A Guide to My Girl

I’m the first to admit that I have no idea what I’m doing raising a ‘tween.
She is beautiful and complicated and changing so quickly it makes me want to freeze time.
Or puff quickly into a paper bag to prevent hyperventilating. 
I’ve put away my love of fiction reading during this season and my bedside table is littered with these amazing books. I highly recommend them instead of a paper bag.
Resources I’m reading by myself:
(I love this book! It’s timely and it has instructions on what to say to your daughter at different ages in her life. It is a must-read book!)

Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World by Vicki Courtney

(This book is so encouraging and offers valuable, practical teaching on what to do to raise modest, Godly daughters.)
If you aren’t already reading Vicki Courtney’s blog, Virtue Alert, you should be!
Resources I’m reading with my daughter:

The Body Book: It’s A God Thing! (Young Women of Faith Series)
Beauty Lab (Part of the Young Women of Faith Series)

We have been reading a chapter every couple of nights and just finished the first. There is a section for girls to journal their thoughts and feelings in the books. My daughter has really enjoyed this special alone time with me. So have I.
Resources I’m reading to my daughter:
God’s Design for Sex-4 Part Series 


My daughter is in the fourth grade and I want her to hear information concerning sex from me before she hears it from peers, who gathered their facts from older siblings or movies.  I’ll be the first to admit, we are just now starting this series dipping our toes into this large, uncomfortable subject, slowly. These books read like a story and are very well written, but they are very informative. But I really like the Godly perspective it offers, even if it makes me want to find that paper sack.
I’m gathering books to read to/for my son. I’ll share those at some point.

What about you? What is the right age to talk about this stuff? Did your parents or friends give you your information?
Add any helpful parenting resources you’ve read to the comments!
*If you buy the book from the link on my site I earn a few pennies from Amazon. 



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Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Thanks so much for sharing these resources. We have not started having this discussion with either of our children…and it is almost time. *heavy sigh*

  2. 2

    says

    i used the God's Design For Sex books and pretty much stuck with the ages you have listed. my daughter loved the books because they weren't too "embarassing".

  3. 4

    says

    Forgot about this before but I gave my girls a small "kit" containing feminine supplies, deodorant, face care items, and a razor when they were late elemetary age. I put it in a pretty makeup bag.

  4. 6

    says

    I am the oldest of four children – 3 girls and a boy. My parents decided when I was just a baby that they would always answer any question we had the subject of sex, and never act horrified or tell us that was "nasty" or "bad."

    Their logic was that if we were reprimanded for sharing our thoughts, we'd find someone else from whom to collect information.

    It worked – I'm a married lady, and I still go to mother!

  5. 7

    says

    My girl is now 15 going on 30. Three years ago I bought her a book for teens about how and why to dress modestly. I also bought one about why mean girls bully. Can't remember the titles of either on right now but I need to dust them off for the next girl who is 10 going on "your not the boss of me." We frequently have open discussions about sex but thanks for the reminder. I need to buy her some books because sometimes she would rather read than discuss.

    Thanks for the recommendations.

  6. 8

    says

    See…this is one benefit to having three boys. I dont have to give the "What's happening to your body" talk. Because if I did? I'd probably totally screw them up. So I get off scott free. ;) Well, sorta. We've talked pretty openly with our boys about the whole "sex" subject for the past few years, but now that our oldest is 13, he really began to have specific questions and it was obvious he was ready for a more in-depth conversation. My husband read "What's Happening To Me" with him and had quite a conversation. I agree with you…you better tell them the truth before they get the locker room version… ;)

  7. 11

    says

    Fortunately my son is only 3 and my daughter 1, but I am really not looking forward to entering the "sex" territory. I know that I will have to go there eventually so it is always nice to know that there is some literature that is there to help us.
    I believe in being open and honest, you are so right about wanting to find it out from us rather than someone else, however uncomfortable the subject.

  8. 12

    says

    My daughter is also 9 and in the 4th grade. And I am so thankful for those Vicki Courtney books too!! She and I had "the talk" last year but it was so sweet and easy … for it was the extension of a thousand other conversations we have had since she was very young about purity and choices and her body. My parents never really addressed those things with me … nor did my husband's family have that type of dialog. It was important to us that we made purity a priority in conversation and action in our home. Also, we have always celebrated the physical part of our marriage – we hug and kiss and hold hands … and we make sure our daughter knows this is an important part of marriage and that physical expressions of love are planned FOR marriage BY God. We look at "the talk" as an ongoing discussion … both of us taking any and every opportunity to share with our daughter about the beauty of being obedient to God in purity.

