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Managing Perfectionism: A Guide for Teens

It’s hard for teens to be happy when they’ve created a very narrow window of what defines success. The goal of A Perfectionist’s Guide to Not Being Perfect by Bonnie Zucker, PsyD is to encourage teens to maintain their desire to achieve without striving to always be perfect and to appreciate and love who they are just as they are, not for what they do or accomplish. Finding a balance between work and play is key. Challenging perfectionism is about the pursuit of happiness. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1: What is Perfectionism and Why Change It? The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.  Anna Quindlen, Author Being a perfectionist means refusing to accept anything less than perfect, and it’s a disadvantage (not an advantage.)  People tend to see it as a personality trait that is characterized by creating and working toward excessively high, unrealistic standards that are often impossible to meet. It can cause stress, anxiety, eating disorders, and depression, and it prevents you from trying new things and feeling good about yourself.  Perfectionism makes you feel like a failure and see only one path to being successful in life (even though there are many paths!).  Perfectionists think their achievements define who they are and are a measure of what they are worth.  Perfectionism is often about gaining the approval of others, or wanting to be accepted and admired by them, and avoiding judgment or blame. The focus is on what others think, rather than what you think. Perfectionism and striving for excellence are not the same thing. Perfectionists often have a hard time with “good enough,” thinking of it as doing the bare minimum. But good enough often is enough, and allowing yourself to sometimes do a good enough job lets you have a more balanced life. The goal is to have positive striving for excellence without perfectionism and its negative consequences. Perfectionism can manifest in many ways.  General - wanting things to be a certain way, rigidity/inflexibility, closed to change.  Academic - requiring top grades / All As. Sports performance - requiring excelling at sports: always starting, being the best player, etc. Body image - strictly pursuing a certain body type, often thin and toned or lean and muscular Relationships - holding others to high standards and not being forgiving or flexible if others make mistakes or do things in a different way. Judging others. People-pleasing - prioritizing what others think of you, saying “yes” and being agreeable even when it’s not your preference. Putting others’ needs and preferences above your own. No matter the type or cause of your perfectionism, you can work to change it!

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Managing Perfectionism: A Guide for Teens 2022-03-03T15:51:58-05:00

Build Your Library: Bullying

School is starting again, either online or in person. While children may have missed seeing their friends and teachers, time at home may have given them a break from bullies. Helping your child navigate social situations and manage interaction with bullies is a challenging and important responsibility for parents and caregivers. These books, from our Build Your Library Collection, can help. Lulu the One and Only by Lynnette Mawhinney, PhD explores the experience of being multiracial, explains microaggression, and provides a resilient response.  Read a post about supporting your biracial child from the Author's Note here. Hear Lulu the One and Only read aloud here. Baxter and Danny Stand Up to Bullying by James M. Foley, DEd follows a pair of friends, Baxter and Danny, as they encounter and learn how to stand up to bullies. Read an excerpt from the Note to Parents and Other Caregivers here. Mind Over Basketball: Coach Yourself to Handle Stress by Jane Weierbach, PhD, and Elizabeth Phillips-Hershey, PhD explores mindfulness as a strategy to handle stress, including bullies. The stressors in Tuck's life are interfering with his effort to make the basketball team. A new mentor teaches Tuck how to manage his anxiety and self-doubt. Read a post about Mind Over Basketball here. Stand Up!: Be an Upstander and Make a Difference by Wendy L. Moss, PhD, ABPP provides strategies to become a "positive bystander" someone who stands up for themselves and others. Two of the ways to be an Upstander include having empathy for others and conflict resolution. Read an excerpt from a chapter of Stand Up! here. Through October 31, 2020, get 25% off your purchase and free shipping when you order books directly from Magination Press through APA.org. Click here to books and use code FF25 at checkout.

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Build Your Library: Bullying 2020-09-01T12:38:40-04:00

Coping with Grief and Loss: An Interview Remembering Ethan’s Author

Magination Press recently interviewed author Lesléa Newman, about her experience writing Remembering Ethan, a book about how a family copes with grief and loss. Remembering Ethan was illustrated by Tracy Bishop. Children reading the book may realize that they are not the only ones who have ever lost a sibling and there is comfort in that. Magination Press: You are a beloved and award-winning writer who sometimes tackles tough or groundbreaking—even sometimes controversial—topics in your books for children. How do you find your topics?  Lesléa Newman: There is no lack of topics, considering the world in which we live is full of joy and sorrow. I look around and wait for something to tug at my heart. MP: What inspired you to write Remembering Ethan? LN: I was inspired by three things: There was a list, composed  by librarians, of topics that weren’t being covered in picture books. Death of a sibling was one of those topics.  I have a friend whose very young daughter died. She said the hardest thing, among many hard things, was telling her son that his sister wasn’t coming home from the hospital. The character Sarah was inspired by Judy Shepard, who works tirelessly to make sure her son Matthew, who was murdered in 1998, will never be forgotten. MP: What is Remembering Ethan about? LN: The book is about grief and how one family unites to remember and mourn a tremendous loss. MP:  What have reader responses been?  LN:  Tears. Lots and lots of tears. MP:  What was unexpected about the writing process? LN:  I didn’t expect the character of Ethan, who died before the book begins, to come alive as much as he did on the page. MP:  How do you see Remembering Ethan being useful to kids? LN:  I think the book can comfort a child going through the same situation. Children reading the book may realize that they are not the only ones who have ever lost a sibling and there is comfort in that.  MP:  What did the illustrator bring to the story that brought depth or unexpected insights into your story? LN:  The illustrator, Tracy Bishop, did such a beautiful job! I especially appreciate how Sarah is wearing Ethan’s watch throughout the story. That keeps him close to her. I can almost hear the ticking of the watch as similar to the beating of a heart. MP:  Do you have a favorite part of Remembering Ethan or was there a section that was especially challenging to write? LN:  Handling Ethan’s death was particularly difficult. I spent a long time thinking about the way he died, and then decided not to be specific about that. My favorite part of the book is the next to last page when the family is all sitting together, remembering, feeling their sadness, and offering each other comfort. MP:  Was Remembering Ethan your first book to be vetted by a psychologist? If so, what was that process like for you? LN:  I believe it

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Coping with Grief and Loss: An Interview Remembering Ethan’s Author 2020-07-28T14:25:46-04:00