Liebster AwardJuly 18, 2014—In accepting the Liebster award, I have agreed to answer the questions posed by Sam Ross of Teenage Whisperer, who so kindly passed this award my way. But first, if you are one of my nominees (who can be found here) and you’re on this page to find out how to accept this award, you’re welcome to skip ahead to the instructions for recipients.

My Responses to Sam Ross:
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Q: What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
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A: I’m passionate about helping people understand the social needs of the human brain, from infancy all the way through life. Our physical, emotional, and even spiritual well-being is tied up in understanding that we can’t survive and thrive if we don’t actively reach out to connect with one another in supportive, responsive relationships. That means toward “out-groups” too. My blog is about pointing people to the research that underscores this, much of which is addressed on the larger site, Mom Psych.
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Q: What is your favourite blog post?
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A: My favorite blog post at the moment is a recent one that underscores why I do what I do. “The Roseto Lesson” is about a story that has fascinated me since I first read about it about 20 years ago. At the time, it paved the road to an “Aha!” moment that has influenced the way I have filtered research and chosen my stories ever since. I’ve mentioned it before in my articles and posts, but never in as much detail as I finally have in this one.
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Q: As a writer, what are your three favourite words?
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A: How about, “Made the deadline!” Okay, well, that rarely happens. And anyway, I expect that’s not what you meant. Seriously though, it’s interesting to me that just hearing or saying certain words can actually evoke emotions. As Andrew Newberg and Mark Waldman point out in their 2012 book, Words Can Change Your Brain, the words we use shape our reality and can even stimulate the release of certain chemicals in our brain. Some can stimulate the release of stress chemicals, while others can stimulate the release of dopamine. Personally, I like the way it feels to say or read the words “love,” “gratitude,” or “serenity,” and these are words I’d like to say and think more often.
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Q: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
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A: A bird, because I’d like to inspire people to look up and out over the horizon to see a larger view. I also think it’s important to “sing” as much as you possibly can. If you don’t think you have a song to sing—and for so many people, life experiences have made it very difficult to come up with one—ask someone for help. You have one in there somewhere, and it is capable of bringing joy to your own life as well as to many others. As the late Maya Angelou pointed out so well, even caged birds need to find a song: this is one step on the way to trauma recovery.
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Q: What have you learned today?
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A: Today I learned that there’s an International Nelson Mandela Day (or just “Mandela Day”). It was first declared by the UN in 2009, so it’s been around for about 5 years. Where have I been?
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Q: What is your main goal for 2014 (personal or professional)?
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A: Educating people about fostering prosocial relationships in communities begins with addressing what children need from parents, so one of my longer-term goals is to develop a parent training program.  To that end, I’m currently working on an additional professional credential focusing on how to use positive techniques for behavior modification. The idea is to help adults (both at home and at school) notice and reinforce positive behaviors rather than focusing mainly on reacting to negative behaviors. Positive interactions support secure attachment relationships, which are the basis for prosocial relationships, academic success, and so many of the other outcomes we want for children.

                                                

Instructions for recipients of the Liebster Award:

The ever-morphing award rules specify that a nominee/award recipient is to:

1. Create a blog post showcasing 5, 11, or 20 worthy blogs, each with less than 3,000 readers (your choice, I didn’t make this up).
2. Thank the Liebster Blog Award nominator and link back to his or her blog (it’s only fair).
3. Answer the nominator’s questions.
4. Create 5, 11 or 20 questions for your nominees.

My Questions for You

1. Who has influenced you most in your writing, and why?

2. Who is the last person you said “I love you” to and when?

3. If an old friend passed you on the street without saying hello, what would be your first thought?

4. What is your favorite post on your blog?

5. If there was one skill you could teach and be guaranteed the whole world would learn it, what would it be?

 

 

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