  9. 13

    says

    A friend of ours just went through Pathway to Purity with their second son, and my husband will be going through it with our oldest son soon. It's a dvd series, and they go away for a weekend for some male bonding and learning about God's perspective on purity and sex. It sounds like a really great tool. They have it for girls as well.

  10. 14

    Alicia says

    Just last week I took my oldest daughter (9) for her check up and was hit by the realization that THAT time is upon us! I am behind in addressing puberty and beyond and I need to get on the ball – quickly. I have read the 5 Conversations book and loved it – I just thought I had more time. . . Thanks for the book recommendations.

  11. 15

    says

    I learned from my mom – and that was because all of my friends, who had heard from older kids, asked me to ask my mom. The info they were getting was "conflicted" to say the least and they knew MY mom would give it to me straight. So I asked her, she very patiently and very sweetly told me everything I needed to know – even had a book with pictures (cartoons) to help explain. Then she pulled out the Bible and we talked about what GOD says about the subject. It was a very good discussion, and it shows me how very Blessed I am to have the mom I do.

    After I talk, I promptly went outside (where my friends were waiting) to explain a few things to them. The first words out of my mouth were "OK, first of all, it is NOT called 'humping', it's called making love …"

  12. 16

    says

    In my case, Mom thought that Family Living class would be enough education for me. Nevermind that she was pregnant at the same time I was taking it (in 5th grade) and it kind of grossed me out thinking about it.

    My daughter is only 5 so THE talk isn't going to happen for a bit, but we do call parts their appropriate names. As we were working through the home visits towards finalizing adoption, one of the social workers suggested not using slang for parts of the human anatomy, because if your child knows the appropriate names, comes home talking about them in a different speak, then you have cause for alarm. It is a red flag that will go up and cause you to know that you need to dig deeper into why they are using such terminology.

    So, I'm not there yet, but what do you think of the HPV shot? If K- were the age now, both Hubs and I would say absolutely not. I understand it, but I worry that it is making parents feel a little less worried about activity. Also, it hasn't been out long enough and I'm not certain that it is completely safe.

    The shot alone would bring up hefty discussion. Hmmmm.

  13. 17

    says

    My husband and I was just talking about this last night. His daughter is almost 12, and mine is 9. He's having a hard time adjusting to her growing up and not being his little girl anymore. Raising a Godly daughter in an ungodly world sounds awesome. The only time his kids have any Godly influence is when their with us. And we've been struggling with how to reach them. Every other weekend, and some holidays just doesn't seem enough

  14. 18

    says

    I have a 16 year old boy and we have answered his questions openly as they came up. We have always stressed that sex should only be shared in marriage. We use examples of real life situations we have seen with family members and friends that have experienced sever consequences from having premarital sex. We read through Proverbs when he was 13 and this brought up many opportunities for open discussion. We have also stressed courtship instead of dating. There is a great book on courtship called I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris and there is also a DVD.

    When our talks about girls and dating he says he doesn't want to just date he wants to find a wife. He has already had one somewhat serious girlfriend, but he broke it off saying she was not someone he wanted to marry so there was no point in continuing the relationship. It seems like he is on the right track but as a mom I still worry especially since he is becoming more and more independent.

  15. 20

    says

    I have 2 girls — ages 6 and almost 4. This makes me want to breathe into a paper bag!! But, you have helped my listing these books as great resources!! Thanks so much! Maybe these will make the next several years in our house a little more bearable!!

  16. 21

    says

    Great information. I'm so glad I have a boy. I think it's less complicated when you have a boy dealing with sex, dating and keeping safe. I mean boys come with their own set of problems, however I think its easier. I do want a girl to dress up oin pretty pink dresses and braid her hair. I just don't want to talk about boobs and periods.

  17. 22

    says

    Great resources. My son is in 4th grade and my oldest daughter is in 3rd grade. I want to avoid the subject as long as possible but I know it won't make it go away. The last year or two I have begun to realize they are growing up and have their own thoughts, feelings, and opinons, much more so than when they were little.

