When I was of THAT age, when it was time to talk to me about the birds, the bees, and my monthly visitor, my mom took me to the museum and then had me read a series of encyclopedia type books all about a woman’s body.
I never finished those books, so I know a TON about some parts and had to do a lot of quick learning about the others. That’s what I get for procrastinating. So, in the interest of NOT forcing my daughter to lie to me about reading a series of books that there is no way she is going to read, I decided to make the whole “period talk” a little more fun, while still totally being informative.
Talking To Your Daughter About Her Period
1. The first thing you need to do is, without freaking her too much explain what is going to happen when she “starts.” When I was a camp counselor to a group of 10-12 year old girls, I overheard them talking one night about periods:
“I bet when it happens it will be blood like all over the place!”
“Man, we should all stay out of the water this summer. It would be SO embarrassing to have it just show up all around you!”
“I heard it will be so much that it will run all down your legs and onto your socks.”
Being the TOTALLY qualified 19 year old counselor of pre-teens that I was, I basically thought fast on my feet and tried to alleviate their fears. I told them this, “When you first start, it will probably be so little blood that you won’t even realize it until you wipe. And even if it is more than that, it usually stops in water anyway– so you are all safe to swim and go about your days. I am also pretty sure your socks are safe.”
They laughed and thanked me, and I walked away realizing I just gave my first period talk. Go, me.
2. Once she has a basic understanding of what will happen, you can go into cramps and stuff, tell her that it will probably feel like a stomach ache, but that it won’t be anything too horrible. EVEN IF YOUR CRAMPS ARE THE WORST CRAMPS IN THE WORLD, still tell her this. You don’t know how her body is going to act, and there’s no reason to freak her out! (I am not saying be dishonest. Honesty is very important when it comes to puberty talks, but I am saying not to throw anyone into a full panic mode or anything.)
3. Show your daughter what a pad looks like. Get one out, pour some water on it– show her how much it will hold. Explain to her that they aren’t the most comfortable thing in the world. but show her how it sticks to panties. Then show her where they are in the house, and maybe have her stick one in her backpack, just to be safe. We actually ordered this dot girl kit, and it came with lots of cool questions and resources for talking about your daughter’s period. (I am not affiliated with them in any way, I just think it’s a good product.)
4. Ask her what questions SHE has. Here’s the thing– these kids are internet savvy and they have probably been watching teenage girls talk about their periods on YouTube for quite a while. They are getting information from their friends, teachers, and all sorts of places, so they probably have some really wrong information that you need to help them get straight.
5. Smile. No, seriously– even if you hate your time of the month more than anything in the world, even if you spend the first three days of your period laid up in bed moaning in pain, STAY POSITIVE. This is a big step for a girl, and if you make it out like it’s a milestone you want to share with her, it won’t be as scary.
Tuesday 16th of November 2021
THANK YOU , THANK YOU THANK YOU IS REALLY ALL I CAN SAY YOUR ADVISE HAS DEF HELPED ME START TO THINK ABOUT HOW I CAN START THIS CONVERSATION .
Wednesday 5th of April 2017
Awesome! I need to keep some of this in mind. :)
Thursday 14th of April 2016
This is great! My daughter had an ovarian tumor that caused hormone surges and she started having periods when she was 4. If you think this talk is tricky at 12, it was really hard at 4. I found it best to begin by telling her it was totally normal and it was OK to just talk about it. Nothing to hide, ever. She did great and it paved the path for " the talk" with my older daughter. We just talk with nothing to hide or be ashamed of. I love your advice. PS. We got the tumor out and puberty is on hold for a few more years.