Like Ability: Helping Teens Understand Popularity

Like Ability: The Truth About Popularity  by Lori Getz and Mitchell Prinstein is a workbook based on science and research that includes stories and an opportunity for teens to decide for themselves which type of popularity THEY want to have. Popularity is not an elusive goal granted only to a select few. Anyone can become the right kind of popular with a little bit of insight and a whole lot of reflection. Anyone can become the right kind of popular with a little bit of insight and a whole lot of reflection. This is a practical, insightful guide for teens about popularity: what it is, why some kinds are healthier than others, and how teens can grow their social intelligence and develop the confidence they need to feel more connected to their family, peers, and community. What is likability?  Psychologists have done hundreds of scientific studies to understand what likability is, how to be likable, and how being liked by others affects you years later. The results from these studies tell us that likable kids have tons of friends, get lots of invitations to play, and are relied on by others to make decisions or rules about games and activities. How do they become so likable? There may be a lot of reasons why we like someone. But overall, it seems that the most likable kids are the ones that make others feel happy, valued, and included when they are around. Enjoy this excerpt from the first section of the book: Popularity: What Is It? Defining Popularity: The word “popular” comes from the Latin word popularis, meaning belonging to, devoted to, or accepted by the people. Basically, this meant “for ordinary people.” But of course, that’s not the way we think about the word popular today. What does popularity mean to you? How would you define this word? How do you know when someone is popular? Scientists who study popularity have identified two meanings for popularity. The first meaning is someone or something that is liked by lots of people, and disliked by few. The second focuses on reputation: who is most well-known, or has the highest social status...which often doesn’t have much to do with who is well-liked at all. What qualities describe the people that you like the most? What qualities describe the people that have the reputation for being the “most popular”? We use different words to refer to each of these different types of popularity. One is called “likability” and the other is called “status.” Likability is the quality of being readily and easily liked by others. Status is how widely known, influential, dominant, and powerful a person is. There are upsides and downsides to each type. Why do you think it’s important to be popular?

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Like Ability: Helping Teens Understand Popularity 2022-06-10T13:07:22-04:00

Change the World with Kindness

Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. In observance, we're highlighting books about the power of kindness.  What do we do to change the world? One random act of kindness at a time. Morgan Freeman Grow Kind by Jon Lasser, PhD and Sage Foster-Lasser Kiko grows and cultivates her garden, harvesting and sharing the fruits and veggies with her friends, neighbors, and family. This delightful tale serves as a metaphor of nurturing relationships and community, while sharing kindness with others. Grow Kind is a gentle narrative based on positive psychology and choice theory, essentially about cultivating kindness. “Grow Kind is a wonderful book that helps teach children the importance of kindness and how small acts of kindness make a difference for others.” —Talking About Books for Kids Jon Lasser reads Grow Kind aloud in Magination Press Story Time. I See You by Michael Genhart, PhD I See You is an award-winning, wordless picture book that depicts a homeless woman who is not seen by everyone around her — except for a little boy. Over the course of a year, the boy is witness to all that she endures. Ultimately, in a gesture of compassion, the boy acknowledges her in an exchange in which he sees her and she experiences being seen. This book opens the door for kids and parents to begin a conversation about homelessness. In a “Note for Parents, Educators, and Neighbors,” there are discussion questions and additional resources about helping the homeless. “About heart, compassion and connecting with others…the emotion and candor captured by this story are beautifully brought to life”. —Children’s Books Heal Big Brave Bold Sergio by Debbie Wegenbach Swimming with the Snappers makes Sergio feel BIG, BRAVE, and BOLD. But sometimes the Snappers’ idea of fun gives Sergio “squishy” feelings. He doesn’t like it when they start picking on a minnow named Gil…but it’s hard to stand up to your friends! Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers by Julia Martin Burch, PhD, on bullying, friendship, fitting in, and ways to discuss these issues with your child. Read interviews with the author and illustrator: Meet Magination Press Author Debbie Wagenbach From Sketch to Book at Magination Press: Jamie Tablason Red, Yellow, Blue by Lysa Mullady Red loves being red! Apples, wagons, fire trucks — he thinks all the best things are red! Yellow admires Red’s roses, but Red just wants to be left to mind his own business — why can’t Yellow mind hers? But when Yellow and Blue go off to make frogs, shamrocks, and caterpillars, Red realizes that he may be missing out. The possibilities are endless when the colors work together! Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information on encouraging empathy and cooperation. This is a wonderful book about teamwork, acceptance, kindness, forgiveness, self-esteem and emotions. —Storywraps Read an excerpt from the Note to Parents and Caregivers. Kindness comes in many forms: sharing, acknowledging others’ experiences, standing up to bullies for a friend, or forgiving people. Talk with your child about what kindness

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Change the World with Kindness 2022-02-15T14:19:28-05:00

Friendship and Social Media

Peacock loves to see his friend Sketch, a girl who comes to the zoo and inks drawings of him. But life was lonely when she wasn't around, so he ventures out from the zoo. As a free bird, his adventures attract all the attention he’d always dreamed of: adoring fans, tons of photos, and news headlines. But when his tail feathers fall out, his fame evaporates, and Peacock finally comes to appreciate Sketch, who’s stayed by his side from the beginning. Peacock and Sketch by Allan Peterkin, MD is a lighthearted exploration of the fleeting nature of social media stardom and the importance of real-world friendships.  This excerpt from the Reader’s Note provides tips about how to navigate social media with kids.  “It’s an inventive introduction to the increasingly prevalent world of social media and fleeting fame, playfully positing that, while fun can be had in those arenas, real satisfaction comes through real-life friends and deeper interactions. The snazzy illustrations are a delight, and Peacock’s dramatic poses are particularly entertaining. A splashy, sweet story about the pitfalls of fame and the value of true friendship.”  Booklist Experts talk about the “Three Cs” in social media which are a good framework for parents to use when they talk to their children about the benefits and risks of social media:  CONTENT: Is what’s posted age-appropriate? Truthful? Helpful? What information should never be shared? How does your child feel after accessing specific images and messages? Invite them to discuss anything that makes them uncomfortable. CONTACT: Is it safe to connect with people you don’t really know? What might the risks be? Can your child see beyond glossy images or clever posts and think about a real person with feelings on the other end? Kids need to be reminded that all those anonymous followers are not real friends. CONDUCT: This involves courtesy, ethical behavior, and empathy. Words can hurt if they lead to judgement, humiliation, and bullying. Parents can give their own examples of deciding to wait and reflect instead of replying impulsively or angrily to a message that bothered them.  Parents reading Peacock and Sketch can explore with their children how online connections can be fun and teach you lots of things about the world and human nature. But they can use the story to emphasize that a real friend loves the real you, even when you don’t look or feel great, and shows up in person when things get tough. Fame can’t replace friendship. Start reading Peacock and Sketch here.

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Friendship and Social Media 2022-01-10T23:28:00-05:00