"I wouldn't dare claim that I understand the mind of a girl. But I have no doubts that I understand the mind of a boy. I was one." The Hubs
Namely...UNDERSTANDING BOYS. Because, the fact is, I never was one.
As of today, my Sweetie Pea has no interest in the opposite sex. But I know that all too soon, she will. It's an inevitable and God-ordained part of growing up...of crossing the threshold from young lady to young woman. She WILL notice boys someday...whether her dad likes it or not.
The other glaring truth that both he and I can not ignore is that while our daughter might be indifferent to the idea of boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, many of the girls she comes in contact with at church, in sports, or in the neighborhood are not. Sadly, we've known girls as young as seven and eight who have already experienced their first "boyfriend/girlfriend" relationship.
It is our job, as her parents, to help her to see her true identity in Christ. To encourage her to develop high standards for relationships. To embrace both emotional and physical purity. Much of this teaching is covert. It comes from a Godly dad who recognizes that his daughter's view of he opposite sex begins with him.
While I can and must guide her towards her role as a woman, it is his job as DAD to help her feel secure in her girlhood. A dad should invest in his daughter, model Biblical manhood, and courageously guard her heart while she is far too young to know how to do it for herself.
And although that is the desire of many great fathers, The Hubs included, many men don't always know HOW to do that.
How does a man who was once a boy foster a loving relationship with a girl who will one day be a woman? A girl he doesn't always understand? And who doesn't always understand him?
ENTER Bob & Dannah Gresh.
Founders of one of my favorite tween-girl ministries, Secret Keeper Girl, Bob & Dannah Gresh have been helping parents of tweens navigate this pivotal life stage for over a decade and have written numerous books including one of the Top 10 best parenting books I've ever read, Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Little Girl.
Their books offer a rare look into the hearts and minds of tweens and teens and deliver practical tips and tools for parents to use while investing in the lives of the young people God has given them. My personal library is stocked with several Gresh titles and I continue to refer to them for inspiration and direction.
What you'll find in Talking With your daughter about understanding boys
The first three chapters of the book are written by Bob Gresh to dads of daughters explaining WHY and HOW dads should take a proactive role in the lives of their daughters.
The next eight chapters are easy-to-read planning guides for preparing eight memorable dates for a dad and his daughter. Each chapter includes the following:
- Prep talk- a short "pep talk" from Bob Gresh to encourage the dad just before the date...to remind him of WHY this particular date is so important
- SKG Radio- downloadable MP3 audio commentary from Bob and Dannah for the dad and daughter to listen to while in route to their date
- Dad and Daughter Challenge- the step-by-step plans and suggestions for a great date designed to answer questions like..."What was God thinking when He created girls to like boys? Why is everyone boy-crazy? Should I be? When can I start to date? and How can I embrace purity?" (from Talking with Your Daughter About Understanding Boys by Bob & Dannah Gresh) While The Hubs and I lean more towards a courting mindset than a dating one, a resource like this will help open the door of conversation with our daughter to discuss the differences between the two.
- Talk with Dad- pull out pages offering a more in-depth look at what Scripture has to say about the date-night topic and opportunity for the dad to have a heart-to-heart talk with his daughter
- Finish Strong- a simple prayer suggestion to end the date
The final three chapters of the book offer additional helps including father-daughter devotional ideas, ideas for single moms, and copies of the "Talk With Dad" pull-out pages.
The Nitty-Gritty of the book:
My thoughts about the book
The dates are do-able.I love how easy-to-implement the prepared dates seem to be. Each element of the date is organized and well-planned creating a do-able feel to the entire dad/daughter date idea. I think even the most timid dad will be able to create a memorable and meaningful date with this book as his guide. Each date, while whimsical and fun for girls, has a "masculine" tone that will not only be appreciated by the dads, but will help a girl to begin to understand the opposite sex. The date titles include the following:
- Mission Impossible!
- Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
- As You Wish
- Sticks and Stones
- Natural Treasure
- How Does Your Garden Grow?
- Star Track-The Final Frontier
- Dress for Success
The dates are budget-friendly.
While most of the dates do require a few small purchases or expenses, alternative ideas have also been included for those who are on a more limited budget.
The dates and book themes are appropriate for innocent young ladies.
Too often, parenting tween books...even ones with a Christian world-view...are written with the assumption that ALL 8-12 year-old-girls are worldly-wise, have a crush on the latest IT boy band singer, and have "hot stuff" bedazzled on the back end of their jeans. Not every girl is like that. And more importantly, MY girl is not like that. I appreciate the fact that the activities and overall tone of the book is not "all-things-trendy". I have no desire to introduce my daughter to the watered-down, tween lingo that is so prevalent in today's society. Bob and Dannah Gresh have written with a high standard...even in the sections specifically for the girls to read. The entire book is brimming with Scripture and points both dads and daughters to what is good.
The book design is age-appropriate for tweens.
Obviously with a title like Talking With Your Daughter About Understanding Boys, a book of this nature, while written for dads, is going to catch the eye of a daughter. The illustrations and designs will be very appealing to any tween girl. That being said, this could be a deterrent for some men to want to read it. It has a definite "tween girl feel" with many bubbles, captions, and "cute" doodles.
The book is a quick read.
Much in part due to the "cute" formatting of the book, it is a relatively quick read. A busy dad will have no problem sifting through the information easily and efficiently to plan a successful date.
The book can be adapted.For girls of single mothers or girls who just want additional opportunity to explore the things they learned on their dates with dad, Dannah Gresh has teamed up with Suzy Weibel to offer A Girl's Guide to Understanding Boys. After gently flipping through this companion edition written just for girls, I have penciled it in as a MUST READ for my Sweetie Pea next year.
Wanna win a copy?
Now's your chance to grab your very own copy of the Talking With Your Daughter About Understanding Boys. One lucky reader will win! There are several chances to enter. Just click on the +sign for every entry you wish to make.
No purchase necessary to win. Must be 18 years old or older and have a US or Canadian address to enter. The winners will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter and announced sometime after Monday, July 7, 2014. The winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to respond. If an email is not provided or the winner does not respond, the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be randomly selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.
***Mandatory Entry: To enter, be sure to leave a comment in the "comments" section of this post telling me what was the last date your daughter went on with her dad. Where did they go? What did they do? (Remember, simply leaving a comment does not ensure entry. You also have to click the +5 after you have commented.)
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I was given a copy of Talking With Your Daughter About Understanding Boys in exchange for my thorough and honest review. All opinions expressed are completely my own. I am not responsible if your experiences vary.