A popular segment of every event I lead is the Q & A time. I promise girls (and boys too, when I do a Growing up Male event) that I will tell them the truth. I do. They get the hint and ask amazing questions.
When the girls are young (4th-5th grade) they ask questions about their bodies, body changes, their girlfriends, and how to talk to mom/dad. When they get to middle school they move into territory that is trickier: emotions, sexuality, and dating. It's trickier territory for a lot of reasons: people have varying ideas and values, many adults are challenged in these areas, the media presses an agenda that is provocative (shocking things attract viewers), and we (as a culture) are uncomfortable talking about sex.
I only take questions that are written down - rarely do I screen out questions (but I will as needed). I am brutally honest in my responses. Parents and preteens/teens alike thank me for the honest answers. I have nothing else to give them than the truth - and I've learned they are hungry for it.
The questions reveal a lot and are completely depend on the event, the age of the girls, and how comfortable they are. Here are some questions I've gotten lately:
From my Growing up Female level 2 courses (for middle school girls):
- When did this "perfect" skinny image come to be so important?
- I love my mom, but I want to be closer to her. How come it's so hard?
- Is flirting with guys you don't really "like" weird?
- Why is so much pressure put on girls to be perfect?
- Does talking through things with girlfriends make it better if you are upset with them or should you let it blow over?
- What are good ways to befriend boys?
- What are the different types of sex?
- How can you say no to a boy if he keeps pushing? (after answering this question I turned to the audience of 40 and we practiced as a group)
- Is it bad to have your first kiss be a "B"? (less than wonderful)
- How do you become comfortable around a guy?
And the moms have questions too - that they want answered for themselves and for their daughters. Here are some parent questions I've gotten lately (regarding middle schoolers):
- Where can kids go (safely) to learn about sex and to see how the body of the opposite sex is put together? (as opposed to going to the internet where they are likely to encounter porn)
- What are some signs to look for that would indicate your daughter is in a bad relationship - either with a girlfriend or a boyfriend?
- How far to kids/girls go in middle school and how far should they be allowed to "go"?
- Tell the girls why they shouldn't do sexting or send naked pics thru cell phone.
- How to deal with a boyfriend who "dumps" a girlfriend when she sets boundaries (and how common is this?).
- What are good successful ways to set sexual boundaries with a trusted and serious boyfriend?
If you'd like to gather with a group of girls (or boys) and parents for an event that will help you get closer to your child and where you and your child can ask questions and get honest answers - let's talk. I'm setting up events for spring and summer. I'd love to serve the school, church, or community group you are involved with.