By Yomi Matthew
1. Share your menarche story.
Share your experience whether it was joyful or heart wrenching. Doing this will strengthen your bond and will solidify the fibers of trust. She wants to know that she is not in this alone and she wants every bit of info and wisdom she can get.
2. Model authentic womanhood.
Keep it 100! Avoid being fake with your daughter. Be honest with her. Don’t sugar coat or downplay important issues or topics. Let her see you. Let her see your struggles, your pain, your ability to fall down and get up again or not. Celebrate your victories and accomplishments. Model the things that you aspire for your daughter. If you get on her case for an inability to constantly keep her room neat and you have an inability to keep your room neat then how does she learn to keep her room neat? As moms and mentors doing an assessment of our lives and identifying our areas of mastery and our areas that need additional energy and effort can be extremely beneficial and progressive.
3. Earn her trust.
Respect what she shares with you in confidence. Don’t go blabbing off at the mouth everything she shares with you to your sister, her grandmother, or your best friend. The goal here is to establish trust. Trust is the glue of the relationship.
4. Give your daughter her space.
Allow your daughter to express her full range of emotions. Women are cyclical. In one cycle we may experience a range of feelings and sensations. Don’t down her for what she is feeling. Help her work through her feelings. Refrain from saying “you need to.” Allow her to experience so she can find her balance.
5. Choose a way to celebrate her coming of age.
She wants something simple you want an elaborate ceremony. Meet each other in the hallway of compromise where the two of you can find the middle ground in celebrating this important step in her life.
6. Educate her on sustainable products.
Let her know her options in natural menstrual care, cloth pads, sea sponges, diva cups, period panties. We have choices! Let’s help the Earth and not contribute to growing the landfills. Sustainable menstrual products can help your daughter learn her body and save the planet at the same time.
7. Shine the light on Sacred Sexuality.
Honoring menstruation means honoring healthy fertility and sacred sexuality. Honestly talking with your daughter about the miracle of fertility and the importance of the feminine to carry, nurture and sustain life can empower her and create a strong bond between both mother and daughter. Age appropriate sexuality education will give her a solid start in developing a healthy relationship with herself, and will open the way to healthy relationships and meaningful connections.
8. Enroll her in a girl’s mentorship program.
Enrolling your daughter in a girl’s mentorship, coming of age or rite of passage program will provide her with a solid foundation into womanhood. It can encourage healthy bonding with other girls her age, strengthen the sisterhood through solidarity and support her emerging woman self. A few areas a good program will cover are the female reproductive system, physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellness, basic life skills and nature skills.
9. Show examples and discuss elevated masculinity.
Girls need the presence and support of both the feminine and the masculine. Talk to her about men who respect, honor, and protect women and girls. Point out examples of what elevated masculinity looks like in herself, her family, and her community.
10. Encourage her to honor the Earth.
We are all children of the Earth. Each of us needs to do our part in being stewards of the Earth. There is a direct correlation between how we treat the Earth and how we treat women. Teaching your daughter to honor and respect the Earth is a powerful act of revolution.