If you are looking to have “the talk” with your daughter, you are probably a little overwhelmed thinking about what to say, how she will react, and how to approach the topic of puberty and menstruation. Your daughter probably feels the same way you do, especially if she has had any type of education about the female body in school, or if any of her friends have already experienced any form of the puberty process.. Give both you and your daughter a little relief from the anticipation of a “big talk,” and instead opt to have a flowing conversation that lasts over several years, long before she gets her first period. This way, not so much importance placed on one single discussion, and neither of you are overwhelmed with too much information.
Remember to have facts about puberty and getting her first period handy. One great place to visit for lots of information is the My Daughter’s First Period page on kotex.com. There they offer tons of advice, facts, and tips about how to talk to your daughter about getting her first period, and preparing yourself to have puberty discussions with her. They also talk about important topics like cramps, heavy bleeding, irregular bleeding, puberty, toxic shock syndrome, and more in the U by Kotex forum. Remember, by providing the honest facts, you will ensure your daughter is well informed, and can be sure to weed out any misinformation that she may have heard elsewhere.
The normal range for a girl to get her first period is from ages eight to 16. Most girls will fall somewhere in between that, but if you are unsure about when to start having discussions with your daughter about puberty and the changes her body will be going through, there are some signs you can look for. Your daughter may go through a significant growth spurt, increasing both her height and weight. Next, her breasts may begin to change and she may feel some soreness. Your daughter may also start to shut you out emotionally. Remember, this is just part of her gaining her independence and even though it may be hard to handle, don’t take it personally. Next, her body may become rounder and her hips more defined. Your daughter may get pubic and under arm hair, and finally her period may start.
Some things to remember when you are talking to your daughter about puberty or getting her first period:
- Talk openly. Give honest answers, and if she doesn’t ask you may be the one who needs to bring up the topic of menstruation and/or puberty.
- Have more than one conversation. One big talk can be overwhelming so plan on having open discussions over the course of several months or years.
- It is OK to feel awkward, especially if you never had a conversation with your own mother. Your daughter will probably feel the same way at first, but remember, the more you talk to her openly, the more likely she is to respond and ask questions.
- Be a good listener. Sometimes we like to think we know everything about our child and what is best for them, but being a good listener to what their needs are is important too!
- You don’t have to be an expert. There are plenty of places you can go for resources on any topics you are unsure about, such as kotex.com.
- Ask your daughter what she knows about puberty. This is a great way to open the lines of communication, clarify any misinformation, ask if she has questions, and explain the basics.
- Use the car or other natural environment for challenging discussions. You have a captivated audience and don’t necessarily have to make eye contact when you are riding in the car together. This can be great for awkward conversations where you don’t necessarily want to look directly at each other.
- Make sure your daughter understands you and isn’t confused about what you are telling her.
- Don’t forget to have a sense of humor handy. It is OK to laugh and cry together, sometimes girls just need that.
My daughter has not had her first period yet, but I know the time is coming soon. She has learned a few things about puberty and the human body in school, but I want to make sure she is ready for all of the changes that come along the way. Since we are so close, it is easy for us to have discussions with each other about topics like this, although it does still feel a little awkward at times. We’ve already talked a little about how she will need to possibly start shaving once she gets hair under her arms, and that she will need to be more conscious about her body odor by using deodorant and other feminine care products. The next thing I plan on discussing with her is how her body will be changing; that she will be developing breasts, and her body shape may change. I think a great way to approach this topic is to take her shopping. We can pick out bras for her to wear and then on the way home we can talk in the car about how her body will be changing and what she can expect. It may be a little awkward to talk about, but I think it will go over fine and we can make a mother-daughter day out of it!
Find additional posts about this topic here:
- Month One - What you should know about having the talk.
- Month Two – Nine things you should discuss with your daughter.
- Month Four – Will your daughter be prepared at school?
- Month Five – Sharing Monthly Maintenance Tips with your daughter.
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.
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