Celebration Day for Girls by Shuprem Wellness

Celebration Day for Girls

This workshop for girls 10-12 years old with their mother or female carer is designed to inspire curiosity, wonder and appreciation of the changes of puberty and the onset of menstruation.

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"The menstrual cycle is a vital and vitalising process in women and girls. It is a stress sensitive system and when properly understood, physically and psychologically, provides a unique means of inner guidance and self-care."

Alexandra Pope, The Women's Quest

What is Celebration Day for Girls

A Celebration for Girls (CDG) is a one-day workshop for 10-12 years old girls with their mother or female carer. This carefully crafted workshop was designed by Jane Bennett to support girls and mothers at this special threshold in both their lives, and to provide an affirming, grounded and connected celebration of the journey to womanhood.

At the Celebration Day girls enjoy lively discussion, fun activities, women’s stories and gentle celebration of puberty and menarche.

What Can We Expect?

During the Day girls are warmly invited into the time-honoured, nurturing connection and support women have long shared with each other. Many participants report that their mother-daughter relationship is enriched and enlivened as the doors of communication in this key area of female experience and development are opened wide.

The first part of the Day is spent with girls on their own (typically 10am – 1pm) and just before lunch mothers/female carers join in for the remainder of the Day (and grandmothers who are available and wish to participate), finishing at about 4pm.

In Preparation...

Much of the role of provider of information, wisdom and guidance naturally falls  to mothers and female carers. For this reason we meet on our own (mothers and facilitator) for a two-hour session before the Celebration Day. This is an important preparation for the CDG and allows time for adult conversation and storytelling. During this session mothers commonly receive ideas and support for their unfolding mother-daughter relationship as they journey the adolescent years together. Many women also discover rich and intriguing doorways into a new experience of their own cyclic journey.

Testimonials

"I feel there has also been a shift in our mother/daughter relationship. It’s like we’ve been initiated into a special club, exclusive just to the two of us – it’s wonderful!"
Fiona
"I was just having a chat with some of the mums the other day and they were talking about how they could already see the positives from their girls having attended the Celebration Day, with the girls asking them questions and talking about things in a really comfortable way – so thank you once again for the work that you do!"
Lynette
Thank you for a very special Celebration Day. I thought the content and the way it was presented were excellent and the whole day was sensitively approached. I am so glad that Sarah and I had this opportunity.
Sally

Why

In 2000 Jane Bennett was asked by her local school in Castlemaine to run an ‘informative, celebratory and holistic’ workshop about puberty and menstruation for their senior primary girls and their mothers/carers, based on her work with Natural Fertility Management. This was the first of many CDGs, which has now been attended by many thousands of mothers and daughters.

In 2012 Jane began training experienced facilitators to run A Celebration Day for Girls in their own communities. Through their skill, generosity and passion the CDG facilitators now offer this program in 20 countries around the world.

As parents, educators, health professionals, and others who care for girls, we’re  aware of the traps and hazards lurking to undermine tween and teen girls’ confidence. Attacks on positive body-image and self-esteem are frequent, making staying connected to positive role models and supports all the more important. There are many great educational initiatives underway, research engaged in, books and articles being written and movies made for the purpose of supporting girls as they mature.

One area that has not much featured in these efforts is an in-depth, multi-faceted approach to girls’ experience of the changes of puberty and menarche (first period). The common mechanistic ‘plumbing approach’ gives scant time and recognition to the many layers of the menstrual experience for girls and women. As it turns out this is a key piece of the puzzle.

Menarche signifies the beginning of a girl’s fertile years and the menstrual cycle is an intrinsic aspect of the experience of being a woman for nearly half her life for almost all girls. For many this is a time of embarrassment, anxiety and mixed messages about what it means to be a girl in a maturing female body.

Extensive research has shown that for young girls who experience menarche well prepared, with a positive introduction and emotional support, the result is higher self-esteem, fewer negative cycle related symptoms, favourable overall menstrual perception and easier subsequent births.[1]

As such positively presented and fascinating facts, fun activities and spacious conversation around these topics can have a profound and lasting impact on girls, in conjunction with the ongoing support of mothers, fathers and other carers.

