For years, I’ve wondered how (and when!) to have “the Talk” with Sunshine. Explaining the process of growing up to my daughter is a bit overwhelming. Then an email newsletter from Sheila Wray Gregoire caught my eye. She and her daughters have developed a video-based e-course to help walk moms and daughters through “the Talk” in a fun and easy way. I immediately reached out to see if I could review The Whole Story with Sunshine.
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More about The Whole Story
The Whole Story is an online video-based course for moms and daughters. Daughters learn about sex, puberty and growing up from videos featuring young adult mentors, and then moms use the discussion questions to keep the conversation going!
Sunshine absolutely loved The Whole Story. She was super excited to do an e-course with me. After we’d done the first unit, she asked me when we could do the next one. In fact, she would have done the whole course in one go if we’d had time.
I definitely found it much easier to have Sheila’s daughters (who are fun and likeable!) present the information to my daughter than to do it myself. While I remember my mom having “the Talk” with me (she showed me a diagram from one of her university biology textbooks), I don’t really remember many other things about going through puberty myself. I guess it mustn’t have been too traumatic! So Katie and Rebecca had more to share with Sunshine than I would have.
I also appreciated all the advice shared by Sheila for moms in the introductory videos. In these, Sheila talks about the format of the course and why she created it. With her husband (a pediatrician), she also gives advice about when most girls start puberty and when you should have “the Talk.”
I debated when to do this course with Sunshine. She turns ten this February, so I think we’ve got a bit of time before she hits puberty. (I don’t remember going through puberty early, but I’d have to look up my journals to confirm that!)
However, I’m fairly certain I knew what my mom was going to talk about with me before we had “the Talk.” I was an avid reader, and I’d come across references to puberty in some books I read (anyone else remember Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume?).
I didn’t want Sunshine to learn about puberty from comments in a book or movie. I think she appreciated the information in the course and having answers to some questions. We haven’t done everything suggested in the e-course; I’ll come back to it when I notice Sunshine is starting puberty. I do feel better knowing we’ve started the conversation, and if something comes up now that creates more questions for her, I hope she’ll feel okay coming to me and bringing up the topic again.
Two Age-Appropriate Parts
The Whole Story is broken into two parts. The first part is for girls ages 10-12 and provides an overview of what to expect with puberty. It gives girls practical, honest information about the changes their bodies will be going through, without giving too much information. The second part is for girls ages 13-15, who have gone through (or are going through) puberty and need a bit more information.
Rebecca and Katie cover everything your daughter needs to know, from shopping for bras to getting their first period to dealing with boy crushes and more. They are honest about their own ups and downs during puberty, talking about mistakes they made and what they learned. In one part, Katie reads old sections from her diary to illustrate how silly her crushes were. Their ability to laugh at themselves and also show their younger selves compassion provides a great example for both moms and daughters with how to approach this challenging stage of life.
The e-course also comes with a printable ebook. It has discussion questions for moms and daughters, handy reference lists, and some tips and advice. This makes it easy to review material without watching the whole video again. Or you could watch the videos together at home, then go out somewhere else on a date together to talk about what’s in the ebook. The pretty colours and fonts make the ebook appealing and fun.
Getting Started with The Whole Story
For me, the hardest part of the course was finding time to do it with Sunshine. I ended up putting my younger girls to bed and letting Sunshine stay up a bit later so that we could watch a video and chat. She enjoyed the one-on-one time with me, even if she found some parts of the course “gross” or embarrassing.
I did have to warn her not to tell her younger sisters what she was learning!!! She was excited about doing something special with me and tried to explain to them what the course was about, so I had to tell her that they didn’t need this information quite yet! Thankfully, I have lifetime access to the course so I can do it again when the next girls are ready for it. (If you have more than one daughter, I strongly suggest checking out the VIP option!!!)
For more information about The Whole Story, drop by Sheila’s website. Each course is $39 for one-year access or you can get both courses for $69. The VIP version is $99 and includes lifetime access to both courses.
More about Sheila, Rebecca and Katie
Sheila Wray Gregoire is a popular speaker, marriage blogger, and the author of seven books, including 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage. She loves encouraging women in their relationships, both with God and with their husbands, children, and friends. She and her husband Keith speak together at marriage outreaches and at FamilyLife Canada marriage conferences. Sheila believes in authenticity, and gives real solutions to the very real and messy problems women, and couples, can face.
Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach is the author of Why I Didn’t Rebel (And Your Teens Might Not Either) and a homeschooling graduate with a B.A. in Psychology. She and her husband Connor have been married for two years and live in Ottawa, Canada. Katie Elizabeth Gregoire started a YouTube channel at 16 to get a boy’s attention. She’s now forgotten who he is — but she has 40,000 fans who tune in to hear her thoughts on what it means to live out your faith authentically in today’s culture.
Love this idea, great way to remove the “awkwardness” and facilitate an open and honest discussion!
We’ve been addressing questions as they arise, (for example, when each new kid is on the way). We finally hit the point where we had to explain it all to the gang, (six year old No. 1, five year old No. 2, and 2 year old No. 3), just recently. It actually went very smoothly and was all just sort of matter of fact.