Has your preteen daughter begun to menstruate yet? If not, it’s only a matter of time before she gets her first period. On average, most girls start their period at the age of twelve. Early developers may start menstruating at the age of eight, while late bloomers might not see their period until they are fourteen or fifteen years old. It’s obviously better to talk to your daughter about menstruation before her first period comes. That way she won’t be afraid the first time she notices menstrual blood on her panties. Unfortunately, preparing your daughter for her first period isn’t always as easy as it sounds. That’s because preteen and adolescent girls are often easily embarrassed. So how do you talk to your daughter about menstruation and succeed in conveying the right message?
Initiating the Conversation
When your daughter starts puberty, you may notice her body change shape. Her hips will look wider, and she’ll develop little breast buds. She will start growing hair in her armpits and groin, and there may be white discharge on her panties. If you’ve observed such changes in your daughter’s body, they will not have gone unnoticed by her. Hopefully your daughter will start asking you questions once she recognizes the changes. If your daughter asks you questions, answer them in an open and honest manner. Correct any misconceptions your daughter may have about menstruation. Try not to get embarrassed by the questions your daughter asks. If you aren’t embarrassed by the topic, she’ll feel more comfortable talking about it and asking questions. If your daughter doesn’t start asking questions about her body and you can see she is developing, then you should initiate the conversation.
A Little Each Time
When you talk to your daughter about menstruation, don’t make it into a long boring lecture. Instead keep the conversations brief and concise, and speak to your daughter about menstruation at regular intervals. By using this approach, you will not overwhelm your daughter with information. Instead, she’ll be able to absorb what you have to tell her in small increments.
What She Needs To Know
When you tell your daughter about menstruation, the practical information is just as important as the biological facts. Start by telling your daughter what menstruation is. Basically menstruation is what happens each month if the ovum is not fertilized, and it is a sign that a girl is physically capable of becoming pregnant. You will also need to warn your daughter about abdominal cramps, and explain her options when it comes to sanitary towels and tampons. Clarify that most girls begin menstruating a few years after starting puberty. However, there is no fixed time for girls to start menstruating, and everyone is unique. Encourage your daughter to take pads and/or tampons to school so that she is prepared if her period starts while she is there.
Getting your first menstrual period can be an unnerving experience. Children and teens generally like routine, and it can be hard for them to adapt to sudden changes. Hence it is important to keep reminding your daughter that menstrual periods are perfectly natural and nothing to worry about. Also let your daughter know that she can always ask you whatever she wants about the subject of menstruation.