Presentation: Perfectionism—What’s it Costing Our Kids?

The high cost of the pressure to be perfect What’s wrong with perfectionism? Everything! Here are the causes and consequences of perfectionism—plus a few suggestions for potential “cures.” Some young people continually strive for excellence, trying to do their best, willing to make mistakes and learn from them, and take on challenges to grow their interests. Others chase perfection,…

Bouncing Back

The art of resiliency Excerpt from “Emotional Safety: Personal and Character Development,” from chapter 15 of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools by Dr. Jane Bluestein © 2001, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL. This excerpt was extracted from the manuscript for this book and may be slightly different from the actual printed copy. The entire bibliography of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools is…

Presentation: The Perfection Deception

Why trying to be perfect is sabotaging our relationships, making us sick, and holding our happiness hostage Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein Perfectionism may sound like a good thing, but it’s entirely different from the more realistic and achievable healthy pursuit of excellence. Working diligently toward improvement, learning, and growth is also far less destructive (and…

I-Messages: The Handout

More information about a destructive communication pattern This handout was developed to accompany a free online article, “What’s Wrong with ‘I-Messages’?” I first wrote about the problems with using this formula to try to get people to change their behavior in 1991. Evidence based on outcomes of using this formula has only strengthened my opinion. There are…

Preventing Bullying in the Digital Age

Understanding and managing cyberspace aggression Guest blogger Amy Williams shares what to watch for and how to prevent meanness in the digital age. The ripple effect of bullying can be felt across all lanes of life. Similar to raging drivers on the road, aggressive Internet users can create a threatening environment for the people around them….

Obedient vs. Cooperative Behavior

There is a difference! As you can imagine, my perceptions and ideas about children’s behavior have evolved over the years, including shifts in the vocabulary and conceptual framework I use in my writing and seminars. These changes have been especially evident in relation to the concepts I explore in this post. Because it’s so easy…

Non-Supportive Responses to Avoid

Yes, these really do make things worse! If people trust us enough to share an experience that has had an emotional impact on them, we usually do the most good when we can respond with empathy and support. Unfortunately, the following non-supportive or negative responses are so common and pervasive in our culture that avoiding…

The Myth of the Self-Esteem “Myth”

What self-esteem is, and is not On this page you will find a comparison between the characteristics of someone with a healthy, functional sense of self-worth vs. the characteristics of someone whose sense of worth, value, esteem, and deservingness is weak or low. See below for additional information. Self-esteem clearly goes beyond simply “feeling good…

Stress and the Brain

Fact Sheet: The impact of stress on learning and behavior Here are a few things to remember about the impact of stress on the brain, and on an individual’s ability to function effectively— academically and behaviorally— in a learning environment. While originally developed for educators, this information is also relevant to parents, and applies to…