As girls approach the journey of becoming women there are natural progressions of rites of passage that support them along the way. Parents, guardians and teachers we are the guides that can help girls prepare for this journey. Through having an open and honest dialog with girls during the years before they start puberty can prepare girls for the many changes to come.
“By the time a girl first hears the calling of the outer world and begins to respond with her own inner beat of ebbing and flowing, her parents have probably prepared her for the basics of what will happen to her body as she moves through puberty. But often parents neglect to prepare their daughters for the emotional roller coaster caused by the surges of hormones. This emotional rollercoaster is a lot like riding waves. Holding on to a surfboard seems okay as long as the waves are not very high. The journey through menarche has frequent tidal waves.
This is why it is so important for guardians and parents of a young girl to make sure that she has all the safety belts, life rafts and other tools during this first rite, before she sets out on her journey.” Kristi Meisenbach Boylan in The Seven Sacred Rites of Menarche
This first rite of menarche is the series of initial talks between the girl and her parents or guardians. Discussions on our amazing bodies with structural layout of the names of female reproductive organs and a general discussion on hormones and the effects they can have on emotions and moods.
Once parents are sure that their daughters have a basic understanding of the anatomy of her body, introducing the concept of ebbing and flowing and the natural cycles that we share with nature can be a great way to continue the discussion.
This is a time in a girl's life where she can benefit greatly learning that her emotions and her body's cycles are natural and normal. The more that we can normalize this dialog and not make our bodies, cycles and hormones a taboo subject will strongly empower girls to embrace the many changes to come.