How can I be involved in my daughter’s experience?
As your daughter’s parent, you have the unique opportunity to help her through her difficult years. Whether she will admit it to you or not, a recent Statistics Canada study revealed that teenagers list their parents as the number one influence in their lives. With all of the other influences competing for your child, it is encouraging to remember that your child does value your time and insight, even when the opposite seems true.
What, more specifically, can I do?
- Encourage your daughter’s involvement in the group.
- Ask you daughter about the sessions, and don’t be afraid to let her know when you see improvement in her confidence or decision-making skills.
- Respect both her privacy and the privacy of the other girls in the group. As tempting as it can be to read her Gammagirls’ journal, keep in mind that doing so—even with her permission-- might prevent her from writing down her true feelings. Since Gammagirls emphasizes the importance of appropriate vulnerability in relationships, and since many participants discover that other girls struggle with the same issues, your daughter may begin to open up to you more. In the meantime, however, avoid pushing her.
- Respect the guidelines of the group. Gammagirls practices a “what’s said in the room, stays in the room” policy.* Your daughter may not be able to share details regarding other girls’ stories or situations, but she may be excited and willing to share what she has learned.
* The “what’s said in the room, stays in the room” policy does not include information pertaining to potentially dangerous situations or threats to harm oneself or others. Be assured that Facilitators will contact you when it is necessary. Confidentiality never overrides or exceeds safety.
I am concerned that my daughter won’t talk to me. Can Gammagirls help?
Gammagirls does not claim to be the answer to all problems/struggles. However, many parents have observed a difference in their relationship with their daughters once the girls begin or complete a Gammagirls’ program. Teen girls are often unsure of how and when to communicate. Gammagirls are equipped with the tools to communicate effectively: they are encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, and struggles with the appropriate people in their lives. They are taught how to gain trust, how to make informed decisions, and how to enlist adult support and wisdom. Furthermore, the presence of the adult mentors in the group reminds the girls of the value of their own parents’ advice and input. Overall, we have received much positive feedback from both girls and parents regarding their communication in the home following completion of the Gammagirls’ program.