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02.04.2014
May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, a month dedicated to boosting confidence and self-image. Annie: My husband David and I started the Marin Computer Center in San Rafael, CA back in 1977. Bianca: The Insite, an award-winning website you created for teens and young adults, was host to a Cyberspace Dear Abby, Hey Terra. Bianca: Tell us about your book series, Middle School Confidential, and what message you hope readers will grasp.
Annie: Because they’re part graphic novel (my illustrator is the enormously talented comic book creator Matt Kindt) I was surprised by a) how limited a text balloon really is and b) how much story and emotion you can express in very few words! Bianca: What one piece of advice would you offer to teens having difficulty communicating with their family members? Annie: The relationship you have with your students, showing them that you care  because they are worthwhile human beings,  is more important than anything  you might teach them. The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is powered by Bianca Schulze. This month’s best selling kids series from The Children’s Book Review’s affiliate store is leveled early reader series retells classic scenes from Star Wars, World of Reading: Star Wars. This month Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare, is in our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult HardCover books listed on The New York Times. I not only loved all these books, I know I’ll go back and re-read them in the future to study exactly how these skillful writers strike the delicate balance I’m always looking for between laugh-out-loud funny and reach-for-the-Kleenex poignant. This month’s best selling kids series from The Children’s Book Review’s affiliate store Captain No Beard, by award-winning author Carole P.
It’s so fun to feature the best selling books from our affiliate store because it turns up obscurely wonderful titles like Girls Who Looked Under Rocks, a middle grade book from 2000 that portrays the youths and careers of six remarkable women.
Award-winning author Donna Gephart crafts a compelling dual narrative about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy dealing with bipolar disorder.
A Curious Tale of the In-Between will appeal to young people who like ghost stories and the supernatural and who have issues of loss and unsolved mysteries in their own lives. Anyone, ages 5 and up, that has trouble with emotions or that is experiencing bullying will feel empowered by Gilbert. The Little Mouse Santi is an inspiring tale that teaches us that, with a little courage, we can all be whoever we want to be.
Children innately have the desire to master their own bodies, the objects around them, and their feelings.  As they grow, young children progressively expand the world they seek to explore, understand, and master. For a child to achieve mastery of something, she or he must bring together many elements: initiative, focus, adaptability, practice, frustration tolerance, persistence, and delayed gratification. As teachers and parents, it is a challenging task to find the right balance of responses to support a child’s efforts and help develop those skills.
Once a child really masters one level of puzzles and can put the puzzles together quickly and easily, it is very satisfying. Helping a child to develop this increased mastery over  the feelings of impulsivity, anger, aggression, and frustration, to name just a few of the challenges facing a preschooler, requires the same careful balancing of support and guidance. As with all teaching and parenting, there is no perfect formula and we never get it right every time.
Our school days provide children with a variety of opportunities to deeply explore and learn about the world around them.
They also develop meaningful friendships, peaceful problem solving and conflict resolution skills, and the ability to appreciate and interact well with people different than them as they participate in a variety of small and large group social interactions and self-directed play. Prime members enjoy FREE Two-Day Shipping and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, and Kindle books. Of course my son didn’t want to sit down with me to be lectured about how he should ignore the kids at school when they said mean things.
Working on the shield gave me the opportunity to see my son identify and own his strengths. My six year old son is more into books so we worked on his Confident Me scrapbook.  Each scrapbook page has a sentence completion box so the book is customized for him.


