Big Kid Parenting

We’re way past potty training. Parenting my teen and nearly-tween.

Tween Book Recommendations That Don’t Suck

Is it me, or has the book selection for tween readers gotten really good since we were kids? When I was growing up, the genre pickings were slim. You made a huge leap from kid books to adult books kind of quick. There are some classics, like “Hail, Hail Camp Timberwood,” The Little House series, and “The Westing Game,” but generally? Not much. They were either trashy fiction or over your head. Once Girl Child really started to become a more advanced reader when she was in the 4th grade, I realized how awesome the choices had gotten for this age group. Tween book recommendations can be hard to find, in my opinion, so I sat down with Girl and Boy Child and together we compiled this list of the ones we’ve loved to share.

Tween Book Recommendations

Tween Reading Recommendations

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is an instant grabber.

(note: These are Amazon affiliate links. Help a sister out!)

39 Clues (various authors) – Want to keep your young tween reading challenging, well-written books with decent vocabulary words for a year or more? 39 Clues. Quick Synopsis: When orphans Dan and Amy’s beloved Grandmother dies, they find out their family is historically very powerful and are in a centuries-old race for 39 Clues that are supposed to make them the most powerful people in the world. They just have to find the clues first and outsmart all their crazy and dangerous relatives who are also in the hunt. There are TEN books in this first series. They just keep on going. Boy Child can’t get enough of them.

Will in Scarlet by Matthew Cody – A very fun re-imagining of the Robin Hood story centered around a 13 year old boy named Will Shackley. Quick Synopsis: While his father is away fighting in a Crusade, Will is forced to leave his sheltered home and joins a group of bandits you may be familiar with in a forest perhaps you’ve heard of. A great adventure for both boys and girls.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool – This has been one of my favorites Girl Child has read in the last five years. Such a powerful story that goes back and forth between two times in history. That can be tricky, but the author has done it extremely well here. Quick Synopsis: Abilene Tucker is sent by her father to live in the town where he lived just before World War 1 – Manifest, Kansas – during the Depression. She finds an old cigar box full of mementos and sets out to find the story behind each one. What starts as a child’s imagined mystery evolves into a beautiful story about the past, it’s secrets, and the healing that can happen once revealed.

N.E.R.D.S. by Michael Buckley – There are five books in this series, and they’re all hysterical. Quick Synopsis: A group a geeky fifth graders run a spy network out of their school: the National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (Get it? N.E.R.D.S.) Each kid has something typically considered a recipe for awkwardness, like braces, asthma, etc. However, they’re the heroes of the whole operation because through the awesomeness of science, their braces, inhalers, and other “nerdy” accouterments become their strengths. Nano-braces, anyone?

Wonder by RJ Palacio – This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Never mind that it’s a kid’s book. The story centers around a boy named August. Quick Synopsis: August has cranio-facial abnormalities that up until we’re introduced to him at the beginning of the book prevented him from attending a regular school. But, he’s ready to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and wants to be treated like an ordinary kid. Told from different perspectives by the people in his life, this book is like a reader’s manual on kindness, compassion, and seeing people for their inside, not just their outside.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead – I loved this book. It’s a mystery, and is SO well-written and interesting. I would read with Girl Child and then sneak off and read ahead after she was asleep. Quick Synopsis: Miranda and Sal are best friends, but when something happens to Sal, he starts to withdraw from her. Other things are happening around Miranda that leave her wondering what is going on. She gets a note scrawled on a piece of paper and the mystery unfolds. Where is her spare apartment key? What does the crazy guy on the corner have to do with everything?

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner – Twists and turns and American history. Quick Synopsis: Anna, José and Henry are kids. They are also strangers stuck at a Washington DC airport in the middle of a snow storm. The news reports say the flag that inspired “The Star Spangled Banner” has been stolen. Can they come together and figure out the mystery? With a cast of memorable characters and nice amount of page-turning intrigue, this one was a quick, absorbing read.

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein – Another mystery, this one is packed with funny, eccentric characters, and a race. It’s kind of a Willy Wonka meets board games story. Quick Synopsis: Kyle loves games, and Luigi Lemoncello is his hero game maker. Mr. Lemoncello is also the designer behind the new town library. Kyle wins a coveted spot for an overnight inside the library, but come morning – the doors stay locked. Kyle has to use all his game skills to find an escape. It’s all in good fun, but it will keep your reader guessing.

