Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back to the parenting beginning

We have been telling Isabelle for months that once Jake leaves for college it will be "all about you."  She has been incredibly excited reminding us of this fact on a regular basis.  Of course she thinks that means she will get her way all the time, we will do what she wants all the time and basically it will be Isabelleworld at our house 24/7.

What she failed to take into account is that it is now all about her.  All our parenting energy can go into her.  All our ideas for discipline, chores, spiritual formation, character building, and more.  All about Isabelle.

I have to admit that up to this point she has sort of slipped by under the radar.  We have done basic parenting but I haven't been the intentional parent with her that I was with Jake.

Today I was emailing a friend about the topic of raising Isabelle.  Today's topic was about her sexual education.  Preparing her for modesty, purity and the management of hormones.  Basically, this morning I was in pre-puberty panic.  Ironically, I became friends with this woman when her son was 7 years old and she was in pre-puberty panic.  She was a friend of my sister's and since I had a son just ahead of hers and loved the topic of sex education my sister asked me to share a few thoughts with her.  A 9 year friendship of mutual encouragement developed.

In response to my email this morning she said, "Yep, you really need me."  She has spent the last 9 years developing a purity ministry for young girls and has becoming quite the expert on this subject, she had the perfect resources for me to look into.  Would you believe that one of those perfect resources was the email I sent her 9 years ago?  She had printed it and saved it and this morning she scanned it back into her computer and sent me my own words of encouragement!  Honestly, I was a little afraid to open it.  Did I really want to hear my own voice from 9 years ago?  But as I read it I was totally inspired by myself.  I remembered the parent I was back then, the intentional way I interacted with Jake and what I taught him.  I was quite brilliant if I do say so myself.

So tonight I pulled out the book on sex I read to Jake when he was 7.  And my mind is starting to remember that this is the subject that for whatever reason grounded my entire way of parenting.  Grounded the way I taught Jake about God.  Because what I said in the email was that while I could teach Jake about sex and tell him what the bible says, if Jake didn't have a foundation of faith, if he didn't believe in God and the fact that the bible is the inspired word of God, then it wouldn't matter what I taught him.

So as I prepare to start thinking about preparing Isabelle for going into puberty and all that it will mean in her life, her body and her mind, I am reminded that the underpinning of all that I say and do as a parent must have a foundation in showing her the way to God and His truths.

Psalm 78:4-6

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
4 We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers
to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.


  1. What book did you use? Do you recommend it for girls or is there another book? I'm overwhelmed myself when I start looking for something that is good. Thanks for your help!

    1. Angel, I used the series, "God's Design for Sex". I don't know if there is anything newer and better on the market these days; I have that one already so I am using it again for Isabelle. It is for boys and girls. I personally liked the book 2 for 5-8 year olds the best in this series. The rest felt more like reference material. But that is OK because the hardest part is starting the conversation with your kids. After that the most important thing, in my opinion, is keeping the conversation going. And, if I may chime in my thoughts here, you need to start when they are young, Jake was in 1st grade when we read this book to him, Isabelle is in 2nd and I feel behind. You can't wait to teach your children about sex and purity when they are 13, you are too late at that point. Keep in mind that everyday they are getting subtle sexual message that are shaping the way they will view sex as they go into puberty. I knew I couldn't block all those voices so I needed to be one of the voices, the voice with the most authority, the voice that answered any questions with love and confidence. The voice of Truth. Remember, sex is not bad, puberty is not bad, so there is no reason to be afraid to discuss it. God created it to be good. Teach your kids about that good sex.