about us

Dr. Sheryl Ziegler

Why now?

In the spring of 2013 my friend Kim told me about a girl's development class that she and her daughter attended at Stanford University. After hearing all about it and how beneficial it was for them both, I thought to myself "I have The Talk" every week with tween and teen girls and boys. Usually parents will ask me to have a discussion with their child about puberty, hygiene and changing social issues after they have given it a try. Typically parents aren't sure if their child is comfortable asking them questions, if they got it all, or if they said the right thing. Many parents struggle with how much information to share, how to share it, when to share it and how to keep the conversation going. Many middle school aged kids are either embarrassed to talk with their parents about what is happening with their bodies or they don't even know what to ask. So what winds up happening is "The Talk" doesn't happen between parent and child. "The talk" happens among kids...on play dates and playgrounds information is shared- much of the time inaccurate and scary.


So...this is now my mission - to start having parents and children connect and share about this incredible time in a young girl's life.  To arm kids and adults with enough information to feel prepared, brave and ready for the changes that are about to occur.


Why me?

From working at renowned New York institutions such as Berkshire Farms and The Astor Home for Children to Colorado’s Littler Center and Namaqua Center (Larimer Mental Health), I have dedicated my entire career to working with children and families. For the past decade I have been been practicing family therapy, working with kids related to anxiety, depression, and divorce, have been a frequent speaker, expert court witness, media contributor and blogger. I am the Founder and Managing Director of The Child & Family Therapy Center at Lowry, a thriving private practice in Denver where my team and I have helped hundreds of families over the past decade. I am a top contributor on The Today Show Parenting Community and our practice can be found among the referrals lists of almost every pediatric practice in Denver.


I am a regular local FOX news contributor as a subject matter expert in childhood and family related issues. I also fill in as a guest on NBC 9News' Hot Topics live show. I have appeared on The Katie Couric Show discussing how to talk to kids about the legalization of marijuana and appeared in numerous articles in magazines and newspapers.


Affectionately known as “Dr. Z” by many of my young clients, I am a Doctor of Psychology, Registered Play Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado. I am a member of the Colorado Association for Play Therapy and the American Psychological Association. I reside in Denver with two young sons and daughter entering her tween years.


Kim Durand

I am a mother of 2 girls, ages 10 and 12. While living in San Francisco, my older daughter and I attended a seminar about puberty. I wanted her to feel confident walking into her tween years and have some idea of all that comes with becoming a young lady and eventually a woman. We both entered nervous, but left really happy with what we learned together. We laughed, talked about important issues and found a rare moment of connection in what is otherwise a busy schedule.


After moving back to Denver, I couldn’t stop thinking about what an important conversation this was for my daughter and I.  One evening, while having dinner with Sheryl, I shared my opinion that every young woman and mother needs this class. After a short discussion, we decided to bring the knowledge to Denver in the form of what become Start With the Talk.  Though I am no longer involved, I was a founding partner ad proud of what I was a part of bringing to Denver.



Sarah Ftaya, MA, LPC

Sarah is a child and family therapist and a colleague of Dr. Ziegler at The Child & Family Therapy Center at Lowry. Sarah works with young children and their families struggling with a variety of challenges including anxiety, depression, adhd, and behavioral challenges.  Sarah is excited to join Start With The Talk to help bring workshops to Denver and surrounding areas.  For more about Sarah and what she does please visit www.sarahftayacounselor.com.



Start with The Talk

Ages 8-12

Grades 4th-6th

Pre-Tween Girls (Age 8-10)

This class is for girls 8-10 years of age and their mom or female caregiver. Ideal for girls prior to middle school.


Topics to be addressed:

Physical Changes and what to expect


Social and Emotional issues

Friends, peer pressure and bullying

Use of social media, internet and texting


Combined/integrated class (Ages 8-12)

Addresses all of the above in a combined aged setting




$99.99 for child & parent/caregiver

To register, please click on the Register tab on the top of the page



Previous Mother/Daughter Seminars

Aspen Academy

Spring 2017


Graland Country Day School

Fall 2016


Graland Country Day School

November 2015


St. Anne's: Start with Talk

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014


St. Anne's: Start with the Talk

Wednesday, December 11th, 2014


2014 Lowry Educational Series: Start with the Talk spring session


2013 Lowry Educational Series: Start with the Talk

Sunday, September 29th, October 6th, 2013


2013 Lowry Educational Series: Start with the Talk

Sunday, September 29th, October 6th, 2013

To receive notice of Upcoming Seminar Dates

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.

Tween Girls (Age 10-12)

This class is for girls 10-12 years of age and their mom or female adult caregiver. Ideal for girls entering or already in middle school.


