As background research for my next middle-grade novel, I’m reading some books on issues related to adolescent development and self-esteem in kids. I thought I would share some of the tidbits I find.

For example, in How To Develop Self-Esteem In Your Child: 6 Vital Ingredients, Bettie B. Youngs, Ph.D. tells a story I think you’ll enjoy.

A nine-year-old boy came home from school, crying. His grandmother happened to be there and she asked him why he was crying.

 The boy said, “Paul said I’m a sissy. Do you think I’m a sissy, grandma?”

 With a twinkle in her eye, the grandmother said, “Oh no, I think you’re a Ferrari.”

 The boy grinned a little. “Grandma, why do you think I’m a car?”

 “Well,” she said, “I thought, if you think you’re a sissy just because someone says you are, then you might think you’re a car if I say you are. And you might as well be a Ferrari.”

 The boy laughed. Then his eyes brightened, “So I get to choose what I am?”

Sometimes there’s real wisdom in the playful approach!

Over the next few months, I’ll share more insights from both non-fiction books and children’s novels that deal with adolescent issues.


Geoffery Alan Moore