Mother-daughter program strengthens bonds during formative years

By Rachel Hill - ReminderNews
South Windsor - posted Wed., Aug. 3, 2011
Robin Wentworth and her daughter Olivia work together on a project during the last week of the Mother-Daughter Circle. Photos by Rachel Hill.
Robin Wentworth and her daughter Olivia work together on a project during the last week of the Mother-Daughter Circle. Photos by Rachel Hill.

The bond between a mother and daughter can be thought of as the cornerstone by which a life is built, the one signpost that directs all other relationships. If it is nurtured early on, it can grow to be one of mutual respect and love. But moms need to guide their relationship with their daughters along the way and keep the lines of communication open, so that their girls make a safe and healthy passage into young womanhood.

It is with this intent that South Windsor Youth and Family Services held the summer term of the “Mother-Daughter Circle.” In sessions held over four weeks, South Windsor and Neighbors Coordinator and Parent Educator Ginny Molleur and Youth Counselor Eileen Adler conducted classes for mothers and daughters - ages 9 to 13 - that focused on strengthening this important relationship. With a fun and creative approach to the program, Molleur and Adler employed a variety of tools that encourage mothers and daughters to work together.

Through group discussion, hands-on projects and journaling, to name a few of the activities used in the program, Molleur and Adler emphasize improving communication skills, setting boundaries and creating an unbreakable connection.

“The relationship between mother and daughter is a natural one,” said Molleur. “The benefits of strengthening that bond and enhancing strong family units have a larger impact on the community. No matter how busy mothers get, at the core they want to connect with their daughters in a powerful way.”

Established five years ago, the Mother-Daughter Circle is a popular program. “People were requesting that we [South Windsor Youth and Family Services] introduce a program of this kind,” Molleur said. “We identified a need, and we want to be a positive force for parents.”

Mothers, she went on to say, are at the heart of a girl’s development as they enter the turbulent years before adolescence when they are changing physically, emotionally and socially. Outside influences abound and pressure builds, weighing on the relationship with their daughters. Mothers, Molleur said, are the model for what it means to be a woman, and ultimately a mother someday, so it’s a legacy that’s passed on from generation to generation.

One of the mothers in the program, Robin Wentworth, talked a little bit about what the Mother-Daughter Circle brought to her relationship with her daughter, Olivia. “Communication,” she said, “is what’s important, like thinking about what you want to say before you say it. Also, taking the time to spend together.”

In its final session of the Mother-Daughter Circle on Aug. 2, Molleur and Adler planned an interesting activity that sparked lots of discussion: creating a “recipe for success.” Mothers and daughters contributed suggestions that played on the fun premise by offering up ideas for what “ingredients” would work best. One recipe called for a combination of love, respect and understanding, then melt in lots of hugs, a pinch of patience, and serve warm.

For more information about other upcoming SWAN (South Windsor and Neighbors) programs, visit, or call 860-648-6361, ext. 314 or 324.

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