This is the second to last post in my Puberty and Growth Series
After two years of researching, interviewing and writing, I’m happy to announce that My Body’s Superpower is finally here and available in print or eBook. Just a quick note. On Amazon, the print version is in black and white and the hardcover is in color.
This summer I’ll also be releasing a journal to go along with the book so girls can practice their superpowers. So stay tuned on that.
Now more about the book…
Simple can be better
The biggest challenge in writing this book was keeping it simple while still providing important information. Let’s face it, I love details and don’t want to leave anything out. But now I can see that simple is effective. I believe that adults can get much out of this book too, as one of my reviewers wrote:
I think there is a lot for adults to take away too. We get so caught up in frenetic lives we forget some of the basics sometimes. This book is a great reminder of how straightforward it can be to build healthy habits focusing on the inside, not the outside.
The Superpower Formula
Every chapter begins with Super Knowledge, detailing growth, nutrition, and important development changes that occur during puberty. I firmly believe that giving girls’ minds all the information, helps them make good decisions. It also helps them understand what to expect, what’s normal, and what’s not.
Body Talk is about listening and being aware of how the body and mind communicate with us. This is much better than just being told what to do which can go against body talk. By decoding body signals, girls can respond to help the body function well. Even when they get it wrong they gather important information for the next time.
Time Travel is imagining yourself at some future date when making decisions. Adolescents naturally focus on how they feel now but they need to start developing a broader perspective. When we help girls time travel to the future, even when it’s just an hour or two, we help them see how their decisions affect their future selves often bringing an even bigger and better reward/outcomes. This enhances self-control.
Super Decisions are highlighted at the end of each chapter. This part focuses on taking control of things girls can actually change, which makes them feel more in control (referred to as “locus of control”). When girls take control of things they can’t change — like when puberty starts or stops — they feel helpless (because they can’t change it!). I call this using a superpower you don’t have. Here’s an example from the book:
Like any first-rate superhero, you’ll want to stick with the superpowers you have. I mean The Flash would probably love to fly like Supergirl, but that’s not his superpower. He could work day and night trying to fly and make no progress–and end up feeling awful about himself. He’d be better off mastering his own superpowers–like moving at lightning speed!My Body’s Superpower
A very special girl, Lily Rhymes, came up with the title My Body’s Superpower. She’s right, the human body has amazing superpowers that come to life during puberty. Sadly, girls and women can spend a lifetime not utilizing their powers. What’s even sadder, is the advice often goes against these superpowers, keeping them in hiding!
For instance, without the right information about puberty, weight gain, and growth, girls and parents may think something’s wrong and try to fight these natural changes. This can lead girls to go against their Appetite Signals of fullness, hunger, satisfaction, and cravings causing eating regulation to get off track.
Nagging about nutrition without explaining why it’s important can turn girls away from how food makes their body feel and function. And because activity and sleep decline as girls age, highlighting how activity and sleep help their minds stay focused is crucial!
Yes. It definitely helped me. After I read the physical part. I made a rough schedule for my day and made sure I got enough exercise and sleep and tried not to eat when I’m not hungry. -12-year-old girl
I liked how it talked about how to eat a nutritious diet and how to eat to be satisfied. -12-year-old girl
Girls get overwhelmed with their erratic emotional states and are more sensitive to stress. But once they learn about their emotional powers everything changes. Instead of running from feelings and stress, they can use them as a compass to direct them in life. Supportive friendships also matter and there is lots of social learning going on. Instead of making choices to get that stamp of approval, girls learn how to forge their own path by learning about themselves, the person they want to be, and what excites them.
I liked how you talked more about emotions, and how to help girls go through puberty, not just physical changes. I think it will help girls a lot. It was very useful for me! -10-year-old girl
A girl’s outside powers are vital because the world isn’t always supportive. This is being able to critically think about the constant stream of messages telling girls how they should look, act, and be. They also feel a lot of pressure and want to please others at the expense of developing their true selves. They can learn to combat this by tapping into their values, appreciating their body, and finding what works for them.
I liked the Social Media parts the most and I think that it will help girls understand that no one can look perfectly beautiful. -13-year-old girl
Girls Need More Than Information
The book is also written to increase motivation based on the latest science of internal motivation, focusing on values, and decreasing resistance. All of the body image research is included as well as research on media literacy and growth mindset. And I can’t forget the books and interviews from leading experts.
Basically, this is the ultimate health book for girls going through puberty. What can make it more effective is parents talking with their girls about each of the superpower topics. Discussing how girls bodies are changing, listening to the body and giving it what it needs, decoding what emotions are trying to convey, navigating social situations, and getting into the habit of questioning media messages.
My hope is to build a solid foundation of health during this critical time, so girls can continue to make thoughtful health decisions for a lifetime. You can purchase the book here. Perfect summer reading!
Next up will be a book for boys so stay tuned.
Posts Included in the Series:
Intro: 6 Things About Puberty and Growth Every Parent Should Know
1. The Stages of Puberty: What Families Can Expect
2. How to Get Your Child Through Puberty Without Hating Their Growing Body
3. How to Normalize Sexual Development with Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo [Podcast]
4. Why Puberty is the Ideal Time to Invest in Bone Health
5. 15 Simple and Delicious Calcium-Rich Recipes for the Whole Family
6. Preventing Eating and Weight-Related Problems in Your Child. Project EAT’s Principal Investigator Dianne Neumark Sztainer [Podcast]
7. Seven Things “Always Hungry” Adolescents Wish Their Parents Knew
8. Nutrition from Head to Toe During Puberty (Part 1)
9. Nutrition from Health to Toe During Puberty (Part 2)
10. 8 Ways to Talk to Kids About Nutrition so They Actually Listen
11. 7 Shifts in Tweens’ Behavior Every Parent Should Know About
12. How to Keep “Cultural Faves” From Ruining Your Tween’s Health and Well Being