers (and mothers) did know a thing or two. There is increasing evidence to support the notion that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being. University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker contends that regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes. Other research indicates that journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health."
Read the entire article>>

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Books that Celebrate Mom and Vote for Your Favorite Children's Book

It's that time of the year again when we as a nation celebrate the wonderful stories we share with the children in our lives. Children's Book Week is next week (May 12-18) and we're celebrating 95 years of connecting young readers to fabulous books. How will you celebrate? Find events in your area at the official website.

And it's not too late for your children to vote for their favorite books in the 7th Annual Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards! Voting ends Monday, May 12th and the winners are announced online next week.

So, in honor of Mother's Day and Children's Book Week, I've compiled a list of some of MY favorite children's books about moms. I hope you find some time next week to share one of your favorite children's books with a child in your life!

A Mother for Choco
by Keiko Kasza
Wonderful, sweet story of a little bird, Choco, searching for a mother who finally finds in Mrs. Bear a mother who does what mothers do and it doesn't matter that she doesn't look like him! Perfect for younger children (ages 3 to 6) and children who are adopted.
Find A Mother for Choco at Amazon>>

Hero Mom
by Melinda Hardin
Watercolor illustrations by Bryan Langdo
A reassuring and sweet celebration of the moms who do important work in the military and the children who are missing them. Perfect for children in grades 1 to 3 but the story can be easily understood by younger children.
Find Hero Mom at Amazon>>

Bedtime for Mommy
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Fun watercolor and ink illustrations by LeUyen Pham
Sweet, funny story about a little girl's attempts to get her mom all tucked in for the night. Perfect for younger children (ages 3 to 6).
Find Bedtime for Mommy at Amazon>>

Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms
by Christine Kole MacLean
Illustrations by Mike Reed
Sometimes when moms need a little hug, their little ones are caught up in their imaginative play. This charming and sweet story is a perfect read for children in grades K to 3 that is sure to spark their imaginations and maybe result in a few hugs for mom!
Find Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms at Amazon>>

Pirate Mom (Step into Reading)
by Deborah Underwood
Comic illustrations by Stephen Gilpin
What happens when a magician hypnotizes your mom into believing she's a pirate? Pete loves pirates but now his mom simply won't behave and he's NOT enjoying the chaos. The silly, funny story is perfect for beginning readers (grades K to 3), especially anyone who likes pirates.
Find Pirate Mom at Amazon>>

My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life
by Kate Feiffer
Ink illustrations by Diane Goode
The tale of a preteen girl looking to assert her independence as she recounts all the ways her parents make her life so difficult and fantasizes about a parent-free life. In the end she realizes that her parents are simply showing her how much they love her. Perfect for children in grades 1 to 3 although older children and adults may relate to its heartfelt message as well.
Find My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life at Amazon>>

Ramona and Her Mother
by Beverly Cleary
In the midst of her family's financial struggles and her parents' obvious preference for older sister Beezus, almost 8-year-old Ramona tries to find the special relationship she shares with her mother. Funny and heartwarming without glossing over the hardships of family life, this book is perfect for children in grades 3 to 6.
Find Ramona and Her Mother at Amazon>>