Archive for Conception

Summer Reading List

Summer is upon us, and with it will be a the opportunity for conversations that we just don’t seem to have time for during the school year. Have you thought about what you hope to accomplish this summer… when it comes to conversations with your children about how babies are born, or how babies are made? With more family time will come some not-to-be-missed opportunities. With young children there is a window of curiosity about how all of this works, and that window begs you to come in with great information and wisdom for these little ones about how fearfully and wonderfully they were made.

Perhaps a quiet time with books is just the ticket into that window. Here are a few suggestions to get conversations started.

I discovered these beautiful books last year, and really love the intricate illustrations:

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They are perfect for conversations about seeds and eggs, and the beauty of God’s design for reproducing plants and animals.

Here is a fun and sweet story written by Ann Higgginbottom who did so much to help me write my second book, God’s Very Good Design. This is a true story of her childhood experience at the beach discovering turtle eggs. Also beautifully illustrated.

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Simple picture books that can bring up conversations about babies…to remind of us what life is like for a baby, and how we have grown!

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Here are two books I highly recommend for reading to preschool or early elementary children who are asking the big questions. OR if they have never asked, and you feel like it’s time for them to know before someone else tells them. I read these books to my children, and I think they are wonderful. The first is the story of birth (recommended to 3-5 year olds)  and the second is the story of conception (recommended for 5-8 year olds). It’s always a good idea to look through the books yourself to be sure you are comfortable with the language and illustrations before you read them to your children.

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Of course, reading my books is a good idea too…because your children need to hear YOUR VOICE and both Simple Truths and God’s Very Good Design will help you train YOUR voice for the conversations you hope to have this summer! Just remember that these two books are NOT for children, but for YOU…their parents.

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Happy reading!

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KIA Superbowl Ad

I’m generally a pretty enthusiastic football fan, although this year I wasn’t so much into the game (no interest in either team) as I was into the commercials. I loved the Best Buy commercial with Amy Poehler asking the Best Buy employee all of those questions…those are MY questions. Especially, “WHERE IS THE CLOUD?” I actually do wonder about that.

But the KIA commercial REALLY caught my interest. Here is a family in a car and the son asks, “Dad, where do babies come from?”…well instead of me explaining the whole commercial, I’ll let you watch it for yourself. Just click on this, and then we’ll discuss

Three things occurred to me…
1. The silly (but imaginative) lie.
2. The fact that the boy had already been told some information by his friend Jake.
3. Parents who were far more uncomfortable than their son….so much so that they prefered to sing “The Wheels on the Bus” to visiting with him.

I would call this the perfect example of why I have a job.

Coaching parents on this subject, so that
1. The truth and your values are easier to tell, and you don’t have to lie.
2. You can talk to your child before Jake does. (who knows what Jake may have said)
3. Best of all…. you can have a REAL conversation with your child instead of having the tune to “The Wheels on the Bus” in your head for days.

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A Christmas Story

Merry Christmas, and bless you loyal follower!

Walking around the house today, I had time to look at the various manger scenes we have collected through the years.

My children had their favorites, but when I was a little girl, we only had one nativity.

Placing the Christ Child and Mary and Joseph, and all of the animals and kings and shepherds in the manger was a special Christmas tradition. I wondered about the star, the angels, but especially about Mary and Joseph. Your children may be doing some wondering as well, so let’s think about what some of those questions might be and how you might answer them.

Children are so practical, that it may not be the spiritually rich questions that they are wondering about. At least not at first. With new words to consider like frankincense, and swaddling, and sore afraid, and…

“Mommy, what does virgin mean?”  Your daughter asks as she is arranging the nativity on the coffee table.

You, however, are focused on untangling the tree lights and can’t really hear her over the high volume of Elf in the background.

“VIRGIN MARY” she asks again, but in equal volume….”What does VIRGIN mean?”

“OH!” looking up, “MARY! Yes, she is called the Virgin Mary because she wasn’t married yet.”

After a pause, you start again.

“She had never been close to a man, like a wife and husband are.”

You wonder if it’s easier to untangle the lights or the words you are tossing out.

“Huh??”Her 6-year-old eyes are squinting.

You put down the tree lights, find the remote to turn down the volume, and cross your legs to sit on the floor next to her at the coffee table.

As you pick up the Virgin Mary, you tell her sweetly, “Mary was a young lady engaged to Joseph….that means that they were intending to get married, but were not yet married, so they did not live together or sleep together. She had kept herself pure for her husband, which meant that she had not shared her body with any man.  The Bible tells us all of this. God chose her to give birth to His son, Jesus. God sent an angel to tell Mary all about it, and at first Mary was a little scared, but more than anything she was honored to be Jesus’ mother, because she loved God.”

Now you pick up Joseph.

Actually you accidentally pick up a shepherd, but your daughter corrects you and hands you Joseph.

“Joseph loved Mary, but when he found out that Mary was pregnant with the baby Jesus, he could not understand how that could have happened. God had never done anything like this before, and Joseph was thinking that perhaps Mary had become pregnant by being with some other man. An angel from God came to Joseph and reassured him that indeed God had placed his Only Son in Mary’s womb and that they were to name the baby Jesus because He would save His people from their sins.”

