Sunday, March 25, 2018

5 Tips on How to Handle Peer Pressure

Peer pressure doesn’t go away.  Kids often go along with their peers, and it can be normal for parents to take their children's behavior personally.  It may be troubling, but try to remember that kids are trying to establish their own identity.

Whether your child is a popular kid in school or is someone who has a handful of friends, peer pressure can influence and push him or her to do unsafe or unhealthy things. Children need a parent's support to help them make good decisions. 

Here are some helpful tips for parents

Praise your child. Take time to celebrate his or her achievements. Children who feel good about themselves are more able to resist negative peer pressure and make better choices.

Get to know their friends. Invite your children's friends over play dates or for study time. Get to know them. If your children have friends with good values and good self-esteem, they can help your kids avoid risky behavior, navigate new technology, and resist unwanted peer pressure.

Create a special code. Have a plan children can implement in uncomfortable situations.  For example, if they don't feel at ease at a party, children can call or text you with an agreed-upon phrase like, "Dad, I'm feeling sick.  Can you come get me?"

Take the blame. Let your kids know that if they face peer pressure they don't know how to resist, they can refuse by blaming you: "I'll get in trouble if I do that. My mom and dad would ground me." 

Stay informed. Pay attention to what interests kids, the way they dress, and the social media they are using. The more you know, the better you can protect your kids and help them learn to make good decisions.

Make every effort to stay in your child’s life.  Plan family activities that include them.  Talk to them about their friends, interests, music, and accomplishments.  Ask them about the things that bother them.  Let them know you care, but make it clear there are rules they need to follow. 

For the entire article, visit:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

5 Ways to Help Kids Handle Peer Pressure 

Peer pressure is a huge theme in the children's book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.  And in the last blog post, we discovered that peer pressure can begin as early as kindergarten. 

Brett Laursen, PhD, a fellow of the American Psychological Association and professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University, defines peer pressure essentially as influence.  He states that peer pressure begins as soon as children start to pay attention to what other children think about them. So, peer influence is seen in the very early grade school years. 

Laursen believes there are things parents can do:  
  • Explain to children that attempts to influence them are everywhere. 
  • Help children understand that our culture is full of influence attempts and peers are just another set of forces that are vying for our attention and are vying to shape our behavior.
  • Ask children how these influences make them feel.
  • Talk about how to resist that influence. 
  • Plan a strategy beforehand.

When the school year begins, students are dealing with classes, classmates, and other extra-curricular activities. Students may face an entirely different set of challenges with peer pressure. Parents may notice a change in how their child dresses or behaves at home.

Parents should have discussions about influences before their children start school.  According to Parent magazine, reading books about peer pressure is a good way to start that conversation.  Books can help young kids recognize peer pressure before it begins.   

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

3 Tips on Teaching Kids about Peer Pressure

"What are you bringing for show-and-tell, Maggie?" I draw a big fat zero. 
Stories like Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell can help kids understand peer pressure.

"Some kids don't even recognize peer pressure when it's happening, while others may be overly sensitive," says Fran Walfish, Ph.D., a child and family psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, California, and author of The Self-Aware Parent.  Peer pressure can come from social issues (hair styles or which television shows to watch) or material things (having the coolest lunch box or school clothes).                                                                                                  
Kids experience peer pressure as early as kindergarten. Teasing and being laughed at is often a part of the pushiness.  No parent wants that for their kids.  Therefore, it's important to teach children what about peer pressure early on so they will know how to react. 

  • Child psychologists suggest parents can help children by crafting a clever and kind response which can be rehearsed through role-playing and used in any situation.  
  • Parents can also help their children feel good about their own preferences by giving them frequent opportunities to talk about their likes and dislikes and things that are troubling. 
  • Parents magazine says that picture books will help children learn why it's important to not give in to peer pressure. Pick up a copy of Maggie and teach your children to recognize peer pressure.  
Here are more helpful books.   
A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon
Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes 
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, by Peter Brown
Riding the Tiger, by Eve Bunting 
One of Us, by Peggy Moss  

I'd ♥ to hear from you.  Be sure to leave a comment.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Maggie News, Events, and Happenings

January - February
Share the Love
Summit Family Chiropractic (859-271-2285). 
Pick up a copy of Maggie and part of the proceeds benefit Woodford Humane Society.

