By DeAnna L'am
This post is a part of the coming of age series. Menstruation is such a taboo in our society and is hidden under a veil of shame and myth, yet it is a big part of what make us women and should be discussed properly. Many parents shy away form this topic, or cannot find the words. Coming of age is something Western society has deprived of rites and traditions, for either gender. If you want to share your approach to your children's coming of age, or your own experiences with your first period (or, if you are a man, your thoughts on this subject), please email your story to me.
“My daughter and I are going away this weekend, to be together without interruption” wrote to me a Mom of a 9.5 year-old girl, “I have some special things planned: We are riding bikes together, having adventures along the coast, getting a mother-daughter massage, riding the roller-coaster, can't wait! Just wanted any good suggestions to enhance the already special connection we have, and bring her as high as I can!”
I had to gasp!
Imagining a weekend packed with bike rides, adventures along the beach, and roller-coaster rides, what could I possibly suggest to “bring her as high as possible” and why would this be desirable?
What compels us to believe that adding thrill and excitement will enhance our time with our children? Why would we want to bring them as high as possible,instead of deeper?
I wrote back to say that I would balance the high-energy activities with quiet ones, such as collecting shells on the beach or making crafts together.
Balancing exciting activities with peaceful ones, will not only allow you and your girl to breath easier, it will convey the message that relationships are a rounded thing: heights are followed by depths… Being together consists of many facets, and we can enjoy them ALL!
We easily plan exhilarating and stimulating activities for our girls (or boys), but have you sat down to think what can you do together to nourish her soul? To let her explore deeply, rather than soar?
One of the most meaningful, satisfying, and special things you can plan is to share with your girl stories from your life. The time you were her age is a treasure chest of stories, and your daughter will love hearing them!
Try gathering photos from the time you were her age, and let yourself reminisce while doing this. You can share the photo-gathering and reminiscing with your daughter, or prepare the collection of pictures and memories ahead of time. The important thing is the intimacy being created between the two of you. Being real and authentic with your daughter is something that a roller-coaster ride, with all its fun, could never provide...
Focusing on sharing inner landscapes, not only outer (in an age-appropriate way) is one of the best (and lasting!) gifts you can offer your daughter or son.
A different, yet enchanting way for Mom and girl to spend soul-nourishing times together is to share what you are each grateful for in your life…
What do you give thanks for? If you are out in nature, you could create (jointly or individually) an offering to Mother Earth or Mama Ocean, by gathering natural materials and weaving them into a basket of thanks, a bowl of gratitude, or a free-form sculpture that you leave behind as an offering.
The possibilities are endless!
All you need do is turn off the cultural imperative for “fun” and tune in to your soulful sense of gratitude and appreciation. The rest will freely flow from you, and between you, to feed you to your core.
© DeAnna L'am, 2010
DeAnna L’am, (B.A.) speaker, coach, and consultant, is author of Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood. Her pioneering work has been transforming women’s & girls' lives around the world, for over 20 years. DeAnna specializes in enriching women's lives at any age, helps Moms develop ease & confidence about their girl's puberty, and inspires them to become conscious role models for their girls. Visit her at: www.deannalam.com
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