If you are familiar with the Secret Keeper Girls series for Christian girls (and their moms), you have probably heard of Dannah Gresh. In addition to the popular Secret Keeper Girls franchise, Gresh has written other books for girls and women.
Her newest is a guide for mothers to use while their tween daughters read Gresh’s book Lies Girls Believe. My daughter and I had enjoyed the Secret Keepers materials when she was little (an earlier version of the current series), so I was interested in seeing this latest resource for slightly older girls’ mothers.
A Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe is an easy read for moms, which looks very similar to the format one would expect to find in a book written for teen (or in this case tween) girls. Which also means it is extremely easy to skim and find the information you want. The format does limit the amount of text that can be contained in a book this size so there aren’t a ton of references to detailed research or deep dives into scripture.
Gresh does share some research they sponsored, which honestly is probably enough for most moms. There are also scripture references and parenting tips for the discussions with your daughters which are helpful. Gresh also spends quite a bit of time at the beginning of the book explaining to mothers why they do indeed need to address these issues with their daughters in the tween years.
The questions girls have or as Gresh phrases it – the lies they tend to believe -cover a pretty thorough list. Because the book is designed for mothers to read while their daughters read their own version, it is meant to help moms have meaningful spiritual conversations with their daughters on these topics.
I have to admit, I am sad they don’t include the mother daughter adventures that my daughter and I loved in the Secret Keeper experiences we had years ago. The exercises in this series are mostly answering questions or other paper and pencil type activities. It would have been a nice touch to add suggested outings that mothers and daughters could enjoy together and would add to the discussion of the topics.
Most of the answers or truths Gresh shares with girls, that are then discussed in the mom’s version, are solid scripturally. One ridiculously major exception is in the area of how to become a Christian. I can’t believe someone who is so devoted to God’s truth is basically teaching one can become a Christian by a prayer that was an invention in America in the last couple of centuries.
Even a quick analysis of every conversion in Acts would reveal the necessity of baptism. Just following the example of Jesus would cause one to understand the essential nature of baptism. A slightly more thorough research of early church history would show that all conversions during the lifetime of the Apostles and the vast majority thereafter, were baptism by immersion at the age of accountability. I pray that Gresh corrects the spread of the lie that a prayer alone can save, when no Christians for over the first 1700 years of the life of the Church held that belief (nor does the Bible teach it).
The rest of the book is actually great – which makes the conversion issue that much sadder. I will have to admit however, the section on periods was perhaps a bit too enthusiastic and optimistic for any woman who has herself or has a daughter that suffers serious issues of pain and other side effects from periods. Otherwise though, the advice in the book is very biblical (which some who want to more closely align with current culture may find a bit old-fashioned in places) and practical.
I would say if your daughter is already a Christian and/or has a thorough understanding of what one needs to do to be saved, then she will probably benefit from the rest of the material. Or if you feel she might reject the rest of the book because of that glaring error or be confused by it, then buy the mom’s version and create your own mother daughter outings and discussions using the rest of the great material (some sections in the Mom’s version are an exact copy from the girls’ book). These are discussions you and your tween daughter absolutely need to have before she gets any older.