    Someone else said the American Girl series has a good book that you can share with this age girls about their period and body changes.

  18. 25

    says

    I'll be talking with Daddy about getting these books. We've got three girls (12, 10, 7) and a boy (3) and I've already began having the talk (age appropriate) with each of the girls. But in today's world, we've been hit with some topics we weren't prepared for. Our 10 year old came home two weeks ago asking us if how she handled a situation with another girl was alright. The other girl likes our daughter in the way boys like her. It took us two days to figure out what to discuss with her. She did handle it beautifully and without hurting anyone's feelings by saying, "Thank you for caring about me, but I would like to just be your friend."

  19. 26

    says

    Thank you so very much for sharing this great infromation. My daughter is a fourty grader too. I don't wont to put this off just because I think I need a paper bag. I know that it is a responsablity that God has given me. Thanks for the great book ideas.

  20. 28

    says

    Kristen,
    My daugther is in fifth grade and we had most of "the talks" last year. It was wonderful. Such great resources you list here; I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on books for boys. My son is 8 and I've been wanting to looking into resources geared toward boys for when he's in fourth/fifth grade, but I haven't launched into it yet.
    Genny

  21. 29

    says

    My daughter (10Yrs) read the Body Books last year. I think it was very informative for her, and she liked knowing more "adult" things. I also, bought the series that you are talking about. We have stepped into them as well…..and just started the "what's the big deal" book.

    I, too, feel it is important for us to share with our kids about sex and what God has in mind for it. Because there is many skewed visions of what sex is in our world.

    Sadly, it had been on my heart for a while to be talking to her about it, and just a few short months back, she confessed to us that at a friends home (whom we knew the parents, etc….) that my daughter and her friend had seen some pornography on the computer and her friend's house. My daughter was/is very uncomfortable with this but really felt that she needed to talk to us about it. It must of been bothering her for quite some time. What a huge blow to us! We have prayed thru it, and dealt with it as best that we could. But to me, this is a HUGE example as to why we as parents need to be talking about sex to our kids.

  22. 30

    says

    I remember when my mom had "The Talk" with me. I was in the 6th grade and very badly wanted to be allowed to shave my legs. My mom checked out a book from the library about the changes in your body, and I had to read that before I was allowed to shave. After I went through my 6th grade Sex Ed class, my parents had me listen to Dr. James Dobson's tapes on puberty. The only thing I really remember remember about them was finding out that people had sex for fun, not just to make babies. Somehow, Sex Ed left that little part out, and I didn't realize sex was something you did for fun as opposed to only when you wanted a baby.
    Other than that, my mother and I have never talked much about sex, which suits me just fine. I'm sure if I had asked questions, she would have answered them openly, but I never was comfortable talking about anything beyond what the tapes brought up. I'm not sure I would recommend Dr. Dobson's tapes either — it was soo weird hearing a 70 year old man talk about getting your period!

  23. 32

    says

    Thank you for the resources, we are reading the God's Design for Sex series also. Parenting definitely takes reading and planning. I love your list and your blog! Thank you again.

  24. 34

    Nicole says

    I think you have to address it as soon as your kids ask where babies come from. You give them the 411 bit by bit as they mature.

    My mom was always very open with me and I am proud to say it had a wonderful effect on me–I was the only one of my friends who took my virginity away to college with me.

    Do you know if that Vickie woman writes a book for raising boys in a n un-Godly world? Sounds like a great read but I only have a son.

    :)

  25. 36

    says

    Definitely going to see if I can order any of those resources here.

    My daughters are 11 and 9, and we are introducing these topics. Especially to the older daughter who has just started grammar (big!) school. We would prefer her to hear the facts in a christian context than in the playground at school.

  26. 38

    says

    My daughter is only 3yo but for what it's worth…

    I think "Gentle Passages" by Robin Jones Gunn is a treasure for moms of daughters. Some beautiful ideas for "guiding your daughter into womanhood"

    I'm linking to this post this week on Impress Your Kids! :)

  27. 39

    says

    Focus on the Family has a weekend get away style packet of info called Passport to Purity for girls and I know they have one for boys too. There is also a book called Secret Keeper Girls by Dannah Greish (sp?). I went through both with my girls but I didn't take them away for the weekend. We just worked through it one summer because it was more cost effective for us.