The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley – a wonderful fantasy series with a sense of humor. The scenario is similar to the TV series by the same name, however this is the G-rated, non-horror version. Quick Synopsis: After orphans Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their enigmatic grandmother, they discover they are descendants of the Brother’s Grimm, and their fairy tale books we all know are actually case files. They come from a long line of fairy tale detectives. What does that mean? You meet a familiar cast of characters as the girls try to keep the fairy world and the real world from crashing into each other.

Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy – Rock n Roll connection alert! Colin Meloy is the lead singer of The Decemberists. This fantasy series reads like a love letter to Portland’s Forest Park and the Wildwood Trail. Three HEFTY books in the series, it’s for a more advanced tween reader, and certainly entertaining enough for adults to enjoy, as well. Quick Synopsis: Prue and her friend Curtis find a secret world full of wild creatures, mystics, and figures – all with dark intentions. Can they save the freedom of the woods the locals call Wildwood?

The school year is gearing up, and those reading logs don’t fill themselves. Hopefully these older reader / tween book recommendations help you out!

What’s a Sinsta and Why Should You Care?

SinstaGirl Child came to me the other day and asked if she could get a “Sinsta.” I thought, “What the hell is a Sinsta?”

The Current Social Media Rules

She doesn’t get an account without permission from me. End of story. No exceptions. Yes, EVEN IF she already has an account on the social media platform in question. I get all up in her social media business. We went over the rules when she got her Instagram account. We went over them again, in very direct terms, when she got a Snapchat account. The work of constructing a pause button in her brain has barely begun.

So, What’s Sinsta?

Yes, there’s a new thing now with Girl Child’s Instagram crowd – a “Secret Instagram” account, aka “Sinsta.”

What’s the difference between that and regular old Instagram, you ask? The secret part. Apparently the kids have grown weary of perfectly curated and edited versions of their Instagram lives, and are creating these “secret” accounts where they can post stuff they normally wouldn’t post on their regular Instagram account. So far, for Girl Child’s circle of friends, this is where you get to dork out “secretly.”

Why This Could be a Bad Idea:

As we saw recently in that high school in Colorado, secret apps and accounts play perfectly into the teenager’s penchant for bad decision making. This isn’t your 1970’s call and hang up on your crush kinda thing. This is, “I’m going to give myself a place to make horrible decisions that could last forever and let people watch.”

The bigger potential problem I see with a “Sinsta” is kids hiding their problems behind this “secret” account. You don’t want to be the parent who finds out their child has amassed pro-ana followers on their secret account because they are posting Thinspiration photos on it. There’s also the idea of having two lives: the life you want people to see and the life you let your guard down to live. If a teen has an Instagram account that is full of sweetness and carefully edited light, and then they let the tougher and uglier parts out on the alternative account, they are creating a fake self and a real self. They are creating an inauthentic way of living, which at best is a bad habit that wears thin over time, or at worst, carries through to adulthood and makes knowing who they truly are harder to figure out. Is the pressure to show their lives on Instagram as perfect so great that they feel compelled to create a secret account for relief?

The shiny Instagram life, as we see with many teens, often belies a deeper problem underneath. Instagram is sometimes where social warfare takes place. (See: The Secret Language of Girls on Instagram by Rachel Simmons) So, this new trend of a “Sinsta” makes me wonder what the spin-off consequences will be and how they will manifest themselves in the lives of our kids.

Teens spend a lot of time trying to skirt adults who they believe simply don’t understand; I want to make certain that my kids know that I DO understand. The venues may have changed, but the feelings remain the same. So, TALK. A few minutes of uncomfortable conversation for you could mean theirs or their friend’s lives. Sit down and find out what’s going on, learn their social media platforms, get on them, and get up in their business. Their “Sinsta” account should not be a secret from you. If you get there and find out all they are posting is picture outtakes and bad Dubsmash videos, at least you know.

LG Wireless Tone Headphones REVIEW: Back To School with Bluetooth

AT&T Wireless was kind enough to give me a pair of LG Wireless Tone headphones for review. Thank you, Andy Colley (@AndythePRguy) 

Bluetooth and Back To School

I’ve always looked at Bluetooth headphones and wondered how they would work, if I could run with them, and if they might be helpful for Girl Child in her school work. I can wonder no more!

