When Will I Start My Period
No one can predict exactly when a young woman will start her first period. However, referring to how old a girl’s mother was when she had her first period may be helpful. Some physical changes that may indicate menstruation will soon begin is when your daughter weighs about 100 pounds, has pubic hair and experiences full breast development. When a young girl starts her period, a small amount of brownish drainage will be visible on her underwear and/or toilet paper. The amount of blood lost over a 3 – 5 day period is about ¼ cup, which can vary by individual. Also, the timing of a period tends to be different for each woman, but it generally occurs every 28 35 days.
How To Talk To Your Kids About Periods
Talking to your kid about menstruation doesnt have to be awkward. It’s a good idea to start early, and make sure to teach your boys about it too.
When Krista Leclercs* 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, told her shed gotten her first period, Leclerc was surprisedshe hadnt expected it to happen for a few years yet. But she was also relieved theyd already been discussing menstruation since Hannah was nine. Id kept it all very matter-of-fact and open, and tried to keep a sense of humour too, says Leclerc.
Leclerc answered questions that Hannah and her sister, Daphne, now eight, had as they learned about puberty in school. They did things like opening pad and tampon packages together so Leclerc could demystify feminine hygiene products and show them how to use them. She made sure they talked about how to cope with period pain and how to deal when youre just feeling So. Freakin. Emotional.
When To See A Doctor
Schedule an appointment with a pediatrician or endocrinologist if your daughter:
- Has not gotten a period for 6 months. A doctor may try to rule out whether there are any medical issues responsible for the huge gap in periods.
- Suffers from excruciating pain or other symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting, during her periods. Hormonal treatments may be recommended
- Experiences extreme mood changes or depressionthat disrupt her daily life. A doctor may suggest visiting a mental health therapist to help your daughter learn coping strategies to deal with the problem.
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Prepare For The Worst
If a girl finds herself in a situation where she has no access to pads or tampons, suggest ways to improvise. Napkins, paper towels, rolled up toilet paper, and even unlikely items such as socks or cotton headbands. How can she handle embarrassing leakage? Together, think of solutions and strategies to help her be ready for those inevitable period mishaps.
Believe it or not, having The Period Talk can be a fun experience. It can provide some great mother-daughter bonding time!
Dont forget to leave time for questions, and for additional resources, Kotex has an excellent FAQ page.
Jill Pond is a seeker, writer, and blurter of truth. She is wife to a hoarder of camping gear, mother to two wild girls, and walker of two stinky dogs. Comedic with a twist of serious, the stories on her blog Totally Inappropriate Mom detail adventures in life.
How To Tell Your Daughter About Changes To Expect To Her Body/mood
A lot of girls like to think about growing up, so telling them about how their body changes can be a fun way to talk about growing up.â¯Familiarise yourself with the normal timeline of pubertyâ¯changes, and do your best to let your daughter know what body changes to expect before they happen. It also helps to educate yourself and your daughter about brain changes that happen in puberty â one of which is experiencing greater emotions that change more quickly. Remind your daughter that emotions are a normal response to things she experiences, so itâs important to acknowledge feelings â big or small â and learn healthy ways to manage those emotions.
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Talking To Your Daughter About Puberty And Periods
Thereâs no question that talking about periods and body changes can be awkward and uncomfortable for everyone, but your daughterâs health depends on us getting past our own discomfort to provide accurate information and support from a young age.
Research confirms that girlsâ confidence plummets during puberty, reaching its lowest point around the time of their first period. Itâs also well established that public education on puberty and reproductive health is inconsistent across school systems and often limited to a one-off science lesson .
The best way to ensure our children grow up confident and informed about their bodies and how they work is have more of these conversations at home. To help you support your daughters, let me share three tips that make awkward conversations a lot easier and more effective!
What Happens In Puberty
During puberty a whole set of hormones that were previously not present in the childs body make their appearance
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Talk To Your Daughter About Her First Period Now
Ideally, parents/caregivers should be the first people to teach a child about their physical health and development.
Do not think that your toddler or younger child is too young to understand periods. In fact, you should seize opportunities to bring up the conversations about periods.
This can be in response to questions asked when you are shopping for sanitary products or when your child sees sanitary products advertised on TV.
This is a good time to offer age-appropriate education about how the human body functions and how females need sanitary products for their monthly period. This conversation will continue to evolve as your child grows into a tween and is ready for a more in-depth conversation.
It is less daunting for your daughter if this conversation is drip-fed to her, instead of waiting for the one big period talk. Most importantly, starting the conversations at an early age prepares your child in the event she starts her period earlier than anticipated.
According to the NHS, the average age for girls to start their first period is 12 but some girls start as early as 8. Whilst having these conversations may not come naturally to some parents, just remember the reasons you are doing this.
Also, remember that if you dont talk to your daughter about her first period. She is likely to get this information from her peers in school or from the internet unsupervised. This leaves room for your child to learn half-truths about periods and puberty.
/5why We Need To Normalize Period Talk Between Dads And Daughters
As a parent, there’ll be many occasions where you’ll have to sit your child down and talk to them about the different changes they’ll experience in their bodies. From puberty to your daughter’s periods, these are important milestones in your child’s developmental years that will shape how they perceive their bodies.
