Most children would rather do almost anything than talk to their mothers about sex. But on Saturday, that is exactly what a group of fifth-grade girls did at the first Mother-Daughter Day.
"The goal was to strengthen the bond between mother and daughter by opening up discussions in those hard-to-talk-about topics," event coordinator Jennifer Fritz said.
The day was part of the Women's Foundation of Colo-rado's status project, "Women and Girls: Changing Faces of the New Frontier."
The program focuses on four main areas: healthy relationships, families and lifestyles; power at the poles; women and wages; and mentorships.
Mother-Daughter Day was held at Yampa Valley Medical Center. The event began with a free breakfast and featured four seminars. All the speakers were women, some professionals, some students. All fifth-grade girls were invited to attend with their mothers.
Before the seminars, speaker Julia Patterson, a Steamboat Springs High School senior, kicked off the event.
"She did '15 things I wish I knew going into junior high.' She was amazing. She was so funny," Fritz said.
The seminars "Healthy Bodies and Lifestyles" and "Self-Esteem and Changing Bodies" gave the girls a chance to discuss issues of puberty with group panels and their mothers.
The girls also attended the "Peer Pressure" panel without their mothers. The mothers attended a separate panel, "Tough Topics of Parenting."
"They are a little more reserved with moms sitting right there," panelist Dot Haberlan said. Haberlan is the team leader for Steamboat Springs school health services.
The event was successful and important for the young women who attended, she said.
"Girls want to be different, yet they want so desperately to be like everybody else," Haberlan said. "I would do it again; it is such an incredibly receptive audience."
Fifty-six women and girls attended the event, and a few girls attended alone because their mothers could not come. The Women's Foundation hopes to make it an annual affair, Fritz said.
"I was pleasantly surprised," Fritz said. "A lot of the mothers and the girls said we should do it again."
"It's great to see parents making an attempt to open some doors and help their daughters know they can talk to them," Haberlan said.
Fritz said she would like to see a Father-Son Day, with the help of fathers.
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