Talking to Girls about Puberty

My 9 year-old daughter is already acting like a teenager.  When should I expect things to start to change with her, and when do I need to talk to her about puberty and sex?

The answer to all these questions is “Yes.”  You need to talk to her.  Actually, you need have conversations with her all along the way, just as David mentioned regarding boys...  

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At what age should I begin talking with my son about sex?

My answer is start now.  Whatever the age of your son, jump into that conversation.  If he’s young, begin talking more... about how God designed his body as a boy.  If he’s knocking on the door of adolescence, you’ll need to accelerate the conversation, and explore the possibility that he has been educated (or miseducated) by his peers.   

Here are three rules of engagement as you move into the conversation at any point in your son’s life...

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Technology Tuesday: Rewiring the Boy Brain

For as long as video games have been around, I’ve been asked questions about boys and gaming.  The rise of the internet brought advanced questions about boys and pornography.   These remain two areas of concern when it comes to protecting the minds and hearts of the boys we love.  

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Technology Tuesday: Kids and Pornography

Any parent who has read any of our content on development or heard us speak know that we believe in the importance of talking with kids early and often about their bodies and sexuality.  Read further for another quick reminder of this and a great script we can offer our kids.

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Family Experiment: Domestic Violence

Most of you who know us or have read our books know that we like Family Experiments.  We see it as a way to climb inside the minds and hearts of our kids, to better understand what they are thinking and feeling, and also as a means of helping them develop more critical thinking.   We’ve in the past recommended experiments like the Technology Sabbath, a Strengths Assessment, and from time to time will send you a link to a video to show your kids and ask some thoughtful questions after viewing.

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How Do I Talk to my Daughter About Sex and Masturbation?

For many girls, there is a sense of shame bound up in being a woman. As a mother, you may be lost for how to talk to her about it.

Girls don’t want you to tell them about what’s changing about their bodies. They don’t want you to talk about sex. They become awkward, walk away, and even resort to toddler tactics like plugging their ears and humming loudly.

We could talk at length about the origins of shame for girls. In the Fall, a significant part of Satan’s curse attacked our identities as women: “Then he said to the woman, ‘I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you’” (Genesis 3:16).

Media has, historically, valued women consistently and primarily for their appearance and sex appeal. And it’s only gotten worse.

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The Fault In Our Stars...and Frappucinos

by Sissy Goff & David Thomas

Every year, there is a YA book that takes the girl world by storm.  You can name the last few:  Twillight, Divergent…and now, The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars is a lovely, well-written, beautiful book—and now movie— that speaks to everything that young (and sometimes old) girls love:  drama, love, drama, beauty, and more drama.  It nails it, in fact.  And every girl between the ages of 13 and 18 I’ve (Sissy) seen in my counseling office this summer has been talking about it.  One even made me sit down and watch the trailer she was so passionate about it.

A mom of an eighth grader I met with yesterday talked about how her daughter and all of her friends were “obsessed with it.”  Here’s something you may or may not know.  And, SPOILER ALERT, by the way.  But, I believe, concerned and intentional parent important spoiler.  They have sex... READ MORE

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Technology Tuesday: Snapchat

We are often asked about Snapchat during Question and Answer time at the end of a parenting class. 

We are strong supporters of doing your research.  Here’s some research that could prove helpful in navigating your decision about Snapchat.   Check out this article where one of the founders of Snapchat shares the history of how the App came into being.  

It’s hard to support an app that was birthed out of a fraternity house, around a conversation of how Anthoy Weiner could have gotten off the hook in sending inappropriate photos.  

http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/12/snapchat-not-sexting/ FULL POST

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Technology Tuesday: App Alerts

App Alert with 7 dangerous apps…and a few more NOT to let your kids grow on.

Kristin Peaks has written a fantastic article called 7 Dangerous Apps That Parents Need To Know About warning you of some of the newest and most concerning apps for kids…actually, correction—apps that are appealing to kids and concerning to parents.  As counselors, we’re not often black and white on issues.  But we are on a few when it comes to technology.

Read this article and watch out for these apps!  Check your child’s phone for them today.  If they have any installed, have a conversation about why they chose to download them and why they believe it is important to have them on their phone.  And we really mean a conversation…ask them questions and use the conversation as a learning opportunity for both of you.  If your child is an older teenager, make a decision together about whether that particular app has any value for your child’s emotional or social growth.  If he or she is a younger teenager or pre-teen, we can already tell you…there is none.  It is never helpful for a child to have an opportunity to rate someone else. READ MORE

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Q&A: The Birds and the Bees Talk

Q and A:  We are often asked by parents . . . when should I have the Birds & Bees conversation with my kids?  Here are some thoughts to consider and some resources to check out. 

How to Talk to your Kids about Sex

When my (David) daughter was six and her twin brothers were four, I took them to the hospital to see a friend’s new baby. On the drive, I retold all three of my children the stories of their own births. I should have predicted what I was getting myself into. 

From the back of the car, my little girl asked, “How did the doctor get me out of Mommy’s tummy?” I responded with, “Well, that’s a great question.” (What I was actually thinking was, Where is your mom right now? I had no intention of educating our children on the nature of labor and delivery by myself)...READ MORE

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