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Third Grade Date

We have a little tradition in our family….It’s called the Third Grade Date.
There comes a time in every persons life when they just need to have answers. It seems like
when our kids turn about 9 they start having more questions about some grown up subjects…


if you know what I mean.

A number of years ago I heard Dr Dobson say in a broadcast, “if you don’t start talking to your child by the 3rd grade about this subject you will possibly miss talking about it altogether”. (Obviously how exposed your child is to other children plays into this)

We feel pretty strongly that we want to be the ones to give our children the “details” about this very important subject. I know it doesn’t always work out that way….we just wanted to attempt to be the first.

I think it does make a difference in children. Some children just aren’t asking questions about this yet. Or some children cannot be trusted to keep confidences yet.

With out fail all three of our older children have started asking lots of questions at about this age.

So we take them out for a special date.

Malaina and I took the train to Chicago and visited the American Girl store. A memory maker indeed!
Jalen and J went to “mid evil times”. This is a dinner theater with lots of swords and testosterone drivin males. He loved it!
And now, Micah and J went to a special sporting event this past weekend….The Harlem Globetrotters game. Micah was so excited for this special outing.
It’s a coming of age of sorts and it is somewhat bittersweet for me.

We don’t give them the whole “boat load” of information, just the basics. We tell them that this is an ongoing dialogue. Any time they want to know anything they just need to ask~we will tell them what they want to know. We are as honest as we can be with them.
We have had some pretty interesting responses from each of them. We are writing them down for future amusement together. And they will say, “I said that?”
The most important part of the whole event is to open the door for on going discussions with them. So far, it seems to be a key factor in how open our children are to ask us questions.

We tell them of the importance of this. How God made it for Men and Women who are married. And that this is something that should be kept sacred. We talk to them about the importance of keeping this a private matter that we don’t discuss with others. Not even siblings.(That will come later I am sure)But for now they just need to hold this between us and them.

I did a “crash course” in a book from Kevin Lehman. It was a helpful resource…especially the last chapters.
I also found it helpful to talk while driving. It is easier to say more delicate things. It makes things more comfortable for them.
I used to stress out when I would think about this stage of life. But it really has not been that difficult. I think the more relaxed I am about the whole subject the more comfortable they are in having future conversations with me.

For those of you yet to experience this….it really can be a neat time together. Praying and talking to them.

For those who have already been here….do you have anything further to add?


7 responses »

  1. I think the 3rd Grade Date is a great idea and perfect timing to learn from mom and dad instead of the school kids on the bus. Good job!

  2. So sorry I didn’t give your Kevin L. book back from when I used it to prep myself on the 3rd grade date I took. But by now you guys are pros…and probably have it all memorized right??? BTW…again thanks for all the advise and wisdom given when we took out our 3rd grader. 🙂

  3. What a great idea…3rd grade date.My 19 yr. old daughter and I just had another conversation about relationships between men and women. She and her beau are considering a future together…after college. Just wanted to remind her of the “sacred trust.”Melanie@Bella~Mella

  4. I like that idea. I took a couple days with each of my girls (2 years in a row) and we did the Dr. Dobson “Preparing for Adolesence” series that he has. The 1st year was more on the emotional side of it and then the second year was emotional and physical. It was neat to be able to spend time w/ each of them that way.

  5. All I have to say about this is….girl, I’m coming to you when it’s time for me to talk to my little one about this. I’d love to hear how you approach it. Do your kids ask quite a few questions on their own or do you sort of guide them into it? What a great way to deal with this – I love the idea of taking them on a date.

  6. My kids have all started asking questions….My oldest came right out and asked…”How do you do it?” Kind of threw me into a seizure but I recovered. I told her I want to explain it all to her so I will plan a special date for her and I.They all have been very “surprised” by what actually needs to happen to have a baby. We laugh along with them as they make comments throughout the talk. Just being real with them and not all stiff and serious.Of course we are serious about the dangers of not following God’s best plan for us in this area.Our last one asked the most questions. Even questions about adultry….Basically we answer as best we can without overwhelming them with more facts than necessary. Glenda and Melanie…I appreciate the comments about on going communication. I am about ready to take my teen on one of those more detailed weekends. 🙂

  7. Thank you – when it’s my turn to have the talk, I want it to be an easy and open thing, where she feels free to ask me anything, and where she sees that it’s all a part of God’s plan for us when it’s done the right way. You’re a huge inspiration to me! 🙂


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