I found the book “What Your Son Isn’t Telling You” very insightful, so I decided to pick up the same type of book for the opposite gender. A little while back I was running a pre-teen girl mentoring program and wanted a closer look at some of the typical issues girls this age were facing. The book, “What Your Daughter Isn’t Telling You” by Susie Shellenberger and Kathy Gowler did a great job addressing this very thing.
Unlike the guy version of this book, “What Your Daughter…” didn’t focus mainly on sex and pornography. Instead, it covered a wide range of topics and issues. A few examples include:
“Why Won’t She Talk To Me?”
Sex and Dating
Cutting and Eating Disorders
Blending Families Situations
What’s Good About this Book:
Each chapter contains emails/letters from girls giving the reader a glimpse at a real-life situation
The authors suggest both proactive ways to prevent problems and ways to work on problems if they arise
Checklists and quizzes to help moms assess their relationship with their daughter
Simple activities a mom could do today to boost communication or bonding
Examples of tricky situations that could serve as great discussion starters between moms and daughters
What’s Not So Great:
This isn’t a super in-depth book. Each topic is given a brief summary along with some suggestions to address the issues. (Of course, this book doesn’t claim to be an in-depth analysis of teen problems either).
Overall, this is a great book for moms to pick up to become aware of some of the challenges teen (and preteen) girls face each day. It strikes an excellent balance of being concerned and aware without becoming overprotective and suspicious of your teen. I would definitely recommend it to moms of preteen girls or anyone who works with this age group. Pick up your copy on Amazon or at Bethany House Publishers.
I was browsing through the latest copy of Thriving Family Magazine when I read about a great radio program for preteens about prayer. Even better? You can download it free — a great resource for both parents and children’s ministry workers. Here’s the description:
Do your tweens understand that prayer reflects a unique relationship between God and man? Or do they approach prayer like ti’s simply a way to get what they want? As your tweens mature, they may begin to appreciate the importance and privilege of talking to their Creator. Download this complimentary episode called “When in Doubt…Pray!” to explore the deeper realities of prayer with your child.
Sometimes it’s tough to get family devotions (or family faith talks) started in your home, especially if your children are now in the preteen or teen age range (hang in there!). The book, As for Me and My House-Volume 2, written by Tom and Lori Ziegler, just may be the tool you need to get a jump-start on this rewarding family tradition.
The introduction does a great job setting the stage for a productive and enjoyable time with suggestions such as:
Have fun! Family devotions should not be consistently full of correction.
Talk as a family. Ask your children’s opinions on topics before sharing your own opinions.
Let your children take turns leading the family devotions once in awhile.
Each family devotion (there are 50 in all) contains a Scripture passage to focus on (usually 5-10 verses), an objective, and activity/discussion guide, and a commitment or follow-up section. There’s also a verse (or sometimes two) at the end of each devotional to memorize or use for further study.
Each devotional is filled with many conversation starters and discussion questions. If families are consistent with using this book, I can see them growing closer fairly quickly. Some of the devotionals seem a little young for teens, but parents could probably adapt the discussion questions easily.
Families will have to be very diligent about spending time in the Word when using this book. Besides the reference to Scripture at the beginning and end of each chapter/devotional, there is little actual discussion of the Bible. Some hardly mention the concepts in Scripture at all. Others seem like a cursory or shallow mention of the events in the passage. A few do a great job comparing Scriptures and drawing some important application conclusions, but not too many.
As long as families remember this book is a tool in family devotional and not a “all-in-one” product, they should be in good shape. Make sure to read the Bible passage aloud to the family and spend some time talking about it before diving into the questions in the book in order to keep the focus on God. With this in mind, I would recommend this book for anyone who’s just getting started with Family Faith Talks or family devotional time. Though the book is aimed at preteens, I think it would be suitable for anyone in the ages of 8-15. For about $12.00 your can pick up your copy on Amazon or the DPI website.
Disclosure: I received this book free of charge from DPI Publishing in exchange for a review on this blog.
In the book, Making Waves, Sophomore Katie finds herself lonely and with a lot of extra time on her hands when her best friend moves away. With her sister gone from the house and her mom working long hours, Katie decides she needs a hobby. When she joins the swim teams, she encounters pressures and expectations she didn’t anticipate.