The Product:

LG Wireless Tone Headphones:

LG Tone Wireless Headphones

I was provided a pair of LG Wireless TonePros for review. They’re really nice looking, first of all. Pretty discreet, too. It may be a status thing to wear gigantor, over-the-ear headphones, but where on earth do you store them when you’re on the go? These have a low profile, in-ear, cushioned ear buds, and they’re portable. They came with a few different sizes of ear bud cushions for comfort and sizing. I have a hard time with those sometimes, and so does Girl Child. They come in several colors, including the standard black and white. The pair I got are dark pink. Snazzy. I’ve seen them in green, blue, red, etc.

The controls are on the part of the headset that sits around your neck. You can click on the silver strip and answer your phone, summon Siri if you have an iPhone (Siri and I are not currently on speaking terms, but if you are in a steady, mutually beneficial relationship with her – more power to you.)

My favorite feature is the magnetic docks for the ear buds. They don’t have to trail behind you when you aren’t plugged in. Check it out:

Connecting and Pairing and Running OH MY!

I was hooked up and ready to roll within two minutes after they were charged. The first thing I wanted to do was find out if I could run comfortably in them. I was unsure because they sit on your neck near your collarbone, which, if you’re running can be really annoying. I was pleasantly surprised. They didn’t bounce on my neck, making me insane. Plus, it was really nice not to be tethered to my phone with the chord. So, for running, I like them – comfortable, non-bouncy, great sound, chord free.

LG Wireless Tone Headphones

School Use

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to test these out is because Girl Child has a provision in her 504 plan that allows her to bring her own headphones for activities that involve the use of the school’s technology. Girl Child’s middle school is a 1:1 iPad school – meaning each student is provided with an iPad for use during the school year. She has had a few incidences of using the school’s over-the-ear headphones that proved to be really uncomfortable and potentially harmful to her prosthetic ear. I thought this would be a great solution – the headphones pair easily, they are compact and easy to transport, and my daughter, who is hard of hearing on one side, can use them for the side that she can hear out of.

We paired the LG Wireless Tone headphones with her iPhone and they worked great:

LG Wireless Tone Headphones

The Summary:

Really easy to use, setup, and they are portable. I personally hate being tethered with headphone chords, so this is a nice alternative. I couldn’t really find any specific critique about these headphones. I thought they were comfortable, easy to use, they stayed in my ears while I was running, they sound great, and my daughter likes them. They fit well with her headphone requirements for school. Win.

The Offer:

AT&T Wireless is offering a 10% discount on any LG Wireless Tone headphones – plus free shipping (YAY FREE SHIPPING) when you purchase them now through September 24th. Great for early Christmas shopping, too. Act now!

Thank you again to AT&T Wireless for generously allowing me to try these out. They’re really cool. 

Wisdom From My Father: The 3 Times You Call 911 (Or Your Parents)

wisdom from my fatherMy dad is a retired oral surgeon. He turned 80 late last year, but he worked part time as an adjunct professor of oral surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University until December. He golfs every chance he gets. Gets his favorite coffee everyday at Starbucks because he can. He’s livin’ the dream now.

Every year he got voted as one of the professors everybody likes. He’s reached an age where he doesn’t mess around with too many words. Remember that: you don’t have to be 80 years old to decide not to mess around with too many words. Clearly this is a life lesson I’m still working on.

He’s also a stellar grandfather to the kids. He takes them to Starbucks, lunch, the driving range, ice skating….best Papa ever.

We were having a conversation awhile ago about the maturing of Girl Child; her being in middle school, whether or not we should get her a cell phone, etc. This is what he said:

“When you get her a phone, tell her what I told my surgery students:”

The Three Times You Call 911 (or your parents)

1) When in doubt.

2) When you know what’s going on and you don’t like what you see.

3) When you don’t know what’s going on and you don’t like what you see.

We got Girl Child a cell phone a few months ago, and thought this idea needed to be revisited.

Is there anything else that needs to be said, here? I don’t think so. My dad is a smart man. You can find him on the golf course if you need advice.

