From daughters:

  • Now I am not afraid of going through puberty.
  • I thought it was interesting and I really liked it.  I am really glad I came.
  • I liked it a lot and I felt like you explained it better so I understood it.
  • Thank you!  I learned a lot and had fun.
  • I liked it.  I would highly recommend it.  It was a blast!
  • I <3 this workshop
  • This was fun and exciting.
  • This was fun and it makes me feel better about it.
  • It was really fun!
  • I liked when we talked with our mothers in groups.
  • It was fun and informative.  It was better than I thought.
  • I thought this was kinda interesting to learn.  Part of it I knew and some I didn’t.
  • I really enjoyed experimenting with the tampon.
  • I really enjoyed talking about it.  Now I know more and feel better about it.
  • (My daughter said that she) loved it and especially loved the comfort of talking and learning with other mamas she respects a lot.

From mothers:

  • Thank you!  I wish I had this education when I was young.
  • The workshop really opened the door to better communication!  I think it went great.  Loved it!
  • Great workshop, thanks!
  • I love your matter-of-fact style that I can mimic.
  • I think it was great. I love how patient you are!
  • I LOVED how you pulled apart the tampon and pad. I never would have thought to do that and my daughter was so interested. That “science experiment” made it very easy for her to get comfortable with the topic.
  • My favorite part was the communication/drawing exercises, because they highlighted and allowed us to discuss a process that can be really tough sometimes!
  • I thought this workshop was well planned, well thought out and very on target!
  • I liked having time to share our personal stories with our daughters.
  • I hosted this workshop based on the rave reviews a few of my friends gave Katie’s workshops.  We had about 8 girls ages 8-10, and I think it went really well.  I think some of the most valuable things in my opinion and noted by other participants were the communication exercises that she did and hearing about puberty experiences from a variety of women.  I hope that when my daughter progresses through puberty she will remember the variety of experiences and realize that she is “normal” too.  I also liked the hands on experience with feminine protection items so that (again, hopefully) they won’t feel confused/weird/scared when it comes time to actually use them.  My daughter and I have had some great conversations about puberty since then, and I hope she feels well prepared for the changes she will experience. I think it was definitely a worthwhile event.

And I recently got this email from an attendee:

“We really enjoyed the workshop yesterday. My daughter was VERY reluctant to go and not happy about it (and pouted most of the morning). Then last night she must have told me 10 times how glad she was she went and how much she enjoyed it. :) I know it will make talking about everything as we move into adolescence a slight bit easier because we will always have this “touchstone” experience as a starting point. How can we not dissolve into laughter thinking of the girls with pads stuck to their foreheads? And their faces as they watched those tampons expand in water? Thanks for making what could have been a brief, terse, awkward “here’s a pad and some tampons and ask me any questions if you have them” type of moment into something we will always giggle about and share a fun bond thinking about it.”

Behavior is communication: What your young child is trying to tell you

Children don’t always have the skills or ability to use words to describe what is going on in their brain or body. Sometimes they don’t know, other times they just don’t have the words. Even if it’s true, you’re not likely to find a 4 year old saying “Excuse me Mommy, but the sugar from that candy plus the nap I missed are really combining to make it hard for me to sit down and stop shrieking.” Know what I mean?

On the other hand, their behavior itself is a fantastic clue about what’s going on. When a child is behaving in some inappropriate way, ask yourself what that behavior would tell you if you looked at it as though it was a message spoken in a foreign language. Translate it, and see what your child is saying. For example:

What your child is doing

What it means/what they need

Hiding behind your legs when meeting someone new.

I’m feeling uncomfortable and a little scared. I need to be reassured and some gentle physical touch would help a lot. Do my talking for me so I can watch and warm up at my own speed.

Coming to you, interrupting what you are doing with endless questions when you know they already know the answer.

I need more of your attention. I want you to stop what you are doing for at least a moment to play with me, talk to me, ask me how I am or what is up with me.

Running in to the street/away from you.

I can’t handle being in charge of my body right now. I need you to hold my hand, or take me somewhere safer, or carry me, etc.

There are many, many different messages that our children’s behaviors can be sending, but the need for more attention, more support, more reassurance, and more limits are very common ones for the younger kids. Stay tuned for how to translate your teenager’s behaviors next!