Next ‘Girls Journeying Together’ group starting in the spring 2017

 

 

Free Trial Session for girls (with Mums)
on Friday 17th March 2017, 5pm – 7pm
or Saturday 18th March 10am – 12pm

 

Best Friends Forever

Every year around spring time, I start another of my year-long Girls Journeying Together groups.  A dozen or so 10-12 years olds sit in a circle in my sitting room nervously wondering how we will pass the afternoon.

We meet monthly, so they’ll get a sense of what monthly feels like, and we cover all manner of things over the year.  Their needs and concerns help to determine their year’s programme.  Over the year I provide the space for each girl to:

  • dream into her future
  • clarify her values
  • learn about the changes that puberty brings
  • discuss the pressures of peers, media, and parents
  • prepare for her first period and support one another in their bleeding time
  • get to know each other really well; well enough to dare to speak their innermost fears and heartfelt hopes
  • (only if the time is right) talk of dating, safe sex, diets, drinking, drugs, cutting, exam pressures and other teen concerns
  • share her experiences
  • laugh and cry and dance and feast
  • find mentors
  • and in time become a mentor herself.

A year later we finish with a celebration and those dozen girls are full of affection for one another and feel well-prepared for what lies ahead.

“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.”

Every girl needs a circle of women, and the company of other girls, with whom to learn about womanhood.  Some girls are lucky to live in communities that naturally provide this female support.  Many girls are not so fortunate.  When families have busy lives, lived far from extended family, and children spend most of their time in the company of children, then a girls’ group can fill the gap.

I wish that coming-of-age groups were commonplace, then girls would expect it as their right, rather than needing their mothers to encourage them to try it out.

We focus on teaching our children algebra, tectonic plate movements, and what befell the wives of King Henry VIII, and then leave the fundamental issues of maturation up to chance chats with family, the modeling of soaps and films, and the immature influence of peers.  We give swimming lessons before diving into the sea, and driving lessons are mandatory before taking to the roads solo – so why not insist on structured adult support in the preparation of our children for adulthood?  Most religions and many tribes still recognise the importance of guiding our children safely towards adulthood, and offer them a rite of passage while they are actively engaged in this maturation process; but we have lost sight of it, blinded by the chase for qualifications.  I feel sad to find myself in a culture that often values grades, awards, and medals over relationships, and developing a healthy sense of self.

The more ‘developed’ we become, the more we abandon our teenagers and leave them to invent their own idealizations for adulthood – and to make their own markers to prove their adulthood (often using drink, sex, driving, and other risk-taking).

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Girls look to the women in their lives to give them a sense of what it is like to be a woman.  The women they like, they emulate; and the women they don’t like, they strive to be different from.

Many girls find themselves with only one woman who knows them well, their own mother.  If fortunate, a girl will also have a smattering of aunties, grandmothers, godmothers, cousins, friend’s mothers and mother’s friends who know her and care for her.  She may also have a special teacher, tutor, or coach.  Even then, many girls rarely have the opportunity of hearing women speak of their dreams, their passions, their relationships and their bodies.  And yet, we want our girls to find their own futures, to know what is important to them, to discover what they love to do, to form firm friendships, and to like themselves well enough.  Too often seeking these vital goals are left to chance, or left in the hands of schools, or the influence of social media.

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Rites for Girls has an free trial session for any girl aged 10-12yrs (in year 6 or 7) who might be interested to join the next Girls Journeying Together group.  Girls come from London, Brighton and all over Sussex and Kent.

Girls’ Journeying Together
– a year-long exploration
with a small group of girls your age

Who?      Pre-teen girls; aged 10-12yrs (in year 6 and 7)
When?    Monthly, 3 hours at the weekend, starting in May.
Where?   Forest Row, Sussex
When?    Free trial session with Mums:  5-7pm  Friday 17th March 2017
                                                   or 10am-12pm Saturday 18th March 2017

Provisional dates: TBC
Friday group 4:30-7:30pm: 28 April 19, 26 May 2017, 16 June, 14 July, 22 Sept, 13 Oct (with Mums), 17 Nov, 8 Dec 2017
5 Jan 2018, 2 Feb, 9 Mar, 20 Apr 2018 (final celebration with mothers)

Saturday group 10am-1pm: 29 April, 27 May 2017, 17 June, 15 July, 23 Sept, 14 Oct (with Mums),  18 Nov, 9 Dec 2017
6 Jan 2018, 3 Feb, 10 Mar,  21 Apr 2018 (final celebration with mothers)

I am a trained facilitator, youth guidance worker, counsellor, 5 Rhythms movement teacher, and a mother of three.

To book or ask more contact Kim 01342 810505  ☙  kim@ritesforgirls.com

LIMITED SPACES  –   BOOK TRIAL NOW!

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Photo: 123RF by Lisa Young

Posted on 9 May 2014
Musings: Parenting girls, Coming of age
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

6 or so comments

6 Responses to Next ‘Girls Journeying Together’ group starting in the spring 2017

  1. Mairi Stones says:

    Good luck with this Kim, sounds superb, shame we live so far away. What about something on-line to guide teens? XX

  2. debora says:

    I just left a message on your landline enquiring about your event for pre teen girls. Please can you email full info and timings and commitement required. Many thanks Debora

    • Kim says:

      Hi Debora, I have sent you an email with information about my current Girls Journeying Together group, and hope to talk to you soon. Warm wishes, Kim

  3. Lucinda says:

    Thank you so much, Kim, for everything you do each month for my daughter and her new friends who are journeying with you this year.

    Cordie has dozens of interests and goes to lots of sports and social groups, but the time she special spends with your group is very special and so different from any of her other activities.

    Cordie and I have a very close relationship, but the space you’ve created has allowed us to talk about important aspects of being a woman and growing up that we may not have had the chance to discuss otherwise. We always have great conversations on our drive home!

    I’ve also enjoyed talking with the other mums about the topics you’ve suggested, to complement what our girls have been doing with you.

    Thank you – and do let us know if there’s ever anything we can do to support and share your work.

  4. […] can acquire the skills and knowledge to deliver year-long ‘Girls Journeying Together Groups’ as part of a professional foundation.  Girls Journeying Together groups meet monthly (to give […]

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