A natural swimmer, Katie has always viewed swimming as something she did “just for fun”. Now with both the coach and the other team mates impressed with her talents, the pressure is on to meet expectations and beyond. When early morning practices and schoolwork begin to take their toll, the other swimmers let Katie in on a few secrets — namely Red Dragon and coffee. When this “pick-me-ups” start losing their effectiveness, Katie wonders how far she’ll have to go to keep her edge.
Flickr by Kristian D.
Meanwhile, Katie is also dealing with drifting apart from her best friend (who recently moved), her family (conflicting schedules) and a possible boyfriend? As in all of Nicole O’Dell Scenarios books, you, as the reader, help Katie decide what to do when she’s faced with a big decision.
My personal take? Another hit from Nicole O’Dell. This book deals with some real-life issues in a way that’s easy to relate to and easy to learn from. I like the way boy-girl relationships were handled in this book much better than in previous Scenario books, though the faith element seemed to be a bit disjointed and not really integrated into Katie’s life. As always, some great talking points for parents and preteens and a big recommendation from me.
Book #2 of The Imagination Station series, Attack at the Arena, is a adventure-packed hit as well. This time-traveling book, based on the Adventures in Odyssey radio series, is aimed at the 8-12 crowd, both guys and gals. Though the preteens will enjoy reading it on their own, I recommend parents reading this out loud to their kids as a way to reconnect and discuss some great talking points such as standing up for your faith, first impressions, and seeking wisdom from elders.
This book doesn’t waste anytime putting the reader in suspense. Immediately upon entering the imagination station, cousins Patrick and Beth find themselves right in the middle of an ancient Roman arena, with a hungry tiger on the loose! The action doesn’t stop there as the cousins get separated and find themselves in very different circumstances: one in the emperor’s courtyard and another in a cave with a monk and an angry barbarian visitor! They’ve got some important choices to make (and quick!) as they try to find both each other and the mysterious chalice that Whit needs in order to save his friend, Albert.
Pick up your copy today and find out what Beth and Patrick will do in this adventure!
This week, I had a great Sunday School class with a bunch of preteen boys, and I wish I could say it was because of some innate personality characteristic of mine. Truth is, I’m not that good with boys – especially preteen ones! Once the cool factor starts to kick in, I’m pretty much left in the dust.
I know it’s wrong, but I’m more comfortable with the kids who sit still, sing songs, raise their hands to answer questions, and boys… well, they just don’t usually do that. I knew I needed to change this attitude, so I picked up What Your Son Isn’t Telling You: Unlocking the Secret World of Teen Boys, hoping to get an inside look at the minds and hearts of the young men in my midst.
What a great book. It really opened my eyes to the “quiet support” young men need. To not overwhelm them with questions or get all over them when they are fidgety. I helped me to see their struggles and their desires for righteousness that are so often thwarted by the world. All this was fresh in my mind when I went into Sunday School, and I have to tell you, it made a huge difference in my interactions. I didn’t instantly land on them with rules and demands (normally, I would have made them sit in chairs around the table, but instead I let them lounge on the couch and stools). I listened without criticizing. I dialogged without preaching at them. It was a blessing beyond belief for me, and I am so grateful the regular teacher called in sick! (Read the full story here)
As we were discussing the difficulties in Bible study, I mentioned The Action Bible. It was something I had recently stumbled upon — the most complete Bible illustrated in comic book form. The boys seemed pretty excited about the idea, so I ordered three that night (small class!). One boy has already read through the entire book of Genesis.
At first I was a little wary of the comic book Bible, but it seemed pretty accurate and I think it’s great for this stage of the game. What do you think? Do you think The Action Bible is watering things down? Take a look at the promo and share your opinion!
Lindsey Whitney is the Children’s Ministry Director at East Lake Road Alliance Church in Erie, PA. She manages the Children’s Church program, mid-week Kids for Christ program as well as special events and mentoring programs. She has an excellent volunteer team and is grateful for all the support and encouragement the church members provide. Lindsey has been married to her wonderful husband for over five years and together they have two fun, energetic kids. She operates a family home day care and loves the interaction with kids she has both in the home and at church. She operates Growing Kids Ministry, a Children’s Ministry blog and recently served as one of the contributing authors on KidMin1124. She has been published by Children's Ministry Magazine and Stuff Christians Like and hopes to do more writing in the future. In her spare time, she loves to see the sites in Erie, watch the Steelers with her husband, read books and magazines, visit with family and sneak in a few stops at the local coffee shop. You can find her on Twitter @lrwhitney or on Facebook. You can also email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.