The Shift

special needsWhen our daughter was born and we discovered she had a craniofacial birth defect, it was earth shifting. Everything I knew and thought I knew changed. I recall not truly realizing what it meant. She was born without an ear canal or outer ear, a craniofacial birth defect called Atresia/Microtia. What is this? What does this mean?

The reality sunk in all too soon when she was wheeled away from me to have her newborn hearing screening done. One side wasn’t testable because it was closed. The other side? She failed it. Twice.

The Shift

Becoming new parents is huge. Becoming new parents of a special needs child is something else entirely. Capt and I experienced, simultaneously, the fear that accompanies a calling: “Am I strong enough? Are we?” Something unlocks inside your soul, and you slip uncomfortably into one of two places: strong enough, or devastation.

I watched her every second for a flinch, a twitch, something to show me she wasn’t deaf. In those first few days, the flinch never came.

Exhausted from typical newborn baby struggles coupled with the stress of creeping fear, I left her and Capt in the room to go put pajamas on and brush my teeth. I looked up at myself in the mirror, mid-tooth brushing, with a vision of myself as the parent of a deaf child. I cursed myself for not paying closer attention in my college sign language class. And then I cried. Hard. The kind of cry that comes from a place in your heart you’ve never been. Holding it together wasn’t available to me in that moment. There was nothing for me to hold together. I was empty. All the thoughts and fantasies about the child I had with the man I love and call my husband circled the drain with the water in my sink. This isn’t what I signed up for. How did this happen? Why? What now?

What rose out of that huge empty space, the place where who I thought I was, who I thought WE were existed untouchable, is the marriage we have now. A fundamental shift occurred after the birth of our daughter and the weeks of uncertainty that followed. United in a shared experience of fear, longing for might-have-been, and the vast unknown that lay ahead, his was the only hand I could see and feel in the dark, questioning space I found myself in. “Help me. I’m falling apart, and I can’t find any of my pieces.” Time after time in those first weeks, I would reach out blindly and his hand was always there. I don’t know how he did it, because I know he was falling apart too. He carved out a piece of himself for me to gather strength from. I know it must have been painful.

There’s something that happens to you when you no longer have the luxury of wallowing. The shift happens. It’s about standing in the new space created by the circumstances you find yourself in, and making it yours. This is what survival feels like.

In following years of learning what this meant for all of us, we found our way beyond survival and began to carve out the relationship we have now in that formerly empty space of fear and longing. What can arise out of the darkest time is sometimes the most important and changes the trajectory of your life. The child we have now; the strong, happy, loving, hard-of-hearing (not deaf) girl whom we wouldn’t trade or change for anything, the integration of her and her unique needs into our lives (the fear is gone!) and the relationship we found in those early days of parenting made us the family we are today.

The Pencil Test: Conversations With Girl Child

the pencil testGirl came to me recently and said, “Mom, I don’t think I’m fit.” My jaw dropped. She is an active, healthy, average 12 year old.

“Why don’t you think you’re fit?”

“Because I did the Pencil Test.”

 

The Pencil Test

What’s the pencil test? I won’t go into to detail because I want to respect my child’s boundaries – if you want to know about the pencil test, you can look it up. This isn’t the upper body pencil test, Girl was referring to the lower body one. That’s an important detail for this conversation.

She demonstrated it, and that was a moment of clarity for me.

“Wait. Do you think that’s a sign of something bad?”

“I think it means I’m not fit.”

“Honey, whether or not you can hold a pencil there is not a sign of anything other than you are a normal, developing girl with an appropriate amount of body fat to support your growth. If you want to exercise with your dad or me, we would love that. It’s a healthy habit. Just don’t do it because you think you need to in order to be thin or there is anything wrong with the way you are right now.”

“But I saw it on Dr. Oz when I was over at Grandma’s. They said on the show it means you need to work on it because it was a sign of having too much fat.”

“Dr. Oz is trying to sell his show for ratings and money. This capitalizes exactly on the fear tv shows like Dr. Oz try to create: that women are somehow not as valuable unless they have a tiny some-kind-of-body part. You are more than the size of your individual pieces. It’s a distraction you don’t need to concern yourself with at 12 years old. You look exactly the way you are supposed to look for the growing kid you are right now. Look at me. Should I demonstrate the pencil test for you? By that standard, I’ll fail, guaranteed. Do you think I’m not fit?”

