Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
107 — What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You

107 — What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You

In this episode, the Wider Lens duo takes a slight detour from gender to explore teenage years from a developmental approach and how parents can better connect with and support their teen children through a challenging but powerful season of life — adolescence.

Sasha interviews Stella about her latest book, What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You. The book empowers parents to distinguish between opportunities in which intervention makes sense or moments that are best left for the teens to work out for themselves. Reviewed as somewhat of a deep dive into the teenage brain, the book provides practical advice for each of the key milestones teenagers need to tackle during adolescence to become happy, healthy adults.

Covering topics from anxiety to body confidence and technology obsession to the sexual self, this book is sure to give parents — always desperate to “fix” situations for their kids — the confidence to optimize on a teaching moment, or the patience to respect the power of simply letting the lessons be learned. The ultimate goal of the book is to enable parents with a better understanding of their teens and improved discernment, resulting in a rekindled joy and connection shared within parent-teen relationship dynamics.


Stella’s Website

Stella’s Substack

Full Collection of Stella’s books:

What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You, 2023

Bully-Proof Kids, 2022

Fragile, 2019

Cotton Wool Kids, 2015

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Extended Notes

  • Stella shares the motivation behind her writing What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You.

  • Disillusionment is a natural part of adolescence.

  • Many adults don’t know how to explain the transition from an asexual child to a sexual being. Stella addresses it in her book.

  • There are milestones adolescents need to learn to become emotionally mature adults.

  • Risk analysis and consequences are not yet formed in teenage brain development.

  • Stella explains how parents can scale the wall of silence.

  • A five-point plan about why you should start a food fight with your children.

  • Vanity becomes preeminent in teenage life. It causes anxiety.

  • Tips for reducing a teen’s tech/screen time.

  • There are many ways to connect with a teenager that go beyond talking.

  • Parents should take caution when taking a teenager’s actions and responses personally.

  • Get What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You at Kenny’s Books and Amazon.


“The teenage brain is a half-made construction site.” — Stella [23:38]

“Vanity is the railroad to anxiety.” — Stella [38:40]

“We have moments of well-being, hopefully, every day but there is a lot of difficulty in life.” — Stella [54:26]

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
In this podcast, now in it's fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.