By enabling a healthy and grounded experience of the changes of puberty we deeply nourish girls’ self-esteem, self-awareness and positive body image. In this way we can support a physical and psychological integrity that und

1.Maloney, S 2010, How menstrual shame affects birth, Women and Birth, Dec;23(4):153-9

FAQs

My daughter has started her period. Can she still come to Celebration Day?

Yes!  Of course!  She is very welcome. Every girl is individual and comes to menarche according to her own body’s timing.  In previous workshops we have had some girls who have started their periods and many who haven’t. While she has experienced her menarche, your daughter may now have some new questions about puberty and menstruation and will benefit from the multi-faceted approach of the Celebration Day. She may also like to share something of her experience with the other girls. That said we have utmost respect for each girl’s privacy and at no time do we ask that they share any of their personal experiences. 

In contrast to a reluctance in schools and our culture generally to speak openly and often about menstruation at the Celebration Day for Girls we aim to provide a creative, informed and fun day that supports a healthy, curious and open approach to this important and pervasive feminine experience.

What should I say to daughter about the workshop?

There is no need to specially prepare her or say very much. You could lean on the title of the day and say, ‘it’s a special day for celebrating being a girl’. You could say, ‘it’s about puberty and growing up’. Or you could say, ‘it’s a fun and beautiful day, filled with lots of activities that you’ll find really interesting’. For some girls knowing this much is exciting and they can’t wait, and others may feel embarrassed at the thought of anyone talking about puberty and periods. We are familiar with and respect all the feelings that may arise for girls and find that within a short time girls are relaxed and enjoying the day’s activities and conversations.

If your daughter has any anxiety about the day you can reassure her that at no time will she be asked to share anything about her personal experiences and changes.

What do you do during the Celebration Day?

During the Celebration Day we incorporate many different activities and conversations in order to honour a variety of learning styles, all of which weave into the themes for the day. These include: art and craft, mothers telling stories about their growing up experiences, fun activities and stories from a variety of cultures, conversational cards processes, sharing and building on our knowledge and understanding of puberty and the menstrual cycle in creative and affirmative ways, exploring practicalities of managing menstruation at school, at home and when we’re away from home, simple celebration and much, much more!

We don’t want to give too many more details about the day to help preserve an element of surprise for girls, however if you would like to know more specifics please feel free to contact us, either the facilitator closest to you or via our general contact details.

What do you talk about during the Celebration Day?

As the experiences of puberty and menstruation are not only physical, but also emotional, social, cultural, and for many spiritual, we have a wide variety of conversations during the Celebration Day which weave in and out of the day’s activities. These include:

  • Seasons and cycles of life
  • Exploring stories and practices from different times and cultures for a healthy dose of cultural relativism
  • Practical ways to manage menstruation at school, at home and elsewhere
  • The physiology and biochemistry of the menstrual cycle, hormones, menstrual blood (how much, what is it? and so on)
  • Pads and tampons, disposable and reusable pads, cups and underwear
  • Puberty, body changes and emotions
  • Feelings about starting to menstruate
  • Mother’s menarche stories
  • Girls and women supporting each other
  • And more depending on girls’ questions, concerns and curiosity.

How long is the Celebration Day?

The Celebration Day for Girls is generally 10 am to 4pm, with morning tea and lunch breaks. These times may vary if an earlier or later start suits a particular group better. The first two sessions of the day – 10-11.30am and 12-1.15pm – are for girls only and mothers join in at 1.15 for the remainder of the day.

The two-hour mother’s session prior to the Celebration Day is scheduled somewhere between two weeks and one day before the day, depending on when is most convenient for the group and facilitator.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Still have more questions?  Check out FAQs over on Celebration Day for Girls website 

I still have more questions. How do I contact you?

Please send an email to sacredmaiden@shupremwellness.com.  I'll be more than happy to assist you.