Mom, you’re awesome. But you are a girl. Which means you only know so much about boys. Dad should take over now. But finding the right words and the right time to talk to a daughter about boys is tough. Tween girls can be hard to approach, confusing to understand, and moody–even for a mom who used to be one. Watching their little girl grow into a woman is hard enough for a dad without adding awkward conversations.

Dads and daughtersEnter Dannah Gresh, founder of Secret Keeper Girl, and her husband Bob. They knew girls were hooking up earlier than ever, and they knew, from research, that the single greatest preventer of early sexual interaction was the presence of a dad, even if other risk factors were present.  So Bob and Dannah added a title to the awesome 8 Great Date series (usually the series is for Moms and Daughters and if you haven’t checked them out–they are awesome), to help dads talk to their daughters about boys.

Each date has a fun activity like playing a prank, a special movie night, or a treasure hunt. But don’t worry these dates won’t cost a ton of money or require much preparation. In fact, most date activities have a range of ideas so dad can pick what fits best. There are conversation guides, MP3 files to listen to on the way to the date, and scripture to discuss. Really, the great thing about the book is how customizable it is: dad does what fits his personality using this guide as a skeleton. And no matter what approach you use, you are guaranteed to create memories and earn the right to speak into her life because you will also be listening. Bob and Dannah also thoughtfully included a section to help single moms use the book.

We haven’t tried the dates here yet. Until this crazy soccer season ends (3 days people!), there isn’t much time or money for extras, but I can tell from reading through the dates, that Bob and Dannah understand tween girls because I know both my daughters, though very different in personality, will love these activities and this kind of time with dad. And really I would rather my husband talk to her about boys than the boy-crazy girl down the street. Honestly, this sort of thing might be a bit a of stretch for my husband, but I am confident it will pay off.

I couldn’t wait to share the book with you because Secret Keeper Girl is offering to give away one of these books to a Pruning Princesses reader! And I hope to get the book in your hands by Father’s Day. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite kind of date with your girl or tell me who you plan to give this book to. I’ll have my husband choose a random winner Sunday night.



travel soccerCautions are handed out casually by experienced parents when they hear about our life. And for years, I considered every one–feeling guilty for straying from the path for raising proper Christian children. In the last months though, in ways I couldn’t predict or imagine, God has confirmed our path as “proper.”

We are THAT family. The one who drives miles and miles, who spends hours and hours, playing a sport: soccer. My husband loves the game and is a gifted coach. My girls love the game and are excellent players. Their work ethnic and determination make every coach love them. And honestly, there aren’t many Christian’s in this world. It is ruthless, dangerous as the girls get older, and more political than our local city council. And I am taking about the dads.

I didn’t play sports growing up. This world is not one I ever wanted to enter. Soccer was a fun recreational activity when the girls were 5 and needed to burn energy. Then talent, drive, and opportunities took over. And the cautions lined up. Sweet, experienced Christian parents cautioned me, “Don’t give up church for soccer,” “Make sure she is well rounded, or when she tears her ACL and can’t find her identity it will me a heartbreak,” “All that time and money would be better spent elsewhere.”

So, for a long time I wished it would end because those experienced parents are wise. Knowing that putting my foot down would just create 3 super anger, bitter family members, I prayed. I also repeatedly would stealthily question my girls suggesting all the different things they could do if only soccer would stop, or be played at a less competitive level.

Over time, God showed me that soccer is where He has us. He has uniquely orchestrated circumstances to make soccer the right place for us at this time (don’t you marvel at how He loves us!). Our home church family is an amazing, flexible group of people who changes the meeting time to accommodate our seasonal schedule changes.  Lacking any blood family in the state, they sometimes come to games, cheer or help with transportation. The money needed for playing at this high level keeps showing up, in scholarships, in a sudden business windfall. Homeschooling provides us a flexible schedule and lots of time together. And while my girls will struggle with identity if they suddenly are injured and cannot play the world’s favorite sport, they will not be alone. They will be surrounded my prayers and millions of Christians who have lost a huge part of their identity and had to find their way back to Christ alone. Plus, we talk, regularly, about how they are not soccer players first, but children of the most high king and they need to act as with their free time and on the field. Father's and daughters

And moms. when I realized that every family’s journey to follow God will be unique, and that those cautions were ways God encouraged us by answering them,  I relaxed and stopped hoping for a different path. I thanked God for the cautions others shared and how he answered every one as I considered them. Now I look for ways to shine our light in this foreign world of highly competitive girls soccer and rest (in my mind-not in our schedule) knowing that when it is time for this journey to stop, God will make it clear.

PS…It’s been so long since I found space to write. Thank you for still being here to read. It feels lovely.And sharing today with Jill Savage and her blog hop on Loving My Now. Have you checked out her new book? It’s called No More Perfect Kids and it is changing my parenting for the better (plus I am in it, in the table of contents even–this counts as being published, right? )

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