Creator of the Connection Mother Daughter Deck
From a genuine curiosity for personal growth and having the privilege of working with many teens and families over the past decade, Gabrielle began to see the all too common disconnect between a woman and her teenage daughter.
This, along with being pregnant with her own daughter, sparked the inspiration to create the Connection Mother Daughter Deck.
What initially sparked my inspiration to work with teens was from my own experience and challenges I faced as a teenager. When I hit puberty at the blossoming age of 12, I began experiencing big and powerful emotions that I did not know how to express and communicate in a healthy and productive way.
Throughout adolescence and young adulthood I suffered with anxiety and low self esteem. My relationship with my mother was challenging at that stage and I did not feel I could talk to her about the struggles I was facing. Growing up, I was not well equipped with practical strategies to navigate the angst and growth that is part of adolescence.
I recognise a part of my journey was that I was longing for deeper connection, and with that, a sense of ‘belonging.’ I was yearning for connection within myself, with my peers, my family, the world around me as well as something greater, beyond the world around me.
The Connection Mother Daughter deck has been specifically created for women and their tween and teenage daughters, ages 10-18. The deck can also be used by caregivers, aunts and anyone who is a mentor to young women. Some questions may be more applicable to older girls. You will find that many of the questions and affirmation cards are relevant to anyone in your family, no matter their age or gender. This unique deck is inclusive for all people from all walks of life, no matter their background, identity or beliefs.
Self consciousness is often heightened during puberty and throughout adolescence. This deck will help your daughter to feel confident and comfortable in her own skin! Nothing can be forced. If your daughter isn’t interested, she simply isn’t interested right now and that is likely to change. Invite your daughter to look through the cards on her own and to pick out a few she would like to share with you. Place the deck where you two are often together, on the kitchen counter, in the living room, etc.. Have your daughter invite her closest friend and perhaps her friends mother over. Your daughter may feel more comfortable using the deck with you if her friend joins.
Share as much as you feel comfortable with sharing! As the incredible Brene Brown puts it, ‘staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.’ You may decide that you would like to chat further with a close, trusted friend or seek out extra support from a professional psychologist, counselor, coach or therapist you feel drawn to, which has the power not only to greatly benefit you but your family and those around you as well.
‘I like to think that I have strong conversations with my daughter but it’s not until I held these cards in my hand that I realised the importance of having a tool to push these conversations further. Every mother and daughter should make the time to sit with each other and enjoy working through this beautiful deck.’
While running programs that focused on the mother daughter relationship, I was inspired to create something I knew would be of great benefit to help support the relationship between women and their tween and teenage daughters. I wanted to create something that was affordable for families and that could be used in the comfort of their own home, while on holiday, and anytime, anywhere. Thus, The Connection Mother Daughter deck was created! This deck can be used repeatedly, at different stages of development and life. The Connection Mother Daughter deck is sure to generate meaningful and memorable conversations, powerful insights and inspiring growth!