Dr. Sarah Bren
Parenting The Hard Stuff: How & When to Talk to Your Kids about Bodily Autonomy
EPISODE: 88 | DATE: December 1, 2022
“I think as parents from the get go, helping give our children a lot of information about their body parts, what they’re called, using anatomically correct language for our children’s body parts from the get go is really helpful for lots of reasons.”
Talking about the birds and the bees has been depicted in so many ways throughout our lives. It’s a conversation I naively thought didn’t really have to happen until my kids were at least 15 or 16 years old.
That’s why I was so surprised when my 6 year old daughter came to me at the end of a play date last month to tell me that her 6 year old male playmate had asked to touch her private parts (cue the panic, red flushed face, shaking with adrenaline Hulk-like creature I felt myself becoming as she delivered each word).
On the show today, you can hear the full story about what happened.
I was so shaken up by the event that I reached out to my friend, Dr. Sarah Bren, a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in parenting. Through many voice messages back and forth over Instagram, she was able to help me calm down and to see that what happened between my daughter and her playmate was actually very developmentally appropriate (huh?).
She talked me through it and did such a great job that I knew I needed to have her on the show to talk about it. Because as parents, we need to know how to talk to our kids about bodily autonomy, consent (wait until you hear what Sarah has to say about that!), body parts and all the things so that by the time we get to that quintessential birds and bees conversation, well, it will basically already have happened. And it won’t be awkward. And our children will feel empowered around and informed about their bodies. That may sound idyllic, but after today’s show, I think you’ll see that that future is very possible. And I would argue, it is our responsibility to make sure that future comes to fruition (sorry, just add it to the ever growing list of your already too-many child rearing responsibilities).
So get ready to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, and set your children up for success around bodily autonomy!
ABOUT DR. BREN
Sarah Bren, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and mom of two, whose passion is helping parents find their inner confidence and raise healthy, resilient kids. Dr. Sarah is the host of the podcast Securely Attached, and the creator of the digital courses The Authentic Parent: Finding Your Confidence in Parenthood and The Science of Tantrums. She is the co-founder and clinical director of Upshur Bren Psychology Group in Pelham, NY where she treats parents, children and families.