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Episode 73: Helping Your Kid Navigate Puberty (with Birds & Bees)

Do you remember when your parents talked to you about your changing body? What did that feel like for you? Was a big conversation where it happened all at once, or did it happen in small pieces scattered over your childhood? Did you feel scared and overwhelmed, or did you feel curious and . . . okay? It’s a big topic to tackle, both for parents *and* kids. That’s exactly why Emily invited two of our favorite guests back onto the show this week: Megan and Mary Flo of Birds & Bees! All the way back in episode two, Mary Flo and Megan shared how to talk to kids about sex with calm and confidence, and it’s one of our most downloaded episodes ever. Today, they chat with Emily about how to talk to kids at any age about bodies and how they’ll change someday, and how bodies differ by age and gender. They share how to coach kids to communicate boundaries when it comes to their bodies, the best ways that parents can react to kids’ surprising questions, and how to start talking to kids about topics that maybe you should’ve  tackled a while ago (and don’t worry, parents: this is a no-shame zone!).

Thanks to our episode sponsors!

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Thought-Provoking Quotes

"For kids, it's better to teach them about puberty on the early end so they can know that this isn't happening to them just yet, but it's pretty close, and it may already be happening with their friends." Mary Flo Ridley 

We should normalize periods because periods are normal.” Megan Michelson 

“Empathy is so important for our kids to have because puberty is a weird time for everybody.” Megan Michelson 

A Blessing for Your Week

As you navigate a season of change, may you be the strong, sure lighthouse, guiding the way home for your loved ones. 

May you offer warmth and protection and a soft place to land. 

And may you remember the ones who acted as a lighthouse for you, who guided you to become the kind, brilliant, and loving person you are today.

Simplicity Tip of the Week

One of the things I like about Mary Flo and Megan is how they help parents acknowledge our emotions around these hard topics, but they remind us that everything that’s happening with our kids is totally normal. And we can set the tone around how these topics are talked about in our homes. Whenever these topics come up with your kid, I know it can feel a little nerve-wracking because you want to get it right. 

So when you’re feeling nervous, remember that you can use your “pediatrician voice,” like we talked about earlier, to take some of the emotion out of what you’re talking about. You’re just making an observation, after all, and what you’re talking about is completely normal. Giving these topics an air of openness will help kids lean into their curiosity, and help solidify your place as an authority on the topic and a safe place where kids can talk about these things. 

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  • You’re Always Enough: And More Than I Hoped For
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