Topics to be addressed:

Physical changes and menstruation

Puberty and self care

What girls should know about boys

Social and emotional issues

Stress, Moods

Self Esteem

Sexuality and female and male reproductive systems

Brain changes

Friends, peer pressure and bullying

Use of and warnings about social media, internet and texting


Register online! Click on the below "Register Now" button to get connected to our registration website.


Not sure which group to register for... we have often been asked...


Q. My child falls outside, or between the age range of your class and is either a little younger or older, can we still attend?


A. Yes, indeed- while this is a guideline for the recommended age- you know best as to when your child is ready for a class about their body. We have added the seminar for girls ages 8-10 and have customized the content to address younger kids.


If you have any questions or concerns you can feel free to email or call us to discuss it further and we can figure it out together.


We look forward to meeting you both...


Dr. Sheryl Ziegler

Founder, Start with the Talk


What the Moms Have to Say!


"You covered the topics beautifully in an age appropriate way- thank you!"


"I loved the self esteem part, it was so empowering. Thank you for helping start the conversation!"


"Terrific seminar- thank you! It was a great start to conversations that will hopefully go on for years..."

Book list and Resources Guide for Pre-Teens & Their Families

This resource list is intended only as a guide and reference source taken from a variety of books and websites on puberty and sexuality. Please visit your local library or bookstore for a full listing of titles and philosophies to decide on those that best meet your family’s needs.


For Parents


Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween

Wardy Melissa Atkins.


So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids

Levin Ph.D, Diane and Kilbourne, Jean


The Drama Years: Real Girls Talk About Surviving Middle School -- Bullies, Brands, Body Image

Kilpatrick, Haley and Joiner, Whitney


All That She Can Be: Helping Your Daughter Maintain Her Self- Esteem

Eagle, Carol J., and Colman, Carol.


Celebrating Girls Rutter,

Virginia Beane.


Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know about Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask)

Richardson, J. and Schuster., M.


Tween Time

Bishop, Ginny.


I’m not Mad, I Just Hate You! Cohen-

Sandler, Roni & Silver.


Getting to Calm

Kastner, Laura.


Girls Will be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters

Deak, J. and Barker, T.


How Can Your Say That: What to Say to Your Daughter When One of you Just Said Something Awful

Lynch, A.


Reviving Ophelia, Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls

Pipher, Mary.


The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding our Families

Pipher, Mary.


Sex and Sensibility: The Thinking

Roffman, D.


The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters

Gurian, M


Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen

Walsh, D.


Between Parent and Child

Ginnott, Haim G.


Wonderful Ways to Love a Teen…even when it seems impossible!

Ford, Judy.


For Pre-Teens/Teens


It’s Perfectly Normal

Harris R.H.


It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families

Harris, R.H


Body Talk: The Straight Facts on Fitness, Nutrition, and Feeling Great About Yourself! (Girl Zone)

Douglas, Ann and Douglas, Julie.


Sex, Puberty and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up

Bailey, J. and McCafferty, J.


It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health Harris,



What’s Happening to Me?

Mayle, P.


Will Puberty Last my Whole Life?

Metzger, J. and Lehman, R.


What's Happening to My Body? Book for Girls

Madaras, Lynda, Madaras, Area, and Sullivan, Simon


Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up

Bailey, Jacqui


Amazing You!

Dr. Gail Saltz


Girl in the Know-Your Inside and Out Guide to Growing Up

Ann Katz


Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends: Dealing with Bullies and Bossiness and Finding a Better Way (American Girl)

Criswell, Patti Kelley


Is This Normal?: Girls Questions, Answered by the Editors of the Care & Keeping of You (American Girl)


All Made Up: A Girl's Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype to Celebrate Real Beauty

Brashich, Audrey


My Changing Body

Picone, Linda


Girl Stuff: A Survival Guide to Growing Up

Blackstone, Margaret and Guest, Elissa Haden


Girl's Guide to Becoming a Teen American Medical Association


My Body, My Self for Girls

Madaras, L. and Madaras A.


My Feelings, My Self

Madaras, L. and Madaras A.



Loulan, J et al .


Puberty Girl

Movsessian, Shushann.


The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls

Schaefer, V.


The Feelings Book: The Care and Keeping of Your Emotions

Madison, L.


The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask ( But Need to Know)

Gravelle, K. and Gravelle, J.


What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls

Madaras, L.


It’s a Girl Thing

Jukes, Mavis.


Growing Up: Straight Talk About First Bras, First Periods and Your Changing Body

Jukes, Mavis


What’s Happening to Me?

