Hey ReCAST Women- we have a series of discussions coming up for mothers and their tween girls using the book Lies Girls Believe. I interviewed Kelsey McLaughlin who, along with Deirdre Thompson, is organizing the event so that you could learn all the practical details as well as the reasons Kelsey felt that this was important.
Becky: So let’s start with the basic details of this discussion group, when and where?
Kelsey: We are going to do 4 sessions. March 15 is going to be our first discussion night and we are just going over part 1- which is the introduction and the first 3 chapters. We will do some fun ice breakers and give the girls and moms a chance to hang out. The focus that night will be having some fellowship and basic discussion. We plan to meet at ReCAST from 6:30-8 in the multi-purpose room.
Becky: What ages of girls should attend?
Kelsey: This is for 8-12 year olds. There is wiggle room on either end of that span and if you think your daughter could benefit, then please come.
Becky: I remember the first True Woman conference we went to, you were geeking out over Dannah Gresh, the author of this book, because some of her other writing had been important to you in high school. Tell me about that.
Kelsey: In high school, Dannah Gresh had a book called And The Bride Wore White. I did that study with a bunch of other girls and one of the girl’s mom. It was focused on what God wants for us in relationships, specifically marriage and dating relationships. During that study I wrote out a list of qualities I was looking for in my future husband and made a plan for handling myself in a godly way in a dating relationship and a few months later I met Nick (Kelsey’s husband). One of the most beneficial things about doing that study was being around a bunch of like-minded young women and having a godly mom leading it. So when I saw this book come out, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to start something like this for Laine (Kelsey’s daughter).
Becky: I’m getting from you that fellowship is a big part of your motivation for doing this…
Kelsey: Looking back I always had lots of godly girls and godly moms around me. I realize now that this was intentional. My mom knew it was important and made a point of surrounding me with people who could guide me towards Christ. It didn’t just happen.
Becky: So now you want to provide that for Laine?
Kelsey: Yeah- and someday Paige (Kelsey’s younger daughter). Becky, this book, you are going to want to read it. Actually, start with Six Ways to Keep the Little in your Girl- which is just a book, not a study. It stresses the importance of having conversations with your daughter at a young age and building a strong connection with her before you enter the teen years. Also, in this book, Lies Girls Believe, Dana talks about how our tweens (8-12 year olds) are facing issues that their mothers faced in their teens. We need to start these conversations much earlier than we might think. We need to get truth in them early because life long beliefs are generally established before adolescence.
Becky: I was a high school teacher and I found that my high school girls often came to me to talk through issues that they struggled to talk to their mothers about. I remember wishing that I had had a non-family adult role model with whom I could have process some of my high school problems. Are you hoping that this group with give Laine some options for women who could advise her?
Kelsey: We plan on having a time in one of the later sessions where some of the women in our church who have already walked a child through adolescence lead small groups of the girls without their moms. The point of all this is to open up dialogue between daughters and their mothers but we also want our girls to be comfortable relying on the network of women in our church who can give them Biblical advice.
Becky: I love that. Mentorship is one of the major instructions we have as women and I think it is so great that you are fostering an environment for that. Is there anything else you want to share with us about the study or give us any teasers about book?
Kelsey: I really love how Dannah speaks to the girls. She takes their feelings seriously, not dismissively and validates the feeling while addressing the root lie that is causing the feeling. Here’s an example of a few of the lies we will be addressing:
- God only loves me when I’m good
- Pretty girls are worth more
- I need more freedom
- I don’t need to tell anybody about my sin
- What I watch and listen to doesn’t matter
Becky: I’m pretty sure I believed all of those lies at some time- how helpful for our girls to have some clarity on these issues before the fog of adolescence sets in. This is such a great step toward showing them that they are valuable and important to us and that there is wisdom for the situations they are experiencing. I wish I had a girl in this age group because I love girl time and it sounds like you are going to be doing some solid character investment while having loads of fun.