I’m currently preparing to speak on “Top Ten Messages You Want Your Kids To Get” (at the Hearts at Home conference in Rochester, MN). And I’ve been reminded that it’s been a long time since I shared any book recommendations. I’ve been reading some good things, especially on the topic of communicating with your kids. Here are three new favorites:
Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Son, by Vicki Courtney: As the mother of two sons, I really wish I’d had this book long ago. I love the clarity and intentionality with which Vicki and her husband approached key messages they wanted to give their sons. The book is straightforward, realistic, and immensely practical. But most of all, I love the author’s emphasis on the heart. Relationships always triumph over rules, even while boundaries must be clearly communicated and enforced. The focus throughout is capsulized in the last chapter: “Godliness over Goodness.” With sons, as with God, it’s always the heart that matters.
Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter, by Vicki Courtney: If Vicki’s book about sons goes to the heart, this goes even a few levels deeper. Wonderfully transparent, it is written from the heart of one who’s been there in the harder places where girls today find themselves, and is willing to help others learn from her experience. The five chapter titles (the recommended conversations) reveal how “on target” the content is:
- “You Are More Than the Sum of Your Parts”
- “Don’t Be in Such a Hurry To Grow Up”
- “Sex Is Great and Worth the Wait”
- “It’s OK To Dream about Marriage and Motherhood”
- “Girls Gone Wild Are a Dime a Dozen—Dare To Be Virtuous.”
Of course, these conversations, as well as those with sons, are not individual one-time talks, but ongoing communication. Some conversations are much harder than others. But Vicki will help you find the words, the courage, and the grace to have even the hardest ones.
Six Ways To Keep the “Little” in Your Girl, by Dannah Gresh: Doesn’t the title grab you? What a needed word for our culture! This little book is a great complement to Courtney’s (above) by offering specific strategies for connecting with your daughter in ways that count, and will help you guide your daughter, age-appropriately, from her tweens to her teens. I love the author’s emphasis on listening well instead of doing all the talking. She even gives very specific guidelines about how to do that (“Listening So She’ll Talk,” p. 60). Gresh also provides practical helps for dealing with multi-media in our plugged-in world. But perhaps my favorite is the illustrated guide to “Truth or Bare Fashion Tests” (pp. 110-112), which will help you teach you daughter modesty, pro-actively and preemptively.
All three of these books are great one-chapter-at-a-time “snatch books” which work for busy moms because they can sit on your bedside table or accompany you to waiting rooms or on carpool runs to read just a little here or there when you have time. And believe me, they are worth your time!