(smiles) “No, you run and exercise and stuff.”

“Exactly. I don’t concern myself with how big or small my butt is. I have other things to think about, and so do you.”

Somehow, somewhere, my own teenage and young adult obsession with my appearance faded in the distance while I was looking at my daughter and telling her she is more than the size of her parts. She should always look at herself that way.

You are more than the size of your parts.

Continuing Conversations: Growing Up Girl Child

There were several ongoing topics I wrote about over on Random Thoughts. I plan on still writing about them here. The main ones? Growing Up Girl Child, my dealings with depression, fitness and food, and funny conversations I have with my kids.

I’ll start with Growing Up Girl Child. I’ve been writing about the issues we’ve seen arise as our daughter has transitioned into tween-nearly-teenhood. Lots of questions and decisions on how much, when, and what to say. You could call this one: “Parenting Is Hard.” It’s physically demanding when they are tiny; what with sleep deprivation, keeping their fingers out of light sockets, what-have-you. When they get older, conversations about the world and it’s messiness, meanness, complications and where beauty can be found and created take center stage.

And you thought you were tired before.

Here are my Growing Up posts so far:

When Should I Begin Dating?

Let’s Talk About Dating Violence

Body Image

Mood Swings

My First Instagram Account

I also plan on continuing the conversations about Boy Child, my marriage to Capt., and health/depression, largely because they are the on-going issues in my life. The other stuff? I’ll figure it out as we go.

 

Growing Up Girl Child: My First Instagram Account

first instagram accountI finally gave in. Yep. Girl Child is now the proud owner of her very first instagram account. Seeing as she’s in seventh grade, SubHub and I second guessed ourselves on this one quite a bit.

And So It Begins

Instagram? We’re in new parenting territory. I made the decision when I started blogging in 2007 that I would share Girl Child’s story, including pictures. Oh, how naïve and cute that was. I think in the years following, many parents and an entire generation of kids have learned that a picture is worth a million reshares, whether you want it to get reshared or not. Once she was old enough, I let her read all the posts related to her and her experience on the Submommy blog. I took out anything that didn’t sit well with her. Since many of the posts are about her life, I wanted to make sure she felt she has a say in what gets discussed online. There have been times when she has asked, “Don’t share this, ok?” and other times when I have asked her permission to share something. We’ve established an ongoing dialogue as she grows up in the age of the Overshare.

This is one of those moments I feel it was a lucky twist of fate that I got into blogging and social media when I did. So, when the inevitable happened and she asked for an account, I was ready. As ready as I guess a parent ever really can be.

My First Instagram Account: The Rules

Here’s where I cop to being an extremely strict parent. I’ve been paying attention all these years to what gets shared, what makes viral headlines, and what just counts as obnoxious behavior from kids whose pre-frontal cortex needs some work that only growing up and life experience can make happen. A friend of mine says, “Kids run ’til they find the fence.” For Girl Child, the social media fence is close to the house where everyone can see it. These were the rules we agreed on:

  • Her account is private. Anyone sees her profile has to request to follow her.
    • She cannot let anyone follow her that she does not know in real life.
    • Conversely, she cannot request to follow anyone she does not know in real life.
  • She cannot put personal information in her public bio.
    • Personal information consists of: age, birthdate, address, her personal email address, etc.
  • I have to be one of her followers.
  • Her older female cousins have to be her followers also. They are 15 and 18 years old, and have experience.
  • For the time being, she asks permission of me to post a picture. This is a double-check I hope to instill in her. I want her to ask herself if this is a good idea.
  • If she wants to leave a comment on someone’s picture, we talk about what’s appropriate and what isn’t, including the use of hashtags.
  • She cannot reshare other people’s photos if they have private accounts.

As you can see, her first Instagram account is tightly controlled. It’s also working. She is reserved socially at school, and this is afforded her an opportunity to share pieces of her personality that she’s too shy to let shine in big noisy groups. Her school acquaintances have found her and requested to follow her, and she is following back. It’s opening up new possibilities for her as she starts to consider what she thinks is “share-worthy” about her and her life.

