Talking to your daughter about her first period can be a sensitive prospect for both of you. You may feel awkward and uncomfortable approaching the subject. Your daughter may feel embarrassed and certainly not very eager to join the discussion. Although your daughter probably has questions, she may be too shy to ask them, which is why it is your responsibility to cover the subject thoroughly and clearly. Here are some tips and steps you can follow are smooth:
- Be open and honest with your daughter. Be yourself and ask her to do the same. Let her know you are always there to answer any question she wants you to ask you about anything, now and in the future.
- Tell her you are proud of how grown up she has become and how she is going to be a young lady soon. Humor as they say is the best medicine. Share your or your friends ‘growing up’ stories that are comforting and funny.
- Find out how confident she is about all she’s learning and experiencing. Help fill in any blanks in her knowledge.
- Clear up any misconceptions she seems to have.
Here’s a suggested walk through for "The Talk." It will take its own natural course, but these are the main topics that should be covered:
- Determine the appropriate age to talk to your daughter about her period. A girl's first period usually begins around the age of 11 to 13, although it may start earlier or later.
- Choose a time to have your talk when you will not be disturbed. Interruptions can add to the awkwardness of the conversation, and you don't need someone to walk in on such a sensitive topic.
- Start the conversation by explaining to your daughter that she will soon begin to go through the cycle of menstruation, then explain to her exactly what that means. You can go through the My Period section of this website.
- Explain that her period is a normal body function that every woman experiences. Ease her apprehension by letting her know that it is a sign of growing up and becoming a woman.
- xplain the menstrual cycle. Tell your daughter how often her period will occur, how long it lasts and how to tell when it will be due each month. You can always explore
- The period planner; this may make things exciting for her.
- Make your daughter aware of other symptoms that often occur during the period, such as stomach cramps. Making her aware will prevent her from worrying unnecessarily that something is wrong when she experiences the normal cramps that can occur.
- Explain to your daughter about sanitary products to be used during the menstrual period. Explain how they are used, how often to change them and the importance of carrying extras. The two of you can visit the Butterfly products page together
- Let your daughter know that getting her period will not interfere with her regular routine. For example, a girl who plays sports or attends dance class may fear that she won't be able to participate during her period. It is important she understands that she can still participate in her normal activities.
- Encourage dad to talk to the boys. If a girl has male siblings, she may worry about them finding out about her period and being embarrassed by them. Having dad talk to the boys in the household who are around the same age as your daughter can be a good idea. He can make them aware of the changes they will be going through as well.
- It is also important to teach your daughter how to properly dispose of used feminine care products. Sanitary products should not be flushed down the toilet. Used product should be wrapped in a wrapper, toilet paper, or a disposal bag before being dropped into a waste basket.
- Encourage her to ask questions. Suggest she visit the GirlTalk or My Period section on this Web site, either with you or on her own. This site is filled with important information about puberty, the menstrual cycle and feminine hygiene products.