Mayle, Peter.


Where Did I Come From?

Mayle, Peter.


Where Do Babies Come From?

Sheffield, Margaret.

  • Q. How will I know that my daughter is ready for this class?


    This class is meant to educate girls on what will be or is currently happening to their bodies and minds.  If they do not yet have any signs of puberty but you believe them to be able to process what is to come than this is a great time to be proactive and be the

    one in charge of what information they receive.  If they have already started showing signs of puberty than this class will help them make better sense of what is happening to them.

  • Q. My child falls outside, or between the age range of your class and is either a little younger or older, can we still attend?


    Yes- while this is a guideline for the recommended age- you know best as to when your child is ready for a class about their body. If you have any questions or concerns you can feel free to email or call us to discuss it further and we can figure it out together.

  • Q. What are you going to say about sex?


    The section on sex, reproduction and having a baby is factual, straightforward and meant to inform the girls about the implications of menstruation and the physical act of sex.  It is not intended to give any messages about ethics, morals or religious/spiritual beliefs.

  • Q. I have already had "the talk" with my child- what would be the benefit of taking this class?


    Many parents have shared how difficult these talks can be.  Since many mothers/women were not themselves prepared as young girls they don't exactly know what to say, how to say it or how much to share. Further, the kids typically find it uncomfortable and may not ask the questions that get raised.  By taking this class it gives you both a platform to discuss topics and issues before, during and after the class.  Ultimately, it is a very intentional choice made by a parent that has an incredible effect on the parent/child bond.

  • Q. At school they offer a sexual education lesson, how will this class differ?


    The first and most important difference is that you- the parent or caregiver- are there!  You get to be a part of the education, discussion and processing firsthand.  Also, the class is offered in a setting where your child can feel more supported, relaxed and not alone.  Given the time of day we choose we hope that you and your daughter will have the opportunity to share lunch or dinner and continue the conversation.  We also provide the time for you and your child to ask anonymous questions that will get read and answered out loud.


  • Q. Can my husband or significant other also attend?


    While that is an option and a personal choice, we encourage this to be 1:1 time for you and your child for the entirety of the session.

  • Q. What if I can only make it one day?


    If you can only make the first session, we can work with you on making up day 2 at a later time.  However, depending upon how far away that date is you may just want to wait until you can attend either a one day session or another two day session that you can both attend in it's entirety.  If you can only make day 2 and not day 1 you should just wait for future dates.

  • Q. I have a son that I would like to have "the talk" with- do you offer that class?


    Stay tuned!  We would like to offer this course to parents and sons and hope to do so in the future.

  • Q. What other classes will you have coming up?


    We would also like to offer a class on Understanding your Daughter...for fathers.  If you have ideas or suggestions on topics that would be helpful please feel free to share them with us.  We get asked a lot to do a Father / Son class- stay tuned!

  • Q. What if I have twins or triplets?


    We encourage you to bring each child separately honoring their individuality.  The class involves some role-playing games where it is helpful to have one-on-one time with each child.  However, you know your children best- if you believe they would benefit most from taking the class with you together you may do so by registering each child.

We are here to help preteens, teens and their families learn about what's going on with their bodies, sexuality, decision making and what growing up is all about in a positive, safe and fun environment.


We provide a warm and comforting space where, together, kids and parents can listen to and ask about growing up and all that comes along with it!

FAQ & Book List


What the Girls Have to Say!


"The class that I took told me a lot about what I will be going through and what happens when you become a teenager. I also think it made my mother's and I better friends. We are stronger, and now I won't be scared having to go through having my period and won't feel uncomfortable trying to tell my mom. Now we have our own "little secret code" to let her know I had my first, you know what. After that I felt like a totally different person, but in a great way."

- Parker D. | Age 10


"I learned that many things that I thought were different were normal, thank you!" I was scared to come today but you made it not so scary, it was actually fun and I learned a lot!"


"One thing I learned today was that I don't have to try to impress people..."


"I learned that social media can break your self esteem. I most enjoyed how much I learned about friendship and my changing body."


"Be yourself and love it! I enjoyed the openness in this class..."


"I learned not to be afraid to show who I really am. I liked it when you answered the questions..."


"I learned that social media is not your life on a screen. I enjoyed everything about this talk!"


"I learned that crying is normal, I liked everything about today and don't think I have anything else I need to learn!"

Denver, CO

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.


(1) 303 344 4100 X 10


We would love to hear from you...or follow us on facebook for upcoming seminars!

© 2016 Start With The Talk. All Rights Reserved. Website by Worboys Design