I have loved this post and featured you on my pick of the week for The Ultimate Party on G+. Maybe it comes from being the youngest in my family but I’ve always related to the challenges of being a young person trying to figure out how to get along with peers and with adults..
Even in those early days of personal computing it was clear to us that kids jumped right in… No psychological barriers for them! The take-away message of the first three books in the series is: there are situations you are born into and things that happen day to day that you have no control over. By focusing on the questions tweens and teens ask me I know that I’m giving them information that they want and need. When they bombard you with questions or act like they don’t trust you… Try to cut ‘em some slack.
Our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult books listed on The New York Times includes both Glass Sword and Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard. Britt interview each other about Normal Norman (Sterling Children’s Books, 2016), a laugh-out-loud book that explores the meaning of normal through the study of an exceptionally strange orangutan.
They both experience satisfaction from their own accomplishments and respond to the praise and encouragement of the people they love. These emotional skills are as necessary as the physical and cognitive skills that are needed.
We want to praise our child’s efforts and successes as well as to provide help as he seeks to master something or some feeling.  Children benefit from both, but in the right amount. Delight in his success shows that you value his choices as well as his accomplishments.  He will feel both good about himself and glad you are pleased.
In a preschool or kindergarten, play is the medium through which children most often learn and develop mastery.
My instinct is still to protect him, so when he came home and told me that he was being teased at school and that the popular boy told everyone not to sit with him at lunch, I instantly wanted to call the parents of the kids involved and give them a piece of my mind.
It wasn’t easy accepting the limitations of my mom powers, but doing so allowed me to give up the notion of being able to shield my children from all the hurts the world has in store for them. Let’s face it, although we would like to believe that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ that is pure rubbish. Then we flipped through magazines to find pictures that represented how he felt about himself. After talking to her about what makes her special, she and I made a self-esteem sun.  We framed her sun and every day I read the affirmation rays to her. I come from a large family, one where my mother worked around the clock just keeping up with the basics for her children.
As a writer it just seemed natural to me, from my very first book which was published when I was 20, that I love writing for kids. So as I began working with kids and computers it struck me that the social and emotional learning that has always been at the core of my teaching could be incorporated seamlessly into interactive game designs.
I get over 1000 emails a year (and I personally answer each one.) It’s impossible to choose one “most memorable” email. And yet, no matter what’s going on at home, at school, with your friends, there are always choices you can make in the way you respond that can improve your situation. Rose and Her Amazing Nose is a picture book that does just this: it teaches kids the importance of accepting themselves. Too much praise or over involvement in a child’s activities, however, can rob him of his own initiative and internal drive towards mastery.
Ideally, at the end of the experience, the success is perceived by the child as a result of his own efforts.
Through play and the use of language, a child can increasingly learn how to meet his needs and solve the problems that arise.
Through hands–on and creative experiences, and literacy activities, guided by caring and well-trained teachers, they develop as capable, creative, and interested individuals.
I remember holding my son for the very first time and staring in awe that something so perfect happened to me.


I could either cripple him by swooping in to save the day whenever he encountered obstacles, or I could arm him with the tools he would need to navigate the world on his own.
Children who think and feel positively about themselves can cope with the natural ups and downs of life without buckling under pressure.
My son is big into Nerf Guns and Nerf wars so it was easy to explain to him how armor protects people when they are engaged in battle. We then cut a shield out of cardboard and decorated it with the pictures from the magazine. My husband and I always praise our children, but we never know if they internalize what we say or just brush it off as things moms and dads have to tell their kids.
I may not have the means to go back in time to have this be my experience, but it does my heart good to know you and your husband have created such a remarkable way to uplift and inspire your children and students to become stronger by loving themselves in their own unique way and then take that learning with them where ever they go. I love how you varied the ideas to give each child a self-esteem-booster that suited his or her personality and developmental level. My little one is only two and not yet able to verbalise any confidence issues, but nonetheless it’s something I always have at the back of my mind. Simply put, when kids play computer games that are thoughtfully designed and require them to take on the identity of an avatar and make choices within a gaming environment, they can learn about social interactions.
One other thing… If you’re going through a rough time and you really can’t talk to your parents, find some other adult you trust and talk to him or her.
Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, her goal is to grow readers by showcasing useful and inspiring books!
If he feels something is only worth doing if it gains praise from the adults, he will lose his internal motivation and do only those things that receive praise,  in order to feel good about himself.
In small increments of increased difficulty, children move from doing a six piece puzzle to a 110 piece one. He can learn how to self- regulate and channel his emotions into constructive modes of expression.  Instead of hitting, a child can learn other ways of expressing anger, such as using words, pounding dough, or reading a book that helps him understand his feelings. I told him that if he wanted to protect himself against the kids who teased him at school, he needed to have a shield to protect his feelings.
Seeing my son rattle off all the things that make him special showed me that he was listening to us, and more importantly, he believed what we were saying. It breaks my heart that I can’t be there to take care of him but instead now I need to give him the proper tools to deal with that. Hopefully, what they learn in the game they can take with them into the real world after they step away from the computer. Then after receiving some support from me and help in sorting out their feelings and exploring some possible options, the teen writes back and says “Thanks!
Each step adds new demands, from the strategy of turning the pieces and using the context of the picture to help them, to learning about corners and edges, to grouping pieces by sections of the puzzle. Instead of grabbing a toy, she can learn to ask for it, take turns, and use the toy in play with a friend.
No one was allowed to touch him without first dousing themselves in disinfectant, all his clothes were laundered in Dreft detergent, and he never left my sight unless it was absolutely necessary. I expressed to him that his shield are the positive thoughts and feelings he has about himself. One thing I remember from my own childhood is being encouraged to learn something new (never forced or even pressured, of course), because mastering a new skill on your own is such a confidence boost on its own. Of course these days, many kids never “step away” from social media… It’s as much a part of the “real” world as everything else! I talked with my friend and things are much better.” Those always make me feel pretty good about the work I do.
He is too old for pacifiers now and he is well past the age of kissing the boo-boo to make the pain go away.



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