Mother seeks help after teen daughter identifies as fox

A woman recently sought advice on how to handle her 13-year-old stepdaughter‘s self-identification as a fox.

The stepmom, Jill, was not sure how to react after discovering that the teen considered herself a ‘therian’ — a person who identifies as a non-human animal.

“She wears a mask and a tail and has a YouTube channel of her jumping around like a fox in really short shorts,” Jill explained on the mental health podcast The Dr. John Delony Show, adding that the girl’s biological mother seemingly encouraged this behavior at her house.

Dr. John pointed out that outside his show, he tries to be “compassionate” and added: “I’ve worked with young people my whole career, like teenagers and young adults, so nothing surprises me.”

However, he admitted: “But the fact that there’s a name for this … I feel like we’re in the Twilight zone.”

Credit: Getty.

Clearly exasperated, Jill continued: “That’s why I’m calling you. Because I’m at a complete loss and I’m shocked and it is a whole thing and there’s a name and there’s terminology and there’s things that are offensive to them.”

In a more bizarre twist, Jill revealed that her stepdaughter had also influenced her nine-year-old biological daughter to identify as a therian, with her stepsister now identifying as a giraffe. Jill mentioned that the stepdaughter had posted a video featuring her two “young kids” over Christmas, which the parents hadn’t known about until later.

“If your kid wants to dress up like a giraffe and run in the backyard, I don’t have an inherent problem with that, understanding that she’s not going to dress like a giraffe when we go out to dinner. She’s not going to dress like a giraffe when friends come over,” he explained about setting boundaries around the child’s preferences.

Dr. John spoke about the dangers of allowing a young girl to livestream, noting that the majority of viewers are likely “adult men.”

“When you hand a kid a smartphone, you’re not giving them access to the world—you’re giving the world access to them,” reinforcing the fact that the young girl’s online behavior could expose her to grooming by sexual predators.

Credit: Getty.

Dr. John highlighted the need for “sturdy” parents who stand firm in their rules, saying: “You’re playing a 10-year game with her. You want her to turn around at 26 and be like, ‘Those two people never stopped fighting for me, and they really cared for me.'” For the nine-year-old, he suggested allowing her imagination to flourish while ensuring she understood she was not actually a giraffe.

Jill agreed, saying she was fine with her daughter’s giraffe play as long as it remained a creative outlet and did not involve seeking online validation. Dr. John confirmed that online attention is a “cheap, dime-store version of what affirmation is,” adding: “But for many millions of kids who are holding a smartphone, it’s all they got.”

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