I recently went on a Taster Day to learn more about ‘Girls Journeying Together Groups’ which support mothers and their 10-12 year old girls. Kim McCabe created Rites for Girls and has been running these groups for years in response to having a daughter and realising how little there was available to support mothers and daughters in making the transition from girl to woman a positive and life-enhancing experience.
Inspired & Hopeful
The Taster was in the run up to the Election and I was feeling a sense of futility and frustration with our political system and politicians. Kim and Helena Lovendal gave my inner 11 year old a taste of how it could have been to have been part of a group like this and I came away feeling inspired and hopeful. I saw a glimpse of what these groups provide and it seems they help girls:
- To trust themselves and their bodies
- To experience feeling safe being themselves within their peer group, however different they are or feel. The facilitator ensuring everyone is embraced fully and heard.
- To learn how to talk about their feelings and discuss their dreams, hopes and fears and challenging what is seen as culturally ‘normal’.
- To give them a supportive group of friends, and an ongoing facilitator, with whom they can talk about all the issues they face through their teen years.
And that’s just the girls. The mothers we saw speak about the Groups go on their own journey alongside with their mother-daughter relationship supported.
Young People Need More Support
I regularly refer parents who are reaching out for help to colleagues who specialise in supporting children and young people, for their children who are anxious or experiencing emotional issues. I hear the challenges of colleagues working in secondary schools faced with a culture where self-harm and cutting is normalised, and in a way fashionable, where teenagers are experiencing more anxiety and depression, and where attempted suicides are increasingly a way to get help.
Giving Girls More Choice
I know we need to help children more and ideally before they enter their teens, so that they have more choice and can keep their true voice. ‘Girls Journeying Together Groups’ are a way to give girls this strength and choice, whilst positively supporting the mother-daughter bond. Steve Biddulph of ‘Raising Boys’ fame and multiple other books is a strong advocate and spoke about Kim’s work in his recent UK sessions, as well as I believe, in his latest book ‘10 Things Girls Need Most‘. Kim has her own book coming out shortly too.
If ‘Girls Journeying Together Groups’ appeal and you might want to train to facilitate them yourself, they are running another Taster Day on Sun 16th July in London, so why not have a look. This is vital work.