Joy's Inside Tips on Using Passport2Purity
You think it's time to "have the talk", but you aren't sure and you don't know what to say. That's how I felt when my first daughter was approaching puberty. I had already written Lady Day, but I began to search for something to help me know what to say and when to say it. I hadn't yet written The Gift of Purity, so I used Passport2Purity.
This is an excellent tool with detailed instructions and teaching to help you plan an overnight for you and your daughter. It includes:
- A planning guide with two sections
- The first section is a planner for you with a detailed schedule of the weekend.The second section is identical to your daughter's. It includes fill in the blank outlines of each discussion on CD.
- A student's guide
- 5 audio CD's of teachings by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
How do you know when it's time to have "the talk?" Each child and each family is different. Some children ask lots of direct questions; some ask none at all. Some families are comfortable with lots of information; some give very little information. Passport2Purity was designed for 10-13 year old girls (and boys). We planned our time according to our daughter's physical and emotional development and questions she was asking. We wanted to make sure that she would understand the information presented and treasure the purity ring and what it represented.
I am a big fan of making detailed plans in advance, however I am flexible enough to throw the plans out the window if something changes, if something better comes up, or if God leads me otherwise. A plan is a tool to help you make decisions in advance, allowing you to have a more enjoyable time.
Making a budget
You don't have to spend a lot of money, but you want to communicate how special this time is. Depending on location, you should be able to find a nice hotel with a free breakfast for around $75.00 per night, less on the off season. If your budget won't allow that much, maybe you know someone who would let you stay in their cabin in the mountains or their house at the beach.
As far as meals, you'll be eating dinner the first day, and three meals on the second day. Since we ate a big breakfast, we saved some money by eating snacks for lunch. We splurged on a nice dinner.
Finally, you'll have expenses for gas, expense for a ring or other token and entertainment expenses. Don't worry about how much money you have, or don't have! It's not about how much money you spend; it's about the time you invest in building a relationship with your daughter.
Choosing a destination
When choosing a destination, you need to take several things into account: your daughter's interests, the time of year, your geographic location, and your budget. What would your daughter like to do during your free time? Will it be swimming weather or skiing weather? How far are you willing to drive? How much are you willing to spend? Since dad was joining us for a special dinner, we didn't want to drive too far from home. In the end, we chose a destination about one hour away.
Choosing a hotel
Most girls like nice things and atmosphere is very important. On both occasions, we chose a nice hotel during the off-season which gave us lovely accommodations for about half of the price. Many hotels include a free breakfast or have a hotel restaurant. Having breakfast at the hotel is not necessary, but is very convenient.
Also, we spent two nights. We didn't want to pack up and check out in the morning and we wanted to be dressed nicely for dinner and needed a room to get ready.
Sending an invitation
Make an invitation and send it to your daughter through the mail. What girl doesn't like to get mail? I name the time "Purity Weekend" and I listed the departuretime, and an RSVP name and phone number, but the destination was a secret.
Each girl has her own interests. Choose a puzzle that would interest her. For my oldest daughter I chose Thomas Kinkade paintings, for my second daughter, I chose horse puzzles. On both occasions, we worked the puzzle during our free time. After the weekend, the puzzle was her gift to remember our time together.
Preparing the object lessons
As I prepared the object lessons, I bought solid colored gift bags from a discount retailer, each bag a different color, and marked them by number for each of the object lessons. All supplies for that object lesson were placed in the bag so that I was prepared when we stopped the tape. I transported all of the bags in a large department store shopping bag so my daughter didn't see them. I kept the bags to be used with the next daughter.
Listening to the teachings
The first CD teaching you listen to is while you're traveling. I made sure that she had control of the buttons. I gave them permission to stop the teaching any time they had a question or didn't understand the concept. When we listened in the hotel room, she was on one bed with the portable CD player, and I was on the other bed. Sometimes I stopped the teaching just to clarify that she understood. Usually when I stopped the CD to ask a question, she had more to ask me.
Planning afternoon activities
I tailored the afternoon activities to my daughter's interests and desires, and my budget! I wanted to find a "grown up" activity that reaffirmed her femininity. The oldest daughter wanted to get her ears pierced. We spent the day perusing bookstores and finally ended up at Claire's to get her ears pierced. For the second daughter, I scheduled an appointment to get her hair cut at a nice salon - her first visit to a salon. Later, she also got her ears pierced.
There are many things you could do together: seeing a symphony, a ballet, touring a historic site, going to a museum, going horseback riding, painting a piece of pottery, walking on the beach, swimming, or hiking.
I felt the weekend was too special and too important not to include Dad in some way. We planned that he would join us for dinner on the second evening. I searched in advance to find a nice restaurant nearby and my daughter and I dressed up in our very best dresses. I wanted her to know that this was a special time. When we entered the hotel lobby on our way to the restaurant, Dad was waiting in his best suit. Both girls were so emotionally moved that they cried. We took lots of pictures and headed to dinner.
My husband treated our daughter with honor, opened the car door for her, pulled back her chair at dinner and showed by example how a future husband should treat her. During dinner our daughter told her dad about what she had learned and what we had done during the weekend without the interruption of siblings. Including dad at this point was crucial because it established that all of these topics were open for discussion with Mom or Dad. Were the girls embarrassed? Not at all. At this age, most are still very open and uninhibited about discussing such issues.
After dinner, we returned back to the hotel and dad presented his princess with a lovely purity ring, symbolizing her commitment to purity. We found a ring at a local jeweler which was within our budget and looked grown up enough for a young adult to wear.
Concluding the weekend
After Dad left, my daughter and I spent a second night at the hotel and had a final breakfast together. We drove home with a closeness we had never before experienced - it was a heart-to-heart experience. I can't say that everything was perfect after that, but I can say that it was a very important foundational weekend in our relationship and that it opened the door to communication. I am still reaping the benefits today.