Back to School + Sex Ed

Blog_BackToSchool
The start of a new school year gets a lot of us thinking about what our kids need for the coming year. Since I homeschool my kids, I think about curriculum, books, and review. Hopefully my kids remember everything they learned in the last school year. You know, typical school things. But since I am also the founder of a ministry that helps parents talk to their children about healthy sexuality, another thought crosses my mind: what do I need to cover with them about sex? And do they remember what we learned about last year?

With so many details to think about with the start of a new school year, it can be hard to remember sex education. Whether our children are receiving their sex education solely at home or if they are also receiving it at school, Mom and Dad have a big role to play here. I am convinced the responsibility of communicating God’s design for love, sex, and marriage falls mainly to parents and the lessons they give their children, both implicitly (by their observable actions) and explicitly (by what they instruct their children).

Unfortunately, many of us well-meaning parents abdicate our God-given role to the school or to the church, or (rather unknowingly) to Google. Trust me, I know what that’s like! Even though I run a ministry that focuses on this very topic, I have experience getting caught up with all the other details of life only to realize that my kids need ME to answer their questions and proactively teach them the truth about sex and sexuality.

Can I encourage you, Mom and Dad, to think about each one of your children and the stage they are in right now and consider what they need to know about sex, relationships, and the peer pressure they will be facing this year? I know this exercise may seem intimidating, but I promise you if you approach it with the help of the Holy Spirit, it won’t be as daunting as you think. One thing that has really helped me with this task is to take a look at Against the Tide, which is a grade-by-grade guide we’ve put together that gives resource suggestions for talking to your children about sex and character.

It might surprise you, but these guides start in preschool. The reason is there are a lot of foundational messages you can teach your young children about the way God designed our bodies and how He intended families to work that will really help them as they are trying to get the whole picture about sex at an older age. Especially if you have children in what I like to call the “intensive time” of 8-12 years old, I encourage you to check out this guide and seriously consider what lessons you need to cover with them this year.

A phrase I often think of when I talk to parents about putting a sex-ed plan in place with their kids is: “fail to plan, plan to fail”. This phrase can be painfully accurate. We may have the best intentions, but when it comes to actually doing them, we need to make a plan to see them through. Sometimes it helps me to set goals like this: “by the end of November, I need to have gotten through The Wonderful Way Babies Are Made with my youngest child.” I write these goals down on my calendar, because they are important! If I don’t make a goal, I re-schedule it and try, try again.

I pray the Lord gives you wisdom and the strength to tackle this task. May He bless your efforts to guide your children toward healthy sexuality.

Julie Hiramine

Julie Hiramine is a mom, author, and the founder and executive director of the ministry Generations of Virtue. As an internationally noted speaker, she has ministered in many nations to thousands of parents, teens, and young people. Julie believes the key to turning the tide of an immoral culture is to equip parents to empower their children to be pure.

Top GOV Books for Summer Reading

summerreading
Summer is a great time to catch up on some reading. Here at GOV, we read a lot. And the good news is, there is a lot of excellent content out there! On the other hand, there is also a lot of not-so-excellent content. Which is why we go to great lengths to make sure all the books we recommend are good ones. Below you’ll find our top summer reading picks to help get you and your children off to a good start come school season.

Parents

Raising Body-Confident Daughters – Moms of daughters 6-14 will find Dannah Gresh’s new book incredibly helpful as they learn practical steps to help their daughters navigate our “thin is in” culture.

Secure Daughters, Confident Sons – In light of all the hype over homosexual marriage in the press lately, this book is a great help to parents seeking to affirm their children in their God-given sexuality.

Be the Dad She Needs You to Be – Dr. Kevin Lehman’s book for dads of daughters is full of humor, practical advice, and the gleanings of years of experience. Not only does it give dad a shot of encouragement, all the stories Dr. Lehman shares were so entertaining, I could hardly put it down!

Raising Boys by Design – Using science behind boys’ brain and social development as well as spiritual wisdom, this book is the collaboration of two respected experts on the topic of raising healthy boys.

Entering Elementary/Primary

My Princesses Learn to Be Brave – Using a lesson from the book of Esther, this story follows two girls who are being bullied by a boy on the playground. It’s a great story to teach your daughter how to be brave and respond to a bully in a positive way.

Warrior Prince for God – Luke isn’t as good at sports as other kids are, and sometimes they tease him because of it. But when Luke learns he can be a warrior in God’s Kingdom, he finds the true meaning behind strength and courage.

The Wonderful Way Babies Are Made – With text for younger kids (ages 3-8) and older kids (8-10), this beautifully illustrated book explains how God designed a husband and wife to have a baby. Using age-appropriate information, the book communicates the beauty and majesty of God’s creation, including a special section on adoption.