The rule that she has to show me what pictures she wants to post has come in handy, too. She brought a picture to me that she wasn’t sure of. It was selfie she took where she had face paint on. This led to a very productive conversation about “What if this gets shared by people? How would you feel about that?” She decided against it.

In talking about this entire thing, we also had to prepare her for the potential for hurt feelings. Her friends may post pictures of things that they have done together, and she wasn’t invited to join. This can hurt, even if you’re an adult. In internet-speak, people have abbreviated this phenomenon to FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out. And it happened. She WAS hurt, but took it in stride, didn’t make any comments on the picture, and moved on.

Maturity vs. Sophistication

I’m trying to help her build a pause button before she hits send. I see parents everywhere mistake sophistication for maturity, and I can’t help but wonder if it leaves the child confused, or with a false sense of their perceived importance. We all know that adolescence is when we, as humans, are the most inward focused. I’m doing my darndest to make certain her sense of importance comes from real maturity, not just the illusion of it.

She knows where the fence is.

Growing Up Girl Child: Mood Swings

Mood Swings. The Bain Of Our Existence.

Ah, mood swings. A female rite of passage. One minute you’re fine, the next minute, you’re bawling for no apparent reason. It feels weird to be crying for no reason, so you make one up. That way you appear less insane.mood swings

This happened a few mornings ago. She poured herself some cereal without realizing I had poured a bowl for her already.

Burst into tears. ?

So we had a conversation about the whole thing when she had calmed down a little:

Girl: “Has this ever happened to you?”

Me: Absolutely.

Girl: WHY? THIS IS AWFUL!

Me: Yep. Can’t lie about that. It stinks.

Girl: When did you have mood swings?

Me: When I was your age, and then at the end of my pregnancy with you. I remember the most ridiculous things would upset me. I swear, I would drop my pen on the ground or something stupid like that, and start crying because it was hard to pick up. My belly was in the way and it would send me over the edge. Your poor dad didn’t know what to do.

Girl: What did you do?

Me: Rode it out. It’s just a feeling. You don’t have to attach it to anything. When you feel that stress coming on, and you want to cry, go ahead. Just know the feeling doesn’t need a permanent home with some vague issue that’s not really an issue. It took me practically a lifetime to learn that. Feelings don’t need to latch themselves on to anything.

Girl: Ok. (*sniffle)

Remember ladies – feels can be bullshit. Don’t attach a random feeling to a vague thought and make it bigger than it needs to be. It will pass, and then your logical brain can come back online and make sense of it all.

mood swings

 

Growing Up Girl Child: Body Image

“Media Literacy” is a buzz term around OpEd pieces that discuss the raising of girls. I’ve been watching and learning about it for a few years now, lying in wait for the day that Girl Child begins to turn inward and worry about things like her looks, what she’s wearing, when she’ll be developing, etc. I want very much to make sure that she’s guided through the gigantic maze of body image issues. I had plenty myself, and looking back, I was FINE. Better than fine. Pretty, even. I’m hoping to spare her the same self-torture by educating her on what’s real, and what’s unequivocally NOT real.

Girls and women are assaulted on the daily with what I call “Girl Mud Flap” body:

Imperial-mud-flap-girl

image: Nil Failstorm

What’s so insidious about trying to make this body type come to life is it’s not even real or attainable, yet it’s presented that way through manipulation. So, here are two videos I’ve shown Girl Child recently giving her a bird’s eye view of what really goes on after the pictures are taken, and how it can affect a woman’s body image.

Talking About Body Image

Love your body, ladies. Not so much for what it looks like, but what it can do, be, and endure.

(video: iGirl Television)

And then here is the one I showed her where four perfectly lovely women were photographed and subsequently given The Photoshop Treatment. Watch their reactions to the changes made and how it may affect their body image going forward. (For the better!) Suddenly who they ARE crystallizes.

(video: BuzzFeedVideo)

I am hopeful that because she was born with an imperfection and now has scars (which I tell her, “scars are stories.”) that she embrace all she’s been through, and realizes life is too short to not accept who you are inside and out. We are all so much more than the size of our breasts and what the tag says in our jeans. My hope is to guide her through these years and help her see herself as a whole entity, not simply the sum of her parts that she has compared to an impossible standard. One of the keys to this is being aware of how I talk about myself and my own body. I’m ok. So are you, and so is your daughter.