Sunday, June 15, 2008

Preparing Your Daughter

It hardly seems possible that my daughter is old enough....but I get glimpses now and then of the teenager to come! A few years ago I was asked to lead a class at church for Moms and we studied this book together. Shannon Ethridge writes the first half of the book to mothers (or brave dads!) encouraging years of conversations with our daughters, rather than what many of us awkwardly remember as "the talk". The goal of the book is to raise daughters who find their value in God, and creative an environment in our homes where our daughters feel safe discussing emotional and sexual topics with us...It covers topics like modesty, media exposure, dads and daughters, and what moms model....The second half of the book is for mom and daughter to read together.

Sarah Jane has been reading it on her own, and then at the end of every chapter there are "Creative Conversation" questions and activities to help us discuss the topics. Sometimes we just sit at the table and talk, or we go out on special ice cream dates and talk. Sarah has really enjoyed reading, and it's kind of funny to hear her occasionally giggling in the other room while she's reading (mostly because Ethridge is a funny writer, but sometimes just because it's a giggly topic). It really is a great book - - and the topics range from softball issues like respecting parents, what it means to be a Princess when God is your daddy, and some of the bigger issues like the mechanics of sex and even things like masturbation (gasp!). We haven't even hit the "big" topics yet, but I'm already trying hard to make our conversations very open and casual...encouraging questions and not looking totally freaked out!

The book is for girls between 7 and 12 years old....I think it really depends on your daughter. But even if your daughter isn't ready for these topics, I recommend moms read something like this now, so you're ready when the time comes. We're paving the way to adolescence!

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