Heart to Heart: About Them Birds & Bees


Photo courtesy netnewsledger

A heads up: This one’s neither about running nor about cooking. But if you have a pre-teen in the house, then you gotta learn more about Heart to Heart. I know many parents that don’t know about this Heart to Heart program offered by Stanford. And the ones that have attended swear by it. It’s a seminar on Growing Up for Parents and Kids, a two part class developed by Julie Metzger, RN and Rob Lehman, MD of “Great Conversations” in the Seattle, WA area. Growing up in India where conversation about body parts and adolescence is a bit of a taboo (inversely correlated with the population!), this is not exactly my topic.

But, with more than a gentle nudge from the wife, figured I had to do this and boy am I glad. Kids know way more than you think they know. Chances are it’s not too late for you. There’s a seminar for Dads/boys and another one for Moms/girls. Yes, you have to attend this with your child.

Heart to Heart

During my first few years of running, I was obsessed by it. Even wrote a book about my learnings. I can help my kids now with their sports injuries. At least, I can talk to them about it and jointly figure things out:

  • Groin pain during lacrosse, here’s the stretch.
  • Achilles sore, must be the cleats. Heel drops to the rescue.
  • Inflammation and recovery? Load up on Vitamin C and Omega-3.
  • Need help with the mile times in PE? Here’s what intervals do for you.
  • Here’s why veggies matter – always an interesting conversation. 🙂

Not that I’m an expert or a coach by any stretch. But there’s a common vocabulary to talk about things, compare notes and point them in the right direction. A big part of this was I went through them too.

Puberty though? Um, hmm, um, ‘cos ain’t nobody talked about it. And this is where Dr. Rob Lehman does an amazing job of breaking things down. Full of humor, this is a course that I wished I had attended when I was a pre-teen. The first week, it’s all about what boys go through when they hit puberty. Second week, it’s about the girls. And I was truly amazed and impressed by the questions from the kids. They are all curious and more than anything in the world, they want to know that being different is normal. And that everyone goes through it. Being candid matters.

Have you attended one of the Heart to Heart seminars? What do you think?