For generations, grandmothers have been admonishing young mothers to, “Enjoy this time! They grow up so fast!  They’ll be grown and gone before you know it!” While it was hard to imagine how quickly my baby girl’s childhood would fly by, she is growing up too fast for my liking! And society isn’t helping.

Today’s belly-baring and tight children’s fashions want to reveal her immature figure. A bikini with a padded bra is available in size 4T. Internet videos feature little girls gyrating in miniature costumes modeled after sexy lingerie. Music with sexual themes are targeted to tweens. How do I instill values such as modesty and being “in the world but not of the world?”

How can I encourage my girl to feel confident about her appearance and enjoy music, movies, and sleepovers without sacrificing her childhood? I read Dannah Gresh’s book “Six Ways to Keep the “Little in Your Girl” in one sitting. I was already familiar with Dannah’s mission to protect our daughters through her Secret Keeper Girl series. Ashlyn and I attended a high-energy Secret Keeper Girl event, complete with music, a fashion show, and lots of laughter. But Dannah’s Six Ways book is a much-needed guide to staying connected with my daughter as we navigate these tween years in a society that wants her grow up too fast!

With guidance on issues such as “unplugging her from a plugged-in world” and how to “unbrand her when the world tries to buy and sell her,” Dannah uses the Bible to teach core values. She also includes a “toolbox” of suggestions to keep connected in my daughter’s life and have fun together. I really appreciated the toy recommendations and tips on how to have an effective conversation with her. While the book focuses on the tween (ages 8-12) years, I have been recommending it to friends with daughters ages 6+.

Dannah gave me hope in raising my daughter to be a confident young woman while holding on to her innocence. Bring on the hormones!

6 Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl – An Interview with Dannah Gresh

{Editor’s Note: This post was first published on MomLife Today in 2011, but we wanted to bring it to your attention because the book is great, Dannah has written many more helpful books for girls AND because Secret Keeper Girl is changing it’s name to True Girl!}

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  1. Your baby girl is precious. Thanks for sharing my heart so beautifully here.

  2. Julia,

    On the recommendation of a friend, I too read Dannah’s fantastic book. I loved it. I look at that picture of you and your daughter above, and think the same thought as when I look at my own girls, or the daughters of our friends- can’t we offer them more than the shallow crap the culture is promoting? Aren’t they worth so much more than that? Thank you for helping to spread the message, and always remember you’re not alone; there are many others out here who feel the way you do.