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Do you remember the day you transitioned from being a little girl to a young lady? I think most girls can tell you where they were when they started their period. I was fourteen years old. It was my sister’s birthday, and I was wearing white shorts.
It was not something I talked about with my mom, before or after. We didn’t have the talk. That was just not something we did, and part of me was okay with it because who wants to have that uncomfortable conversation with their mom? Not me.
Lessons Learned from Motherhood
Fast forward 34 years later, and here I am with a nine-year-old daughter who is already developing. She hasn’t started her period yet, but it is clear that she won’t be a late bloomer like I was.
Even though I am not a fan of uncomfortable conversations, I know it is important to step outside my comfort zone now, so I can become that “safe” person my daughter can talk to about anything.
A friend led me to a set of biblically-based books about God’s design for sex by Stan and Brenna Jones. And while those are great books, I found the first two to be old-fashioned and almost clinical in their description of body parts, sex and giving birth.
Just as we began to dive into those books, my friend, Shermane Reed, told me about the book she and her daughter, Jordan, were writing. It was an answer to my prayers!
The Talk I Never Had
The Talk I Never Had follows the life of a preteen girl named Jordan. The book goes back and forth between Jordan’s diary and her conversations with her mom, Shermane. It chronicles Jordan’s metamorphosis from a little girl to a young lady.
The conversations between Jordan and her mom, Shermane, are so relatable. What girl doesn’t remember wanting to shave her legs and feeling less than beautiful because of pimples and braces?
If you have never had the talk with your preteen daughter about puberty and all its changes, you must buy her this book.
Here are five reasons The Talk I Never Had is an important book:
1. It is grounded in biblical truth.
The Talk I Never Had begins by grounding its readers in the biblical truth of creation. Jordan and Shermane Reed remind us of where we all began.
“God is the creator of all things. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
Threaded throughout the entire book is the truth that women are treasured and valued helpers of men. It reminds us that a woman’s body is designed to do things a man’s body cannot—carry and sustain life.
The Talk I Never Had touches on tithing, salvation, and baptism. Jordan even breaks down her life scripture verse (Proverbs 31:30) and gives tips on praying. A healthy dose of God’s unconditional love covers every topic discussed in the book.
Shermane’s voice shines through as she reminds her daughter that her value comes from God, not what she looks like. She makes Jordan feel beautiful without placing beauty on a pedestal.
2. It has real talk about puberty and all the changes that come with it.
This book is an ongoing conversation between a mother and a daughter as the daughter goes through the stages that bring her from childhood to young womanhood.
Shermane and Jordan talk about developing breasts and the need for a hygiene plan as a young girl’s body changes. They talk about pimples, premenstrual syndrome, the science of menstruation and the fertility cycle.
Jordan and Shermane teach girls the importance of tracking their menstrual cycle to prepare for their period each month. Jordan shares her HelloFlo calendar and tells her readers about an app that makes tracking your period easier.
There is real talk about what to expect from your monthly flow. Jordan likens a period to a red slushie, hence the hashtag #REDSLUSHIE.
3. It teaches young girls practical and actionable steps to follow as their minds, bodies and spirits mature.
Jordan shares her hygiene plan and encourages her readers to develop their own plan. She also provides practical tips to help minimize breakouts.
When girls walk through puberty, it is not just their bodies that change. It is a confusing time filled with overactive hormones and mood swings.
Jordan talks about feelings and even provides a feelings chart to help young girls identify and express their emotions. She reminds her readers that they should not make decisions based on feelings.
Jordan also provides tips about how to deal with bullies at school and how to handle peer pressure.
4. It provides young girls with a game plan if they start their period at school.
Jordan and her mother prepare a period survival kit for school. Jordan’s kit includes an extra set of panties, sanitary napkins, a panty liner, wipes and a note from her mom.
Shermane encourages Jordan to wear dark pants and always have a jacket handy to wrap around her waist if she starts her period at school.
Creating the survival kit and walking through the process with your daughter helps them take ownership of the changes they are going through. My daughter, Ava, and I have put together a survival kit and have talked about what to do if she starts her period at school.
5. It helps moms become the safe person their daughters can talk to about anything.
At the end of the book, there is a section just for moms where Shermane shares her faith and her story. She believes it is important for every daughter to know her mother’s story “because it reminds them of where they came from. Sharing the good and bad parts of your story is important because it shows your daughter that in life, things happen. It lets them know who you are because a part of you is in them. Girls look to their moms for everything—even the unspoken things like self-esteem and self-confidence. They need to know about the woman they look at every day. Sharing our stories with our daughters reminds them of how far God has brought us and lets them know God is with them no matter what.”
Shermane’s experience with childhood sexual abuse and the lack of communication with her mom prompted her to start the talk with Jordan at a very young age. She continues to pour into Jordan to equip her with whatever life throws at her.
This book is not just about learning about puberty. It is about laying the foundation to be the safe person your daughter can talk to about anything.
Puberty is inevitable, but a young girl’s attitude toward it is not so predictable. The Talk I Never Had reminds girls—young and old alike—that our period is something to be celebrated. A monthly period is a reminder that our bodies are functioning properly, and God created us carry life.
If you only have one takeaway from The Talk I Never Had, Jordan and Shermane Reed “want girls to know that they do not have to be ashamed of their bodies and the changes they are going through. Embrace the change and know God is with you throughout the entire process.”
The Talk I Never Had lays the groundwork for a lifetime of open communication between mothers and daughters. It helps mothers everywhere create an ongoing dialogue about the physical, mental and spiritual changes that occur from childhood to young womanhood.
If you have a daughter between the ages of eight and thirteen and you’ve never had the talk, The Talk I Never Had is a great place to start.
Click here to get your copy of The Talk I Never Had. To follow Jordan Reed on Facebook, click here. Click here to visit Jordan Reed’s website. If you have any questions about The Talk I Never Had, you can email Jordan and Shermane Reed at JCREEDshines@gmail.com.