Coming of Age offers a safe and nurturing environment that educates, guides and supports young girls ages 11-13 years old, on the precipice of puberty. This class explores female physiology and anatomy, hormones, body image, menstruation and the emotional experience through the use of drawing, painting, and dramatization.
Creative visuals and written testaments of the learning experience are documented by the girls in handmade books that can be referenced for years to come. This series culminates in a celebration of completion with mothers and daughters.
An Introductory Letter for Parents
During this journey we cover simple and age appropriate explanations of female anatomy, ovulation, hormones and their effect on the emotional body, menstruation, self-care and body image. Please rest assured we will NOT be covering human sexuality but rather ending our series offering the knowledge that once menses begins human life can be created. Although we are not covering sexuality or ‘love making,’ our subject content lends itself to questions around sexuality. Please know we will offer answers to these questions with sensitivity, wisdom and consciousness and leave the answers more open ended allowing for you, the parents to fill that role at home.
It would be helpful for us to know ahead of time if they have started menstruating and if there has been any known or suspected sexual abuse in your daughter’s life. We will not in any way approach the subject of sexual abuse with the girls directly but would simply hold the history tenderly in our consciousness. This will allow us to present our material with more wholeness to the biographical histories of the girls before us.
An anonymous question box is part of each class. We invite parents to dialogue with their daughter and create questions. All questions will be addressed during the following class.
A homework project to interview three adults regarding their personal experience of puberty is assigned.
The girls bring home a mother/daughter project to complete together. They choose a piece of fabric to make a hand-sewn uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries with eggs. The instructions, pattern, stuffing, beads, ribbon and material are all included. Please take time with your daughter to complete this project by the end of our time together. We encourage you to have your daughter select a special or sacred object to place inside the hand sewn uterus as a blessing and honoring of this beautiful and profound part of her body.
We imagine the girls to be in their own unique process of integrating the information and experience of this class. Some girls might want to dialogue while others may turn inward and desire to be private. Please do not pry but simply allow her space during this time.
At the end of our time together we have a celebration of completion with mothers and daughters.
Thank you very much ahead of time for trusting us with this very special, tender and wonderful time in your daughters’ life. We feel honored to be mentoring these girls in the discovery of the mysteries and power of their bodies, minds and spirits.
Coming Of Age was originally designed as a seven week series meeting once a week for three hours. We will tailor the format of the workshop to meet the needs of your school, organization or group. Please contact us for details.
* Entering Form and Coming of Age can be scheduled as companion workshops.
MEMO TO PARENTS:
In considering the class some girls may express embarrassment and hesitation about attending. We offer some useful suggestions in this regard. From a developmental point of view the embarrassment, shyness and hesitation is completely normal and we encourage you as a parent to remain clear, firm and gentle in directing your girls towards this very important educational experience. Developmentally this hesitation and embarrassment is an indicator of shifting physiologic, hormonal and emotional inner landscapes towards the next phase of maturation.
We have a few suggestions.
1.Validation & Invitation: Communicate to your daughter an acknowledgement of her hesitation and at the same time lead her from your inner knowing of how essential this experience is in the life of a young girl becoming a woman.
2. Negotiation: We suggest bringing your daughter for the beginning of the workshop and then reassess her willingness to complete the workshop. In our experience after the initial introduction many girls soften into an open -hearted desire for finishing.
3.Buddy System: Invite the girls to attend with a friend.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us.