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.
With love and gratitude,