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Mom Squad: 'Turning Red' and talking puberty with kids

The movie, Turning Red, brought up some topics that parents weren't ready to discuss. Dr. Lisa Ramirez with MetroHealth gives advice on how and when to talk puberty.

CLEVELAND — There's some controversy surrounding the new Disney movie Turning Red. The main character is a 13-year-old girl who wakes up as a big red panda one morning, but the whole thing is a metaphor for puberty. In many households, it brought up some topics many parents didn't think they were ready to tackle. 

In this week's Mom Squad, 3News' Maureen Kyle talks to Dr. Lisa Ramirez, a child psychologist with MetroHealth, about what age is appropriate and how to handle that discussion.

RELATED: Cleveland’s Terminal Tower lights up red in honor of Disney’s new ‘Turning Red’ movie

“I get this question a lot and it's not only puberty, but changes in the body," Dr. Ramirez says. "Things like sexuality, just all along the spectrum of things that aren't always comfortable conversations to have. And a lot of it goes back to how we were raised ourselves, too."

Ramirez advises if your child asks a question, answer it appropriately. If you are blindsided and not prepared, tell your child that it’s a good question and you’d like to discuss it later.

“Sometimes, children will walk into a bathroom and they'll see some sort of sanitary, female sanitary item. And they might ask a question about it. They might be as young as 3 or 4, and that seems to some parents as really early to talk about things. However, especially if it's a little girl, you can use really appropriate language: ‘That's something that mommy uses’ or if you're a dad, ‘That's something your mommy uses.'"

The conversation with Dr. Ramirez goes in depth about how to answer those questions, great resources for your family and why it’s important that kids have this conversation with their parents before hearing about puberty at school. 3News' Hollie Strano also joins in on the conversation. You can download The Mom Squad Pod podcast any where you get your podcasts.

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