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Busy Philipps Says ‘You Don’t Have to Understand’ Child Birdie’s Gender Identity to Treat Them Right

From her honest Instagram posts to her enviable boho-chic style to her convo-with-your-bestie-style podcast, Busy Philipps is the kind of celeb mom we secretly wish would invite us over to enjoy a Marg and swap parenting advice. She’s funny and real and, from an outsider perspective looking in, seems to be raising some super rad kids.

In her Health cover story out this week, Philipps shares her journey to mental and physical health and how she is trying to pass on good wellness habits to her kids, Birdie, 12, and Cricket, 7. This is something we moms and dads can totally relate to as well, because preparing our kids to be healthy and happy adults is what parenting is all about, right?

When asked what wellness means to her, Philipps reiterated what we all know about making sure our own life masks are secure before trying to help others, but that’s just the first step, in her opinion.

“The other thing is, make sure you have your s— figured out and that you are being kind to yourself,” Philipps told Health. “For me, that’s one of the harder things. I can be really hard on myself. Something I have been working on is thinking about the way I talk about my family and friends and then trying to be that kind and gentle on myself, too. It’s not easy, you know? Expectations to take care of other people are put on girls from a very young age — I should say girls or femme-presenting kids. That’s what Birdie is, femme-presenting nonbinary.”

In January, Philipps talked about Birdie’s gender identity on her podcast Busy Philipps Is Doing Her Best (with the 12-year-old’s permission, of course) and had a great conversation about pronouns.

“My mom is older and wants to understand the pronoun conversation more,” Philipps told Health. “There are some really good books out there — like What’s Your Pronoun? Beyond He & She by Dennis Baron. I said to my mother, ‘Here’s the deal: You don’t have to understand it.’ That’s how I feel about all human rights — you don’t have to understand it. You can choose to believe what you want, but you don’t get to have jurisdiction over anyone else’s body or belief system.”

Philipps, who is one of the stars of NBC’s Peacock’s new show Girls5Eva, also shared how she tries to teach her kids self-care by leading by example.

“I make a concerted effort to be aware of how I talk about diet and exercise around them—like, what my intention and goals are with those things,” Philipps told Health. “I’m also lucky that I have a partner in Marc [Silverstein], who does cycling and works out for his own mental health. We talk about therapy in our house and never shy away from hard conversations. I’ve always been open — but not in that ‘I’m not a regular mom; I’m a cool mom’ way. I don’t want to be my kids’ best friend. I want them to know by watching me what my values are and the things that are important. You can tell your kids to stand up for what’s right until you’re blue in the face. If they don’t see you doing it, they never will.”

So true! But, Busy, you’re a cool mom to us!

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