    We are very open with our girls (now 14 & 15) about sex. They have known all the "info" for about 4 years. Like many, we wanted them to know from us and not from school.

    We talked to them pretty young about their period simply because my niece started when she was 9! I didn't want my girls to freak if it happened to them so young. It didn't, they were both 11.

    We have stressed the importance of modesty and purity. We are not above bribery either. We have offered them a down payment on a house if the first kiss the have from a guy is on their wedding day! We figure if they aren't kissing, they aren't doing other things either :}

  28. 40

    says

    We used the God's Design series for 3 of our kids so far. We read the books to them that were a level younger than their actual age which worked well for us. Also the Passport to Purity is by FamilyLife and we've also done that with our 3 older kids when they reached middle school.

  29. 41

    says

    I think every kid is different. My son wasn't really ready to get the whole truth and nothing but the truth until 11. I did give him small bits of information as the questions arose. I do think it might be a bit easier to deal with a boy than a girl. I might be completely wrong. It just seems like the girls may have a tougher go at it.

  30. 42

    says

    I looked thru countless books last year to read with my daughter (who was 10). We ended up using "Preparing Your Daughter For Every Woman's Battle." It was the best I found anywhere, and it was an amazing book. Appropriate for ages 9-13.

  31. 44

    says

    My mom and I had the TALK when I was 10. We read "What's Happening to Me?" and "Where Did I Come From?" I actually still have them. HA! All I remember is being totally embarassed by the conversation and pictures but wanting to ask a million questions. My mom's favorite question I asked that day (I have one sister) – "So, you mean, you did IT twice?" She claims to have answered yes while trying not to laugh. Lordy, I'm not ready! Thankfully my girls are still little….

  32. 45

    says

    Good info. My older kids are asking questions (7 and 5) because they heard a news clip on the radio about a 12 year old having a baby. Yikes! I am so excited to hear such good things about these books. Thanks for sharing all these resources.

  33. 46

    says

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for sharing these resources! My oldest daughter is almost nine and I want to be prepared (well, as much as possible) for these coming years. I find books to be such a helpful guide, so am off to check out these that you have recommended.

  34. 48

    says

    We used the Stan and Brenna Jones books too. Sadly, I didn't get much past the first one, but we talk openly about sex all the time. I had determined early on that I would answer any questions my girls had as openly and as thoroughly as I could, so when my oldest came home in 2nd grade (yes, second grade!) and wanted to talk about it, we did. The others were a bit older when we had the talk.

    The BEST resource I've found for teenage girls is a book by Hayley DeMarco called "Sexy Girls: How Hot is Too Hot?" It's a fantastic book about modesty, and it doesn't pull any punches. She's brutally honest about how guys look at girls (I think I learned a few things too!). I've had my older ones read it, and will definitely make my younger one read it in a couple of years.

  35. 49

    says

    It's scary!!!! My son is in 4th grade and I just want to bottle him up and keep him from such things…but then again that would be a diservice to him. If you have any info for boys it would be much appreciated!

  36. 50

    says

    Great resources! We had a speaker talk to us at my MOPS group about talking to your kids about sex. She said 8-9 years old is a good time to start talking about it. She scared the pants off most of us with her disease stats and all the stuff kids are doing in school these days!! EEK! Glad you put this on your site to make people aware.

  37. 51

    says

    I have a fourth grade girl and have struggled how and when to bring up the subject of sex. I know it needs to be soon and I know I want her to get info from us, not friends and school. Thank you for these recommendations, I'm definitely going to check them out!

    Malia

  38. 52

    says

    Im mom to five with the oldest at 15. Personally I use Preparing For Adolescents by James Dobson. I thought it was perfect and I started reading it to my son at age 11. From that time on it has established an open dialogue between us and he has been able to ask questions without feeling restricted or (too) embarrassed!

  39. 53

    says

    I haven't looked at it, but I read her book for "grown ups" Take Charge of Your Fertility. She also has a book for young teens called Cycle Savey. TCOYF is quite possibly the most life changing book I've ever read (not counting the Bible of course!), so I have no doubt that Cycle Savey is also good, but you might wanna read it yourself to make sure your daughter is ready for it.

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