One of the most powerful lessons that I took from the book Girls on the Edge is the need for our daughters to be part of a community of women. As Leonard Sax explains, “The right kind of community bridges the generations. the right kind of community involves girls learning from women their mothers’ age and their grandmother’s age.” (pg 205)
Most girls are only involved in a community of same-age peers but girls cannot learn wisdom, perspective and depth of spirit from girls their own age. Girl Talk among same age peers is often toxic to girls. They rehash problems and share negative emotions to such a degree that it can create anxiety and depression in girls. Without a community of caring older woman, a girl struggles to learn how to become a woman herself.
It takes effort to create these communities but the effort is worth it. If you do not have a grandmother living close by, you may want to start an adopt a grandma project while your daughter is young. Choose an older woman in your neighborhood that you admire. Ask if you can visit her with your daughter. Listen to her life stories, look through her old photo albums and admire her collected treasures. Invite her over to dinner and include her in family activities. Deliver treats and small gifts on holidays or special occasions. Everyone in the family will benefit from this service but the relationship you nurture with an older woman will be particularly valuable to your girls.