Mom learns a lesson

Dear friends,

You may have noticed that I removed my latest episode from the “How to Be a Girl” podcast website and feed.  The episode was about some experiences my daughter has had in middle school. I was proud of the episode, and I worked really hard on it. I also received a lot of supportive feedback about it from listeners, but last week, I deleted it. I wanted to explain why I did this.

Basically, Mom made a mistake.  I included material in the episode without getting my daughter’s clear approval in advance.  When she realized what was in the episode, she asked me to take it down.  So I did, immediately.

This all happened, in part, because my daughter does not listen to the podcast. I’ve invited her to do so many times (and she knows exactly how to find it on the internet!), but she politely declines, and says she’ll listen “later on,” when the time feels right.  I respect her decision on this.

The other thing that happened is that I failed to realize how fast my daughter is growing up. When I started the podcast, she was only six years old. Asking for her permission to share our stories didn’t make much sense back then, given that she didn’t even know what a podcast was. So I made the decisions for both of us, guarding our privacy with pseudonyms and carefully choosing what to share – and what to keep private. But she’s almost 13 years old now. And she does know what a podcast is, and she knows that quite a few people (both strangers and people we know) are listening. In my latest episode, I covered some ground that she didn’t want shared publicly, even under the cover of a pseudonym.  And I made the mistake of not clearly explaining to her, in advance, what the episode was about.

So I apologized to her, took the episode down, and made a promise to get her clear prior approval on everything that is shared about her in the podcast (and here on my blog) from now on. I also told her that it’s up to her if the podcast and blog even continue at all. If she wants me to stop telling stories about her, at any time, I will.

She accepted my apology graciously, and then she said that she likes knowing that our stories are helping other people, giving them hope. She said she would like to keep doing that.  So we will, as long as she’s cool with it.  

A few days later, she told me that she thought I should put the episode back up, but without the parts that she wanted kept private. And she said she would add to it, explaining things from her perspective. Because she’s not a little kid anymore (even though I sometimes forget this).

I hope you’ll enjoy hearing from my (almost teenaged) daughter as much as I do. I’m so proud of her I could pop.

Please take a listen to “M is for Middle School, Take Two.”

With love and gratitude,

Marlo

7 thoughts on “Mom learns a lesson

  1. I love that you are so respectful of your daughter. I have a 21 year old trans son who came out at 16. Although our kids have such a large age difference and different stories, I have really appreciated hearing your stories. We are ultimately moms who want the best (including safety) for our kiddos.

    Thanks for your blog and if you don’t continue, know that your blog has made an impact.

  2. Love you both! Growing up is a challenge for all involved and your both handling it beautifully. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  3. Good for you. I’m so happy for you that you have the kind of relationship where she can tell you when her boundaries have been crossed and you apologize and change. I wish I had that with my parents but they don’t listen.

  4. I loved the revised episode! You’re an incredible mum (sorry I’m British and it doesn’t feel right to even type mom!) I love how smart and in touch with your emotions your daughter is. Having the courage to be honest about what she is and isn’t comfortable with sharing shows her maturity and I thought it was so kind that she felt bad about the hard work that you’d put into the podcast. You’re both awesome, thank you for sharing your story with us ♥️

  5. I came upon your podcast by chance and find it thought provoking, warm, endearing and full of love for your child. What a wonderful mum you are!
    I have already recommended your podcast to my adult daughter.
    It has changed my outlook on trans issues completely. Wishing you and your wonderful family all good things for the future. 💕

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