30 May 2012

Review: Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney

Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughteris full of sensible, biblical advice backed up by extensive social and medical research, and relevant quotes from the Bible. The author also reassures us that “God is more than enough to make up for my parenting insufficiencies along the way”. She makes it clear that the five conversations referred to in the title are not one-off conversations, but ongoing life lessons, to be modelled and reinforced at any available ‘teachable moment’. The five conversations are:

1 You Are More Than the Sum of Your Parts
2 Don’t Be in Such a Hurry to Grow Up
3 Sex Is Great and Worth the Wait
4 It’s OK to Dream about Marriage and Motherhood!
5 Girls Gone Wild Are a Dime a Dozen—Dare to Be Virtuous

Courtney comments that “when girls in the nineteenth century thought about ways to improve themselves, they almost always focused on their internal character and how it was reflected in outward behavior”, whereas the modern focus is on physical attractiveness and (often) sexuality. “I wish she would grow up. She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she’ll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age.” (a description of Susan, quoted from The Last Battle by CS Lewis). How true this can be!

As is typical with any book of this type, some of the information I knew already (“many studies have found that those who live together before marriage have less satisfying marriages and a considerably higher chance of eventually breaking up”), some I really don’t want to know (apparently, thong underwear can be linked to recurrent urinary tract and vaginal infections. Thanks for sharing!), and there were also some great one-liners (“a decision to pierce or mark her body needs to wait until she is out of college and off our payroll”, “if you’re not worth dating, he’s not worth kissing” or “should any of my three children opt to live together outside of marriage and then decide to marry for real, this momma won’t be paying a dime toward wedding expenses”). I like this woman.

And I like this book. Part of me thinks I should now buy and read the companion volume, 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son, while part of me will be happy to continue to bury my head in the sand. And I know that will a 12-year-old daughter, there are only so many opportunities to share this kind of information in a non-threatening way, so I need make the most of them. Recommended for mothers with daughters aged 10-18.

Thanks to B&H Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

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