“From that time on, Joseph took very good care of both Mary and the Christ Child that she was carrying. He was probably the first to see Jesus when He was born! He and Mary knew from the beginning that Jesus was fully God and fully man, and they were amazed!”

By this time she is reaching for the remote because this is now her favorite part of Elf.

But you look on in wonder…. again. And someday, she will, too!

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What about Adoption?

Almost every time I speak, I am asked how to explain conception and birth to adopted children. There are particular issues that come up both for the parents (explaining birth when you haven’t experienced it can be emotional), and for the children as they grow up understanding their story of origin.

It has been my honor to be associated with Tapestry…a wonderful group that addresses all of the adoption and foster family issues in such an encouraging way.

The 2011 Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference will be held on Saturday, October 29, from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm in Irving, Texas. You can visit www.tapestryconference.org and take a look at the various sessions and speakers that are lined up. I’ll be one of the break-out speakers, and I’d love to meet you there!

Even though nearly 1,000 people have signed up, there is still room for more, and the folks at Tapestry want to make sure that every adoptive and foster family who wants to is able to come, so here is some really good news…the conference is FREE!! It is important to register, however, so please get to that website today!

You also might want to check out the 10 great reasons that people should join us for the 2011 Tapestry Conference. You can see the list at http://tapestryministry.org/?p=2136

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Summer Time Homework

Ahhh…it’s summer!

A change of seasons brings a change of schedules and routines. Maybe you can sleep a little later, maybe you have to get up earlier to beat the heat and make swimming lessons on time. But whatever the case, summer is usually a change for young children and their parents. If you have school age children, then it’s nice to know you can stop asking  them if they have any homework to do.

That question gets so old.

YOU, however, are not off the hook, and as your friend I may need to remind you of a few homework assignments that are due by Labor Day!

1. We’ll start with your writing assignment. Some of you have already turned yours in, but a few of you still need to write your “message”.  You need to answer  the question, “What do I want my children to know about sex if they are growing up in my family?” One sentence only. Memorize for future conversations with your children.

2. There will be a vocabulary quiz each Friday. Be sure you are using respectful words when you talk about bodies, and minus ten if you only use “wingy-wangy-words” for body parts. I’m sure you will all get A’s on this.

3.  Take your children to Farmer’s Market and find something you have never eaten before…give it a try. While you’re at it you can get extra credit for finding time to talk about the seeds of that fruit or vegggie, and if you actually plant the seeds and grow something in the back yard you can go to the head of the class. Make keen observations about the fact that there are seeds and eggs inside of all living things.

Don’t you love Field Trips? Good, because here’s  another one.

4.  Visit a family with a newborn baby (they will let you come if you bring them dinner!), then engage your child in a conversation about babies as you drive home. Topics can range from why we wash our hands before we touch babies to who the baby looks like, but you will get bonus points if you talk about birth or conception in any way. Remember, just the most basic biology and your values.

5.  Speaking of biology…you might want to check out a resource at www.maryflo.org. The book is Questions Kids Ask About Sex, and it will meet your Biology requirement for all the information you will need to answer those questions. My Simple Truths resources are also available on that website, and they will suite every learning style.

That just about does it, but  let’s review:

Your message, vocabulary, birth, reproduction, conception.  It’s going to be quite a summer!

Just don’t let the dog eat your homework.

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Their first impressions

This is the beginning. The beginning of YOU being the loving teacher to your child. Answering their questions, and guiding their values. How do YOU plan to answer those questions?

It’s always best to start with God. He made us. We are designed by Him and wonderfully made. Every child is a miracle – every conception and birth. So, start by answering their questions with, “Let me tell you how God has made a way for the baby to get out…” and that will help get them on a path of understanding that God has a plan and a purpose for all of His creation.

Let’s don’t forget to marvel at that, and to let our children be in awe of it as well! Don’t let the fear of future conversations keep you from the joy of answering their early and simple questions with a smile and simple biology. You can do this confidently if you have a plan. 

It is a thrill for me to share some ideas for making that plan with young families. Most of us need a little coaching when it comes to these conversations, and I”m looking forward to my events this fall and next spring! If you are coming, bring all of your questions! If you can’t come, but have questions, then please check out my resources, or send me a question through this blog.

The new school year is ripe with opportunities for conversations, and my next post will cover some of the things to look for in the new school year.

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Connect the Dots

Drawing sure was easy if  you had a ‘Connect the Dots’ coloring book!

As soon as you turned the page, you had a very good idea of what the picture would be. You saw it coming;  it wasn’t too much of a surprise when you were finished.  And yet you still carefully connected the dots…you went from number to number to make sure the image was what you thought it would be.

And if you didn’t start out in the right place, or missed a number along the way, then the picture was odd. It could be confusing.

This is how it is for our kids.

They may have heard a few things about sex, or about how babies are born and made… perhaps they’ve been given some pretty solid hints…but they need YOU to connect the dots.

They may act like they “know”…but it’s very reassuring to them for their parents to complete the picture. 

Turn a page in your relationship and tell them very simply,”You may already know some of these things, but I want to be sure you know the real facts…and here is what I want you to know…”

For our youngest children, they will need us to hold their hands, and direct them to the ‘dots’. Dot by dot, we can help them see the picture of God’s design for sex. The picture will become clearer as they get older, with our guidance.

In any case, whatever their age or stage, let’s help them to connect the dots.

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