Harvest House Publishers
In 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters, author Dannah Gresh shares some fun and creative ideas for moms to spend time with their tween daughters. Targeting mothers with daughter in the 8- to 12-year-old range, Gresh tackles some of the issues that can be intimidating for parents to discuss with their daughters at that age, including the hormonal changes in their bodies and dressing modestly as their bodies develop into those of young women. Gresh believes that honesty and blatancy are vital to rearing a well-adjusted teenage girl. Teaching young girls to protect the secrets of their bodies and sexuality until marriage is Gresh’s goal, and she wants it to start early.
Before she delves into the individual date activities, Gresh begins by encouraging mothers to work on their own spiritual struggles before they attempt to work with their daughters. She also gives a detailed description of how to use the book. In Part Two, she gives minute-by-minute instructions that cover every aspect of the dates for the daughters. The dates are varied from mother-daughter facials to experiences in personal quiet time with God. For every date, Gresh also offers some lower-budget ideas for families that might be experiencing financial difficulties. At the back of the book, enough devotions are provided for mothers and daughters to study together for four weeks of daily study. She even provides perforated worksheets for mothers and daughters to discuss and work through on the dates. As a mother herself, and someone who has tried all eight of these dates with her own tweenage daughter, Gresh has a wide knowledge base for her suggestions.
Gresh encourages mothers to be honest with their young daughters, being open to discussing all of the difficult topics that tweens experience as their bodies develop and their relationships with one another and with the opposite sex change. Having clearly done her research, she provides statistics about some of the major factors that contribute to unhealthy development and sexual activity for young girls, and she offers mothers practical tips on how to confront those issues. For example, she encourages mothers not to treat developing curves on a young girl as a negative experience, but to make it fun by planning a bra-shopping date. This honesty, says Gresh, will encourage girls to seek information from their mothers instead of their equally confused peers. I believe Gresh is a firm proponent of Proverbs 22:6: “Train a child in the way [she] should go, and when [she] is old [she] will not turn from it.”
Although some of Gresh’s ideas seem clichéd, like a tea party, I think that she also incorporates them in ways that we usually don’t think about in our culture today. For example, treat your daughter to a classy tea party in a high class venue instead of in her bedroom with her stuffed animals to show her how valued she is. Also, for detail-oriented mothers who want to have every minute of the date planned, Gresh’s schedules will probably be an asset. However, they could be difficult to follow for mothers who are more “in-the-moment” planners. Despite these minor weaknesses, Gresh’s book has a multitude of ideas for mothers looking to connect with and lead their daughters. – Nicole Miller, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
8 Great Dates For Moms and Daughters includes fun mother-daughter get-togethers, perfect one-on-one or for a small group of moms and their energetic 8-12 year-old daughters. Each date focuses on one topic surrounding beauty and modesty and is full of fun while at the same time imparting a life and faith-enhancing message. The book provides a mom with everything she needs to plan and carry out the activities and includes topics such as: * The power of true beauty—what makes a girl beautiful? * Truth or bare fashions—how to balance fashion and godly modesty * Hair, makeup and clothes—who should be your model?