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.

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4 Things to Keep Your Teen Safe during Party Season

4keys_teensPartying

When I was a teenager, my parents told me “It’s not that we don’t trust you, it’s that we don’t trust everyone else” whenever they put some kind of curfew or driving moratorium on me. This happened like clockwork on certain nights of the year: New Year’s, 4th of July, Christmas Eve. They were serious about those curfews! They didn’t want me out on the road late on a public holiday. And with good reason: Drunk drivers usually owned the roads on those nights.

At the time, I felt their curfews and rules were lame. Really, really lame. But now that I am older, I see the love and care behind their rules and all their concern.

My parents were very strategic in talking to me about what I would be doing, how to respond in certain situations, and what to do if ever I found myself in trouble. In light of end-of-school-year-party-season, I’d like to share some of the conversation points to use as your own teenagers head off to parties or friends’ houses:

First, start with some questions:

  1. Where are you going? (It’s ok to ask for an address of a friend’s house, the name of the restaurant, etc. Have your teen tell you all the details.)
  2. When are you leaving and when do you plan on being back? (Obviously if you have set a curfew for the night, you will need to communicate this very clearly).
  3. How are you getting there and getting home? Will you be driving to different locations? If so, who will be driving? (This was my parents’ FAVORITE question. Sigh)
  4. Who is going to be with you?
  5. What will you be doing?
  6. Do you have any concerns about the evening?

Secondly, set some guidelines for how your teen can respond if a situation takes him/her by surprise. Some strategies to go over include:

  • What to do if alcohol is involved
  • What to do if you feel unsafe when someone else is driving
  • How to suggest different activities if the ones offered are inappropriate or make you feel uncomfortable
  • What to do if someone pushes your physical boundaries (This, hopefully, has been preceded by a discussion about what your teen’s physical boundaries are. If this discussion hasn’t taken place yet, Mom and Dad, there’s no time like the present.)
  • Have an escape plan (This is a good time to tell your son/daughter if they ever need you to come get them, you will.)

Thirdly, set some clear expectations about what you require your teen to do. You might consider the following (again, taking a cue from my parents):

  • I expect you to call or text me when you arrive at the party, letting me know you got there safely
  • Please communicate any change of plans with me
  • Please provide the mobile number of a friend or parent who will be with you, just in case something happens to your phone
  • Please send me an all’s well text a couple hours after you get there
  • Don’t be afraid to tell me something is wrong. I’d rather you call me over a false alarm than feel like you can’t call and get into a dangerous situation.
  • Let me know when you are on your way home

*I should note that my parents threatened to show up at the party if I failed to tell them I arrived safely, or if I didn’t send the all’s well text halfway through, etc. That threat alone helped me to remember all the steps!

Finally, pray for your teen before he or she heads off. Ask for God’s protection and for a really good, positive time. Remind your teens that sometimes situations come up where you have to be the “odd one out” and do something different than everyone else. It’s ok, really. They might feel ashamed or uncomfortable if they have to do something like that, but they’ll be glad they did later. Let your son or daughter know that you trust him/her to make the right decisions. Your confidence in your children will communicate a lot to them and could potentially give them the courage and motivation needed to make a good choice in a sticky situation.

– 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.