Your friends at Girlfriendbooks
Last night before going to sleep I was in the middle of a chapter in Gavin De Becker’s book,The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence,titled “Fear of Children”. The chapter is about violent teenagers and young adults. De Becker talks about the single most reliable predictor of violence in young people:child abuse. In one paragraph he talks about the difference one person can make in the life of a child who is suffering abuse at home:
“I have learned that the kindness of a teacher,a coach,a police officer,a neighbor,the parent of a friend,is never wasted. These moments are likely to pass with neither the child nor the adult fully knowing the significance of the contribution. No ceremony attaches to the moment that a child sees his own worth reflected in the eyes of an encouraging adult.
Though nothing apparent marks the occasion,inside that child a new view of self might take hold. He is not just a person deserving of neglect or violence,not just a person who is a burden to the sad adults in his life,not just a child who fails to solve his family’s problems,who fails to rescue them from pain or madness or addiction or poverty or unhappiness. No,this child might be someone else,someone whose appearance before this one adult revealed specialness or lovability,or value. This value might be shown through appreciation of a child’s artistic talent,physical ability,humor,courage,patience,curiosity,resourcefulness,responsibility,energy,or any of the many attributes that children bring us in such abundance.
It might literally be a matter of a few hours with a person whose kindness reconnects the child to an earlier experience of self,a self that was loved and valued and encouraged. Sadly,for children who didn’t have nurturing even in infancy,there isn’t any frame of reference,no file in the mind in which to place kindness and recognition so that they might be seen as part of life.”
As I woke this morning to the news of the movie theatre shooting in Colorado,I wondered if one person could have changed the course of that young man’s life. De Becker goes on to say that his conclusions show the great value of mentoring and of programs like Big Brother and Big Sisters.
The Gift of Fear is a must-read. It is a book about protecting yourself and your loved ones from violence,written by the nation’s leading expert on violent behavior. Especially for women,this book is an invaluable resource for saving yourself from not only violence,but from getting involved with the type of man who will ruin your life.
About the author: Gavin De Becker is a three-time presidential appointee whose firm advises many of the world’s most prominent media figures,corporations,and law enforcement agencies on predicting violence. You can learn more about him here.
How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm –in this parenting trip around the globe,Mei-Ling Hopgood presents a range of parenting techniques practiced by different cultures around the world. The problems are universal – potty training,sleeping,or picky eating – but the solutions from different cultures are varied and often fascinating.
Hopgood,an American journalist raising her two daughters in Buenos Aires,approaches her topic with serious interest but without the framework of judgment so common in parenting books. The author puts into practice many of the ideas she encounters in her research,such as early potty training or flexible bedtimes,with varying degrees of success,but always with good humor and respect for the borrowed approach. Her personal anecdotes are the glue that holds the larger anthropological narrative together. This is a refreshing journey around the world in search for parenting answers but without the premise of right or wrong.
About the Author: Mei-Ling Hopgood is an award-winning journalist and writer. She lives in Buenos Aires,Argentina,with her husband and two daughters. She is the author of Lucky Girl. Find her online at www.meilinghopgod.com.
We all love a great book,but sometimes we just need a good laugh. When parents and children text,it can often-times result in some hilarious reading material. Stephen and Wayne Miltz,authors of Crazy Things Parents Text,have compiled a collection of authentic LOL texts that sometimes border on TMI. Then of course there are the texts that were meant for a friend –not your mom (or vice-versa). You’ll never think of the child/parent relationship quite the same again!
What do you do? In Husband and Wife:A Novel by Leah Stewart,Sarah Price is the wife of a fiction writer. At thirty-five years old,she juggles a steady job,a husband,and two small children. As a kind wife,she trades her MFA to take on a steady job in order to allow for her husband Nathan to stay at home and write fiction books. Everything seems to be wonderful and she honestly believes that they are happy.
However,when Sarah discovers that Nathan’s latest novel,Infidelity,is more fact than fiction,her world is thrown into a spiraling downfall. Suddenly,she is plagued with questions about her life. She begins to question how well she actually knows Nathan and begins to question how well she really knows herself.
Sarah turns to her past self in order to find the information she needs. She begins a journey to discover who her “real self” is and what that means to her and the life that lies ahead of her.
Well-written and filled with questions that everyone has dealt with when it comes to discovering the self,Husband and Wife is a story that causes laughter with it’s wit,and tears with its touching tale. An easy read,this story is sure to touch the heart of anyone who reads it.
About the Author: Leah Stewart was born in 1973 and grew up in several states because her father was a part of the military. A writer at heart,Stewart always knew that she wanted to be an author. This fact was made very apparent in her college admissions essay. Husband and Wife is her third novel. You can visit her at http://leahstewart.com/site/.
We recently chatted with Cynthia Ellingsen about her new book,The Whole Package. Here is what she had to say…
Girlfriendbooks.com,thank you so much for hosting me! The Whole Package is the ultimate book about friendship and I’m so excited to talk to your readers today.
Each and every time I tell women the daring premise of The Whole Package—three best friends open the world’s first restaurant staffed by scantily clad men—I learn the idea isn’t so daring after all. Apparently,every self-respecting,lipstick-toting,Louboutin-wearing woman on this planet has wondered why on earth this restaurant does not already exist. I’ve learned that the idea is so popular that most women have not only fantasized about opening said restaurant,they know exactly what they will call it!
So,here’s a question for you:If so many women have thought of this idea,why hasn’t someone done it? Stepped up to the plate? Gone balls out? Well,I’ll tell you why. Because the idea is ridiculous. On so many levels.
Here’s the thing,when Jackie,Cheryl and Doris open The Whole Package,it fails. It is a total disaster,even though they hire smoldering male models with eight-packs that women cannot tear their eyes away from. Why? Because ladies,it is a fact:we do not want to sleep where we eat.
When we grab a bite with our girls,we want to giggle,gossip and gulp our favorite Chardonnay. We want to share the experience of dining with our girlfriends,ordering whatever the hell we want without the distraction of Things that Make Us Uncomfortable. And a man wearing just a spandex thong,standing three feet away from our dinner table,is definitely on the list of Things that Make Us Uncomfortable.
Scantily clad. In spandex. In a restaurant. Really?
Let’s face it:The male form is not necessarily appetizing,especially when a creme brulee is on the table. Because no matter how gorgeous our men are,their bodies are like Sasquatch on overdrive. Men are thick and hairy and have weird attachments that do strange things. We love them…but the thought of dining while watching a man in a banana hammock bend over to pick up a fork,male accessories squashed into a misshapen form,simply does not appeal.
So ladies,here is a tip:If you have a fantasy about opening a restaurant staffed by scantily clad men,save yourself some time and money. Read The Whole Package instead. But if you decide to go for it anyway,send pictures. I’m sure there are quite a few of us who wouldn’t mind taking a look at your staff.
About the Author: Cynthia Ellingsen is an author and screenwriter who lives in Lexington,Kentucky with her husband. Visit her at her website,www.cynthiaellingsen.com.