027: Powerful Puberty: How Self-Care of Mothers Impacts their Adolescent Daughters – Part 1


Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Lilian Starling, CMT regarding a paper she presented at the 2013 national AASECT conference regarding how the self-care of mothers can impact their daughter’s developmental journey through puberty.  At puberty girls experience significant physician and emotional changes.  How to best support these changes remains uncertain.  Mothers who care for their own well being, who have support networks, and who feel comfortable in their own bodies are better equipped to support their own daughters and influence them towards healthy choices.

The first half of the podcast, Lilian reads her paper.  The second half of the podcast, Lilian and Natasha discuss the implications and ideas further, especially as they relate to Mormon women.  This discussion is limited mainly to the relationship between mother and daughter.  This by no means implies that the father/daughter relationship isn’t equally important or that there aren’t similar issues regarding our adolescent sons.

Lily Starling began her own adult rite of passage in the jungle of Belize, Central America at the age of 20 as an apprentice to a great traditional healing lineage. She is an entrepreneur, small business owner, educator, farmer, and writer for Medium. She grew up in the Catholic faith and is quite familiar with Mormon culture through important relationships in her life.  Her work is a lifelong study of holistic modern humanism, communication, and social justice. To learn more about ongoing development of rite of passage programs and retreats for all ages, follow her on Twitter @LilyStarlingCMT, or email her at lilystarling.cmt@gmail.com.

Many thanks to The Lower Lights for the beautiful bumper music and to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for audio production of this podcast.

7 comments for “027: Powerful Puberty: How Self-Care of Mothers Impacts their Adolescent Daughters – Part 1

  1. Carlene
    December 21, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Thank you Natasha and Lilian. This was very powerful and empowering for me. A lot of what you shared resonated with me and my understanding and desires in my life. Now how do I teach this to my daughter and yet let her choose her way? Barbie, Bratz, and Disney Princesses sometimes seem to speak to her sensibilities more than I do! 🙁

    • January 28, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Hi Carlene!

      The answer is to keep her inside until she’s 40.

      Seriously, though, I was a serious Disney princess addict ages 2-7 and I turned out just fine. As long as you keep presenting her with healthy role models and reinforcing that she is intrinsically beautiful, whole, and worthy, the other messages won’t root so deep. I don’t know that any woman growing up in our culture can escape them entirely, but you can do your best to crowd them out. I do believe that given lots of love AND patient explanation, kids ultimately choose the affirming identity.

      Thanks for listening!

  2. Josi
    February 22, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Is your presentation paper published anywhere, Lilian? I would love to read it again and again. Your sentiments and ideas touched me deeply.

    • February 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Josi! Thank you so much for your kind words. If you email me at lilystarling.ncmt at gmail dot com I’ll arrange to send a copy of it to you.

  3. Tracie
    February 27, 2014 at 5:02 am

    This is fantastic! It spoke to many thoughts I’ve had over the past few years in combination with conversations with friends and following of the Gift of Giving Life circle. I had been thinking a lot about rites of passage I hope our family can navigate and celebrate together with trusted friends and family (as an expat family). I loved the four step model and am so glad I heard this while my little girl is small – but also my boys. As I’m pregnant with our fifth child and try to be appropriately open with this beautiful process happening in my body, I have loved the opportunity to share my feelings specifically about body image and life cycles in a positive way with my children. My oldest son is ten so I hope there’s another podcast that focuses on nurturing boys through their rites of passage.

    I’d also like to know if this paper is published anywhere so I can refer to it time and again and share it. Thanks!

  4. Brittany
    March 20, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    This was beautiful. You gave me some great things to think about. This helps me to understand my sweet daughter better. We enjoyed a nice conversation about womanhood after I listened to this and she’s only 5 🙂

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