February 24th: 
Happy Tails Craft and Story Time
Brier Books (859-523-6404) with 
KY SAVE and Randi Lynn Mrvos. 
Listen to a story, make a craft, adopt love

Coming this spring:  
Randi Lynn Mrvos and local authors' book signing at the Lexington library

Maggie is available at:
The Cottage in Lexington, KY, 90 Lexington Green Circle, 859-273-1552.  

Buy a book and get a free puppy washcloth!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Won't Go Viral

Wouldn't it be exciting to create a Youtube video that would go viral?  That's what I'd LOVE to do to promote my book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.  

I searched Goggle to find out how to get a video to go viral and found one of the requirements:  cute animals. 

My cat Ozzie qualifies!  But, the trouble is he sleeps most of the day.  And that wouldn't make an entertaining video.

So, I did the next best thing:  I made a montage of his favorite napping places and his favorite book and added music.

Please enjoy "Won't Go Viral," courtesy of Ozzie:   

And if you like it, Ozzie says please share.

Friday, December 15, 2017

On the Telly

A few months ago, I was invited to be part of a program on local television. WTVQ in Lexington, Kentucky hosts a morning show called Good Day Kentucky.  Since I was going to partner with the Woodford Humane Society at the book signing of Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell, the marketing director of the animal shelter asked me to join her during her taping. 

Naturally, I was flattered.  Who could pass up this amazing advertising moment?  But deep inside, I was wondering what on earth have I done? I'm terribly shy.

Way back in high school, I actually enjoyed performing in plays and loved being in front of an audience.  But fast forward about forty years. Like the other dance classes at Dancers' Studio in Lexington, Kentucky, my ballet class would perform at the annual recital. I knew the routine perfectly. On the day of the performance however, I got stage fright. My feet literally stuck to the floor.  We're talking deer-in-the-headlights frozen. Luckily, in what seemed an eternity, I snapped out of it and fell back in line to finish the dance.

Since then, being in front of an audience makes me nervous. But people tell me to relax. They say being on television is no different than having a conversation with a friend. They say it's easy when you talk about what you love.  

I love Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell. It's a special book because it shows the value of  pet rescue and encourages young kids to solve problems and recognize peer pressure.  And that's what I tried to remember when I sat upon the yellow sofa greeted by Troy and  Katie.  Granted, I was terrified being on live TV, but the experience was worth it because I was able to show people how excited I was about my book.    

If you have the chance to be on television to promote your book, go for it.  Don't let shyness stand in your way.  It's difficult trying to find ways to market your work.  Embrace this amazing opportunity.   

Tips for preparing for a television spot:
  1.  Prepare questions for the host ahead of time
  2.  Practice your responses
  3.  Stand (or sit ) before a mirror as you practice your responses
  4.  Arrive early and check in with the the receptionist.
  5.  Be aware that the host may not follow the script
  6.  Stay focused and listen 
  7.  Make sure the host mentions the title of your book
  8.  Look at the host, not the camera  
  9.  Be excited about your book (let it show in your voice)
 10. Women:  wear a little eye makeup and lipstick 
 11. Dress comfortably.  Wear solid colors, no patterns 
 12. Try to relax and smile 
 13. Have someone help you get miked  
 14. Have fun


Friday, December 1, 2017

10 Tips for a Successful Book Signing

On November 25th, I was invited to Joseph Beth Book Sellers for Small Business Saturday. 
Ten authors participated.  We were set up in a semi-circle near the back of the store.  

Most of the authors kept to themselves and sat quietly behind their tables.  After the event, I was shocked to learn that most of the writers only sold one or two books.  

I sold a good number of books.  Here's what I did that helped make the difference.

 1.   Emailed invitations to friends.
 2.   Sent Facebook invitations to local acquaintances.
 3.   Created an eye-catching display.
 4.   Stood in front of the table the entire time.  Yep, achy   
       feet were worth it. 
 5.   Gave away stuffed animals when three books were 
 6.   Handed out bookmarks to passersby. 
 7.   Talked to people about the local connection (a rescue 
       dog named Charlie) and showed them his gorgeous  
       picture in the back of the book.
 8.   Thanked people for coming. 
 9.   Ordered a "Budsies" doll of Maggie for the display
10.  Tied into the dog theme by using water bowls filled
       with candy.

I'm not a salesperson, but I do know you have to plan ahead.  You have to get creative.  Selling books is hard work, but if you put forth some effort, you will find success.