Are we preparing girls with the tools to feel supported on their journey into puberty?
In “The Seven Rites of Menarche”, Kristi Meisenbach Boylan writes about the journey of a young girl moving into womanhood. She is being called on a voyage from the home she knows well to a mysterious island. A place that keeps keeps calling to her. In this book she explores the process of preparing girls for the journey through the waters of puberty that lie ahead.
“It is so important for the guardians and parents of a young girl to make sure that she has all the safety belts, life rafts and other protection devices available before she sets out on her first voyage. For the ebbing and flowing of estrogen in a woman’s body is synonymous with mood swings, alternating periods of energy and fatigue and spiritual high and lows. As the rise and fall of hormones over the next five years begins to peak, the ups and downs become more dramatic. Thankfully, the onset of hormones are only released in tiny amounts and the ebbing and flowing are relatively mild for a few years before she begins her moon cycle.” The Seven Rites of Menarche
Pre-puberty is the time 3-4 years before a girl begins bleeding where she begins to experience small amounts of hormones being released. This is her body’s way of slowly helping her transition into the new growth that comes with puberty. It is normal for girls at age 7 or 8 to have be extremely needy and affectionate one moment and then throw an intense tantrum the next moment. These are moments of her growing. Through these increased emotions and hormones she is getting ready to break through the tender green shoot with the beginning of a rose blossom.
By assuring her that her feelings and wide range of emotions are all okay to feel. Letting her know through actions and words that she is supported and loved will be a great tool for her to use in her vessel as she journeys into the waters of puberty.
Tools to add to a girls toolkit during the First Rite of Menarche:
- Normalize emotions - talking with girls and letting them know that it is okay to feel all emotions
- Make it easy to check in with their emotions - create a How I feel today chart or wheel that she can use to show how she is feeling in the moment
- Outlets - Giving girls creative outlets to express their emotions
- Get out in Nature - giving her a way to connect with the natural rhythms happening all around her
- Connect with the cycles of the moon and journal or check in with her emotions and learn how they change with each phase of the moon
- Join a girl's circle or program where she can connect with other girls and be supported by women mentors that share tools to help her prepare for her journey
Please connect with us if you have a daughter in the Central Florida area to find out more about the programs we are offering to support girls and their families through coming of age programs.