Episode 3 – I Want To Fit In

The folks from Moving Traditions bring you @13, a six-episode podcast series that is pitch-perfect for parents and pre-teens going through the sometimes confusing, likely emotional, and certainly triumphant process of planning and becoming a Bat or Bar Mitzvah.

In this episode, Sara explores the pressures pre-teens face to fit in – the social pressures and gender norms that impact today’s pre-teens. We hear about the pressures on girls, boys, and the compelling story of a transgender pre-teen navigating b’nai mitzvah party culture.

Producer: Michele Siegel (Slate, New York Times/WBUR, WNYC)
Host: Sara Ivry (host of Vox Tablet)

The parties are also a kind of performance. Pre-teens are pretending to be a little bit older and more mature than they are. The coat closet. Place for experimentation and risk taking. It is an exciting moment for kids to think about a more adult side of themselves. What is it about b’nai mitzvah? I can’t be the only slutty girl in the coat closet.
– Rachel Simmons

Most pre-teens want to belong – to have a group of friends to share good times with. Social status. Social ladder. Working to be at or near top. Some at twelve or thirteen have already given up and recognize that they’ll be towards the bottom.
– Andrew Smiler

Featured voices:

Rachel Simmons

Rachel Simmons is the author of the bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Girls with Courage and Confidence and the co-founder of Girls Leadership.

Andrew Smiler

Andrew Smiler, PhD is a developmental psychologist and the author of the award-winning Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy. He is the president of the organization Male Survivor.

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