Frequently asked questions for Girls Journeying Together Groups
How do I explain Girls Journeying Together Group to my daughter?
Don’t worry if you’re not sure if you want to join girls’ group — lots of girls feel that way which is why we have the taster session so you get a chance to see what it’s like. You won’t have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. You’ll meet the other girls who are thinking about joining. You’ll meet older girls who are in girls group now. And you’ll meet me. I’ll also show you what we do in girls’ group (while your Mum goes to the other room to talk to Mums of girls who are doing girls’ group now).
At the end, you decide if you want to join. Not me, not your Mum, just you. No pressure. If you feel like you want to join, then great, you’re welcome. If you’re really not sure, then that’s fine too. It’s not for everyone. You can say no. Or it might be that next year would be better for you.
Girls’Journeying Together Group – a year-long exploration
Growing up can be many things: exciting, sometimes a bit scary, at times rocky, and often fun. Some parts of the journey can only be made alone, inside of you. Other parts of the journey can be shared with your friends or your family.
Our girlfriends can be a real support, right the way through to adulthood. Even when you’re close to your Mum, there are times when it’s easier to talk with other girls — we’ll get to know each other, have fun, and I’ve much to share with you all too.
This group is for girls (aged 10 – 12) now in their last year of primary school or first year of secondary school. We’ll meet monthly for a year starting in April and finish with a party. Most of the meetings will be just girls together but we will invite your mothers to join us a couple of times.
So that you can find out what it’ll be like I’m having a short meeting for you (and your mothers) so you can see some of the things that we’ll do together, meet me, and each other. Girls who have already done girls group will come along too to tell you how it’s been.
Before the group, this is what some girls say:
“I’ve got good girl friends already and I can speak to my Mum about most things anyway.”
“Sounds weird to me.” “I don’t get what it’s for, what would we do?”
“Maybe when I’m older.” “What if I don’t want to talk about something?”
After the group, this is what girls say:
“At first I didn’t think I’d like it, but it’s brilliant, we talk about things, really talk,
so you realise that others feel the same way.”
“I’ve made friends for life I’d say.”
“I was nervous about growing up – I’m not now.”
“You can ask anything.”
“We’ve had loads of fun, and learned stuff
but it hasn’t felt like learning.”
“It got me thinking about who I want to be
– what I want to do with my life.”
I am a trained facilitator, youth guidance worker, counsellor, 5Rhythms dance teacher, and a mother of three. If you or your parents have any questions or concerns, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. Warm wishes, Kim.
How do we sign up for a free taster session?
To secure a place for you and your daughter at a free trial session email email@example.com giving your daughter’s full name, date of birth and indicate which GJT group you would prefer.
My daughter’s not sure about coming to the taster day, what can I do?
Just get her here! Cajole her, bribe her, beg. ‘Old girls’ say they’re so grateful to their Mums for dragging them along to the taster session. Once you’ve got her here, I’ll do the rest. She can meet me, the other girls who’re thinking about joining and some girls who’ve done GJT group. I’ll give her a taste of what GJT group is like and then she decides. No pressure.
What role would you have in my daughter’s life?
The girls in my Girls Journeying Together groups have taught me the importance of having mentors, even for girls who have close and open relationships with their mothers. All girls have things that they choose not to share with their mothers or at least not straight away, preferring to tell me, or another women, or to discuss in our GJT group first. This is where a mentor is of such benefit, not to replace a mother, but to offer ‘other-motherness’ and to support the mother-daughter relationship.
Thank you for thinking about entrusting me with a role in your daughter’s life during this important time of transition. It is a great privilege.
What do you do in GJT group?
I design the course to meet the specific needs of your girls, in consultation with them, which makes it hard to tell you in advance what we shall cover. However, generally we include: friendship, peer pressure, puberty, body image, managing moods, going to senior school, dreams for the future, mentors, and anything else that the girls wish to discuss. I also take the opportunity to celebrate each girl around the time of her birthday, highlighting her strengths and qualities.
I hope that each girl will feel that I am another woman who is there for her through her coming of age. The girls also develop a special relationship with one another which extends beyond our sessions together. Many girls don’t know anyone else in the group but the intimacy and trust that develops between them has the potential to extend into lifelong friendship.
Do mothers join in?
Mothers are invited to join us for our session halfway through and you will also be essential to share in our final celebration. Mothers are also encouraged to meet while the girls have their GJT group sessions and I provide you with questions to discuss that blends with what your daughters will be covering with me.
How much does it cost?
The taster session is free. Once your daughter joins GJT group is costs £25 each month with an expectation that she’ll earn £5 of that herself (I’ll help her figure out how).
This covers the session itself and the offer of support throughout the year: I write a letter to each girl after every session, and am available by phone, text or email. I also check in with each girl’s mother over the summer, although what the girls share in our sessions is confidential.
What if we can’t make the taster day?
All is not lost! As long as there are still spaces, your daughter can come along to the first session to see if she wants to join.
What if we can’t make all the GJT group dates?
Don’t worry if you have to miss one. Everything builds on the session before so please ink these dates into your diary and try to prioritise Girls Journeying Together Group for your daughter because she’ll be missed and she’ll miss out.
Can I talk to you about my daughter?
I’m keen for you to keep in touch with me during this year and I’m here as support for you also. Please pick up the phone or email me if there is anything that you feel it would be useful for me to know about your daughter’s life or topics that you would like me to cover in our girls’ group time. I need to let you know that I promise the girls confidentiality, so I won’t talk about what your daughter shares within the group but I can tell you in general terms what we cover.
We live 3 hours away, where can I go while my daughter’s with you?
Every year I have some girls who travel a considerable distance to come to our group which means that mothers have three hours to wait. It will fly by! I encourage all mothers to meet while we do, for a walk, or tea and chat, as this can be enormously supportive for you and for the girls. I give you a topic to focus on that would dovetail with what we are doing in our session that month.
As the girls get to know each other, sleepovers and lift shares are often organised which can make long-distance arrangements easier.
Do the mothers have to meet while the girls do?
You’re free to choose. Mothers say they find it enormously supportive and fun, even when they didn’t fancy it to begin with.
What happens at the end of the GJT year?
We finish with a big party! A ceremony and celebration of our year together which often ends with a sleepover for everyone at someone’s house or camping. After that the girls always want to carry on seeing each other socially which you can help them to arrange and I will offer them GJT reunions twice a year to carry on the support through their teens.
How do you support the girls right through their teens?
Twice a year I offer a GJT group reunion, sometimes joining with other GJT groups. I cover age appropriate topics, often suggested by the girls. I also offer workshops on Sane Exam Preparation, Love and Relationships, Stress Relief and other topics as requested by the girls.
Do you offer anything for mothers and daughters?
I have a lovely mother-daughter day workshop for pre-teens which teaches about puberty and celebrates the mother-daughter bond.
I also support mothers in creating a rite of passage with their daughters to mark her growing towards young adulthood.