Talking Periods: 6 tips for explaining menstruation to your daughter

Talking Periods: 6 tips for explaining menstruation to your daughter

She may cringe when you mention periods, but all pre-teen girls are anxious to know the facts. Here are some tried-and-true tips for helping her get her head around the menstrual cycle.

Don’t do it all at once

It can be overwhelming to be presented with a whole load of facts and unfamiliar terms, so it’s best to introduce the subject gradually over several conversations. After the first chat, she’s bound to have questions like ‘Will it hurt?’ and ‘Is it normal that I haven’t started yet?’ so check with her later if there’s anything she wants to ask and keep the lines of communication open.

Let her cringe

She may feel embarrassed, disgusted or angry once you introduce the subject of periods. She may even shut you down and stomp off. Being a teenager is an emotional and confusing time, especially with all those hormones racing around her body, so don’t rise to her negative reaction. Just let her know you’re there to talk about it when she’s ready.

Dispel those myths

Schoolyard rumor can lead to all kinds of misinformation and confusion. She may have heard myths like the fact that girls can’t do sports or wash their hair during menstruation, that menstrual blood is different from ‘normal’ blood and that all menstrual cycles last 28 days exactly. All of these are untrue, and it’s important to give her straight, reliable facts so she feels confident, instead of fearful. Make it clear that periods vary enormously from woman to woman when it comes to symptoms, your age when you start, how long periods last and heaviness of flow.

Be prepared

Have a ‘starter kit’ ready to give her, with a box of Always Radiant Teen Regular Pads with Wings and perhaps a change of underwear. Keep it in a handy place like the bathroom cabinet and make her aware it’s there, to get her used to the idea. A smaller kit for her school bag is a good idea, too, so she’s ready when her first period starts. Being prepared will make her feel less anxious about menstruation.

Remind her that she’s not alone

If your daughter feels distressed or awkward about the idea of periods, it’s worth reminding her that all women get them – including you. Carefully downplay any negative incidents, and share with her your own experiences and observations. Like how you coped when your period started unexpectedly, or the fact that her auntie gets a bit moody at certain times of the month. Realizing periods are just part of being a woman will make her feel that bit more grown-up.

Give her all the need-to-know facts

Understanding that there are certain situations that require more thought can be really helpful to a teenage girl who hasn’t had a period yet. Like knowing not to wear white jeans when your period’s due, that tampons are better suited to holidays (especially if there’s swimming involved) and that there are different towels for nighttime – like Always Ultra Thin Overnight Liners, so she can sleep all night without worry. When she’s ready, talk her through the need-to-know facts that can make all the difference when the time comes.

What worked for you when talking to your daughter about periods? Or what did your mom tell you about periods? Share your insights in the comments below…

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