Girls Group. It’s not a creative name, but somehow it stuck. Regardless of what we call it, getting 10-15 girls packed into our living room to talk about life is time well spent.
Our Girls Group began three years ago when my daughter was in 5th grade. I dreamed of creating a safe haven for these young souls to express their fears, doubts, troubles, joys, questions, and hearts.
My daughter and I prayed about who to ask into the group, and before I knew it, 9 girls were taking the bus home with her from school every week to do a lesson, make a craft, and have a yummy snack.
It was a home run from the word “Go.” I loved it and the girls loved it even more. They begged me to keep going after the year was over.
Fast forward 3 years. We are now at 15 girls (I capped it at this number for this year), and though the topics have changed considerably, the format remains the same: lesson, craft, snack.
The lesson goes for the heart; the craft creates something for them to do while they are hanging out and doing what they do best…talking; and the snack… well, who doesn’t like to eat fun food?
Like most moms, I want to make a positive impact on my daughter and her peers in the face of what seems like ever growing pressures from culture. I want them to learn about God, His ways, and what He thinks of them.
All of the books and research I’ve read point to the tween years as the most influential time in a child’s life regarding value formation.
Dannah Gresh, the author of Keeping the Little in your Girl says,
“My research led me to the knowledge that value formation – concerning peers, family structure, sobriety, and all other too common teen issues- does not occur during the teen years. The values are formed from the ages of 8-12. Many parents do not realize this and inadvertently allow the culture to speak loudly as they remain mute, planning to deal with these uncomfortable issues later.”
The statistics point to the sobering fact that our daughters have only a 50/50 chance of making it to 16 without experiencing sex (or other forms of sexual experimentation), eating disorders, or significant depression. So do we sit by and let it happen?
NO. A resounding NO.
We fight for the hearts of our daughters with courage, intention, and instruction. If you don’t want your daughter to be caught in those statistics, start teaching earlier than you think. Instruction can take many forms, but this kind of a group is one way to make it happen.
“Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds.”
Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers
“The American Psychological Assosiation’s Report on the Sexualization of Girls.”