Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Princess and the Kiss Review

If my children learn anything at all from me, I really hope that they realize the sanctity of their bodies. When it comes to raising teenagers, I know as much as I did before I had toddlers. What I mean is, I'm full of theories and know absolutely nothing of the challenges I will eventually face in this phase of my kids' development. Just thinking about them entering the dating scene makes me uneasy now, although I have about eight years until that may happen with my oldest.

Of course I'm afraid for my two boys and daughter. I want them to learn to respect others, and have the self-confidence to recognize on their own when their feelings are not being respected. I want my boys to resist the media message that urges men to objectify sex, and I pray often that my daughter will know that her self worth does not hinge on physical beauty.

I was a teenager once, and I can say from that experience that the quest for maintaining purity as a young adult is a mental, spiritual and even physical battlefield. I have this idea that I have to start preparing them now, but how does a parent do that for young children? Also, how do I instill these beliefs in a way that makes them feel autonomy in the choice to seek purity as single adults?

I think I can start now by making them strong mentally and spiritually. As a Catholic I have the help of the example of the saints, especially Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus. My secret prayer for her intersession when I was a teen strengthened me to guard my own purity. I can teach them to have a healthy self-confidence, and give them that sense of the sanctity of their bodies through books. Also, a good foundation in religion will be a metaphorical flashlight for them when they leave the nest, so to speak. The greatest lesson I think I can give them, is the example of my own actions. My battle for purity as a teen often left me with sad feelings back then, but now as a parent, the lonely path I walked turns into a picture I can give my children with the caption, "You are strong enough to make healthy choices too."

There are books out there that can help parents of young children begin to teach them about the value of their purity. The media tells us that abstinence education is useless and idealistic, not addressing the reality of modern teenage behavior. As the director of a youth ministry program I can tell you with confidence that is a lie. When teens have adults in their lives whom they respect, they more often listen to their advice, which strengthens them to make the healthier choices. We need more adults willing to talk up the sacredness of sex if we want young people to make healthy decisions regarding sexuality. As adults, we need to recognize that the teens in our lives are watching our own actions.

The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop is a children's book that teaches about God's gift of purity. This book, which is beautifully illustrated, tells the story of a princess who is given the gift of her purity (a kiss which is kept under a glass case) at birth. Her parents imply that this a great gift, with an almost magical value. While the princess is a child the king and queen keep the kiss safe for her, but when she is grown she inherits the responsibility of guarding this gift.

There are two things that I love about Bishop's approach to this topic. One is that she establishes the great value of the kiss, and two that she allows the princess to ultimately control what happens to it. Since this story also contains a prince, it is also a perfect teaching tool for boys.

I sincerely love this children's book. Santa put it in my four year old daughter's Christmas stocking. I wrote this review of The Princess And The Kiss for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.
Pictured above is my daughter looking at The Princess and the Kiss, and her dressed as Mary in our parish Christmas Pageant.


Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

From what I hear this book has become a classic among moms who are trying to bring their daughters up with the virtue of purity. This is a very nice review.

Putz said...

my kids all ended up getting married in the lds temple, which precludes sexual sin...not only purity, but modesty,, 3 0ut of 3,, two still unmarried but pure, a boy and a girl,, it is all about self worth,,of course i don't want to seem like i am bragging or i'll bring the curse of them slipping, or divorce, or if it happens, ,, i have to remember not to cast them what a other words humblely be thankfull for what ever the lord brings to your kids in the way of the three letter word, sex

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

Be Our Guest!

Be Our Guest!
Come tour the John Scudder Havens Historic Homestead at 15 Main Street, Center Moriches, NY. Click on the picture for more infomation.

Search This Blog