Entering Middle School/Upper Primary

It’s Great to Be a Girl – Learning about your changing body and growing up are tough subjects to talk about. But this book makes it fun and encouraging.

Passport 2 Purity – This weekend retreat for moms and daughters or fathers and sons is an excellent way to explain God’s design for sex, relationships, puberty, and purity presented in a way that is appropriate for pre-teens. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

Heroes of the Bible Devotional – A 90-day devotional highlighting men and women from the Bible who lived heroic lives. Boys and girls alike are inspired to live heroically in their daily lives.

Entering High School/Secondary

Free to Be Me – Girls are under so much pressure to fit in and do all the right things. But who defines what is right? Instead of looking to peers or the media to find yourself, why not look to the one who created you?

A Young Man’s Guide to Discovering His BibleJim George has a gift for inspiring young people to not just open their Bibles, but understand scripture. The wisdom Jim has gleaned from years of Bible study and teaching have been boiled down to a devotional for teen boys that is simple and encouraging.

Going off to University/Entering the Work Force

What Are You Waiting For? – Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, sex is not simply a physical act. By God’s good design, it is so much more than that. Written for young women living in a “casual sex is no big deal” culture, this book unpacks the deeper, Biblical meaning behind sex and brings in biological research to help explain the very good reasons behind waiting for marriage.

Killing Lions – Navigating the transition from boyhood to manhood can be rough. All the choices needing to be made about finances, romance, and career can seem like lions on the prowl. This book is adapted from phone calls between a loving father and a son working through some major life decisions.

– Megan Briggs

Megan joined the Generations of Virtue team to become the Product Manager, a position which keeps her busy researching, reading resources, managing inventory and speaking to young people.

SEX ED FOR SINGLE MOMS

SexEdforSingleMoms

I recently received this testimony about Passport 2 Purity (P2P) from a mom who attended one of my parenting sessions. It was so good I had to share! I sincerely admire this mom who is determined to share the truth with her son, despite the difficulties of being a single mom. Way to go, mom!

I came across the P2P kit when I attended a Generations of Virtue parenting talk in March 2014.  As a single mom, I was fretting about how to have The Conversation with my son (then 14 years old), and thought that P2P would be a good tool.

When I opened the kit, I was overwhelmed by the planning and preparation that was required! I thought to myself – “it’s too much work.  I don’t think I can find a suitable destination or a fun activity that would fit the purpose.”

Nonetheless, I took time to read through the notes not once, not twice, but several times – digesting it, thinking about it.  Specifically, I prayed to God to help me plan for this, to show me how to do this, and to prepare our hearts for this.  Slowly, a plan took form.

I decided not to follow strictly to the schedule recommended.  Instead, I planned it into our family vacation to Gold Coast, Australia in June 2014.  It was significant as it was the first time he and I were going on a vacation, just the two of us. Until then, vacations were always with friends or the extended family. It was also his 14th birthday present.

I gathered the materials needed for the activities and packed them into the luggage, without him knowing.  The audio tracks were downloaded into my phone for easy playback, along with headphones.

We did our first session on the flight out to Gold Coast.  The rest of sessions in the evenings were spread out over the next six days – usually in the evenings, when we are back from the day’s activities.  Being away really helped as it took us away from our daily routines and distractions.  Both of us were relaxed, enjoying ourselves tremendously and not worrying about chores/schoolwork.

There were some awkward moments (at least for me), when instructions were given to “talk with your dad” and during topics of physical changes/masturbation.  However, these moments passed quickly.  The main benefit of P2P was that it provided a clear, structured framework to discuss the various issues relating to puberty, sexual purity and dating.  The questions provided a great start to otherwise awkward conversations.

At the end of it, it was not just my son who benefited from it.  I too gained a deeper understanding of my teenage son. I feel P2P has also brought us closer. My son is not shy to come to me with issues or concerns he is having about his growing up, how he relates to his peers, even how to start a conversation with a girl!

 In fact, I’m planning to do a “refresher” course with him this year, focusing on setting boundaries, and dating. 

Julie Hiramine

Julie Hiramine is a mom, author, and the founder and executive director of the ministry Generations of Virtue. As an internationally noted speaker, she has ministered in many nations to thousands of parents, teens, and young people. Julie believes the key to turning the tide of an immoral culture is to equip parents to empower their children to be pure.

One of Julie’s main inspirations (besides the Lord’s calling, of course!) is her own children. In fact, the ministry of Generations of Virtue came about largely through Julie’s prayers for a strategy she could use with her own children. Julie and Kay have 5 children, whom they have homeschooled and taken along on numerous ministry trips around the U.S. and overseas. When not ministering, one of Kay and Julie’s favorite activities is cooking gourmet meals (much to the delight of the Generations of Virtue team). The Hiramine family lives in Colorado and western New York when they are not on the road.