'I don't talk about how much money I make or where my money goes. That's not for them to be concerned about,' the mother-of-two stated.
Licensed therapist Jess Stacy caught the attention of thousands of TikTok users last month when she shared two videos detailing things she teaches her children as well as things she consciously avoids doing as a parent. Stacy, who introduced herself as a licensed therapist with two decades worth of experience, sparked a discussion among her 376,700 followers on the platform through the video series, which collectively racked up more than 500,000 views since being uploaded. "By popular request, as a licensed therapist who's been in practice for 20 years and a mom, here are five things that I don't do with my kids," she says in the first of the two videos.
"Number one, I ask for consent when I go to hug my kids," Stacy continues. "I teach them the importance of bodily autonomy and advocating for themselves and saying 'no' when they're uncomfortable. Number two, I don't comment on their bodies. We discussed the importance of bodily exercise and nutrition, and we just don't talk about our bodies, and I don't talk about my own in front of them either." The therapist went on to reveal that she has also made it a point not to discuss finances in front of her children.
"I don't talk about how much money I make or where my money goes. That's not for them to be concerned about," Stacy explained. "Number four, I don't compare my kids to each other or ask them for a change that's more like their sibling. Number five, I don't place value on food and I don't reward or punish with it." The video attracted comments from thousands of TikTok users, many of whom stated that they do not fully agree with the therapist's policy of not discussing finances with her kids. Responding to them, Stacy replied in a comment: "I've had to clarify a lot in the comments that I meant my personal finances and not money or financial wellness."
@strongtherapy 5 things a Licensed Therapist doesn’t do with kids. #tiktoktherapist #therapistsoftiktok #mentalhealthtiktok #5things #5thingschallenge #5thingsiwouldneverdo #parentingtips #parentinghacks ♬ original sound - Jess (Licensed Therapist)
Stacy continued the series a few days later with another video in which she listed five more things she doesn't do as a parent. "I do not shame or judge them for anything related to sexuality or gender expression. They can use any pronouns that they want and they can express any feelings towards any gender and it is all okay in my household," the mother-of-two states in the video. Other points include the freedom to express any emotion or feeling they experience, not placing value on their school grades, not using fear as a motivational tool and not teaching them to trust authoritative figures blindly.
@strongtherapy 5 more things I do not do with my kids as a licensed therapist practicing for 20 years. #tiktoktherapist #therapistsoftiktok #mentalhealthtiktok #5things #5thingsiwouldneverdo #fivethings #fivethingschallenge ♬ original sound - Jess (Licensed Therapist)
Speaking to Bored Panda, Stacy explained: "I wanted to share my experience as a long-time practicing licensed therapist who has worked with kids and adolescents. The reactions to this particular set of TikToks is mixed. Some parents have expressed relief in that they are already implementing these practices. Some have discovered that there are a few adjustments that they’d like to make. Others have flat out rejected my concepts, perhaps because they don’t wish to make any adjustments to what they’re doing, or it is too confronting to look inside themselves and make these types of changes."
"I think it would be amazing if everyone had the opportunity to go to therapy before becoming a parent," she added. "We all have many things to unpack, and could all benefit from a safe person to help us work through those things, before becoming a parent. Many times, we carry things from our childhood, which can inform how we parent our children, for better or for worse. In order to give us the healthiest framework from which to parent, it would be ideal to work through our past with a therapist in order to give our children the opportunity to develop healthy, secure attachments with us as their parents. A healthy secure attachment during childhood gives kids the best leg up on their life in the future."