How a girl experiences her first period can set the stage for future body image, self-esteem and confidence. When mums' experience has been negative or neutral at best, then it can be harder to imagine how to give your daughter a better experience. I have hundreds of menarche stories now, and just like birth, they are powerful even if they have been buried over the years.
Celebration Days for Girls
The Celebration Day is a one off event for girls between the ages of 10-12. They may or may not have started their period (we won't put her on the spot asking!). On Friday evening before, the mums meet to discuss practicalities and how they can help their daughters at this time of transition. (We can Skype if this isn't feasible.)
The Day itself happens on a Sunday (unless otherwise organised e.g. for during school time). The girls spend the morning together, including chance to ask questions anonymously and explore different menstrual products. Then the mums arrive for lunch and the rest of the Day is spent bonding and symbolically recognising this journey towards womanhood.
March 2019 (date on a Sunday TBC soon), mums' meet on Fri 7.30-9,30pm, Caversham RG4 7TH).
Cost per Mother/Daughter couple is £75. (Concessions available, other significant female carers are welcome , 2nd daughter comes for £35.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the session include sex education?
The focus of the event is education around periods and cycle awareness (in a very basic way how hormones and emotions change over a month). Sex education is not planned for the session, but may come up in the anonymous question section. The questions are answered in a basic way, focusing on sex being something that you would want to do in a loving relationship when you both agree (although it may seem like a weird thing to do right now).
Do you have a current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for working with young people?
Yes. Tessa's certificate number is 1617025441 and Billy's is 1515348908, and more information can be found at www.gov.uk
How can I help my daughter during this transition time?
The main thing you can do is to open up channels of communication about this so that she knows it's ok for her to talk about it with you. You may just let her know when your period comes and normalise talking about it. You can also make up a pencil case with products in that she can carry to school or make her a period box with products, a journal, chocolate, tissues or anything else you think she may like. See also the Resources Page.
I've told my daughter all about periods. Will the Celebration Day add anything?
As her mum, you are her main source of information. However, when you join together as a group there are the added benefits of normalising talk about periods and changing bodies, and a powerful message that girls can support each other. In my experience, to have a public celebration of this transition time boosts self-esteem.
Why does it cost £75?
The event includes not only the whole day workshop for the girls at a great venue, but also a two hour preparatory session for the mums. There are a lot of craft materials involved and menstrual products to look at and pull apart if they want!
To read more about the Australian founder of Celebration Days for Girls and see videos about what a Day looks like (with lots of shiny 10-12 year old girls' faces) click on the button below
A video of an Australian Celebration Day to give you a flavour.
We absolutely loved the day. My daughter and I have been preparing her little bag of treasures for the special day. When we got into the car she said "I am excited about getting my first period now". How beautiful is that? You and Billy rocked it. (Tanya, Sept 2018)
We both loved the celebration day. I really felt more connected with my daughter, she confirmed this as well. Making time together to plant both feet back on the ground I find so vital. (Nan, Sept 2018)