However, when it comes to discussing menstruation and menstrual hygiene, it is often the mother who does all the talking. Dads usually refrain from such discussions and believe that it’s just not their place. But it is! Like mothers, fathers have their own roles and responsibilities. Steering clear of these important discussions only distances you from your daughters and in turn teaches your boys to adhere to the taboos around menstruation. This is why normalizing period talk between dads and daughters is extremely important.
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Should You Discuss It With Your Sons As Well
Not talking about periods with our sons and brothers is one of the biggest reasons behind the long-standing stigma. Having periods is a part of growing up as a woman and normalising it is necessary. By discussing periods with your son, you are teaching them to become empathetic brothers and friends right now and understanding partners, husbands and dads in the future.
While school teaches them the biology behind menstruation, it is important to teach them to be kind, patient, attentive and helpful to girls especially during menstruation.
What To Do When Your Daughter Starts Her Period
Once your daughter begins menstruating, help her identify the patterns of her period, so she can start predicting when it will start . Make sure shes prepared with sanitary products, painkillers and clothing thats less likely to show leaks. You might also want to pick up leak-proof underwear such as Knixteen and Thinx. While Williss generation used Xs on a calendar to track their cycle as teens, Leia and her friends follow theirs with phone apps, such as Period Tracker, iPeriod and Flo.
Noon says its important to do some myth-busting too. Kids are often concerned about the amount of blood theyll shedwhich is pretty small, ranging from three tablespoons to a quarter cupor that a tampon will get lost inside them .Its also good to cover off functional stuff, like always having emergency pads or tampons in her locker and school bag. Talk about what to say to a teacher, the school secretary or a friends mom if her period begins while away from home.
As soon as that first period kicks in, talk about practical things like swimming, what to do if you get blood on your clothes, and how exercise, a heating pad and medication can all help with pain. Noon recommends trying not to put too much focus on pain right away, unless cramps become an issue. And dont forget that for some girls, its all very emotional: It helps to hear that its totally OK to feel a little weird, excited or freaked out about this milestone.
*Names have been changed
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Empower Her With Proper Tools
A proper preparation can help her understand her body and periods with self confidence. Give her instances from your past to help her with her future. Derive lessons in fun ways to open her up and help her relate about what could happen and how she could avoid them. While in this conversation, you can also educate her about the risks and measures she needs to take while shes out with her peers. We, at Adira have curated a period starter kit that with all the period essentials that she would need.
Stay Positive And Get Help If You Need It
Whether youre seeing signs that your daughter is starting to go through puberty or you dont expect her first period for a while, its worth talking about. You can help ensure that she feels comfortable and confident whenever her period arrives.
That being said, Dr. Malaney recommends seeing a doctor if your child has issues related to her period such as difficulty inserting a tampon. Your childs doctor can also answer any questions you or your child have about periods, puberty and more.
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Open The Conversation Early
Picture this. Your daughter is headed off to a friends birthday party. She spends lots of time choosing her outfit and fixing her hair to get ready for the event. You drop her off and she is all giggles and smiles, excited to see her friends. Then you get a call 30 minutes later, and your daughter is in tears. Shes locked herself in her friends bathroom because she started her period for the first time. She doesnt know what to do, and shes too embarrassed to ask for help.
This is what we all want to avoid. While most girls start their periods around the age of 12, some girls start as young as 9 or 10 years old. Take a proactive stance and talk to her openly before she has an experience like the one above.
You Have More Than One Chance To Get The Conversation Right
There are a handful of conversations parents have with their kids that can best be individually summed up as the talk. The sex talk, also known as a discussion about the birds and the bees, is a prime example. For many families, periods fall into this category, and the problem with building up the anticipation for this kind of chat is that it puts a lot of pressure on the parents and only adds to the stigma.
A lot of parents think, I have one shot to do this right or Im going to ruin them for life if I make a mistake, Gelperin said.
She encouraged parents to consider discussions about menstruation, puberty and other important topics as ongoing conversations. Make sure kids view them this way, too, so theyll feel comfortable coming forward with questions.
Let your kid unwrap . Let them be seen as often as the salt and pepper on the kitchen counter so they can be talked about or just accepted as everyday human life.
– Bonnie J. Rough, author of “Beyond Birds and Bees”
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Periods And Additional Needs
Periods can be especially challenging for young people with additional needs and their parents. If your child has moderate to severe intellectual disability, they might not understand why theyre experiencing changes to their body and mood.
Your child still needs to know about periods and the menstrual cycle at a level they can understand. Your GP, or other health professionals involved in your childs care, can recommend resources you can use with your child, like books and visual aids. You could also speak to your childs school about support.
Reflect On Your Own Attitude And Relationship With Your Period
How did you learn about your period? What was talked about? Who did you talk to about your period? This is all vital in understanding what is helpful to say and not to say. Was menstruating taboo to even mention? Or was your period celebrated?
Create the experience for your daughter that you wouldve like to have had. Retrospection is key.
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Connect: How To Keep The Conversation Going
Before our talk, my biggest worry was that I would forget to tell her something really important or mess it up completely.
But I soon realized that relationship, not necessarily the information, was the key ingredient to this first talk on her period.
Whats more, in order to have healthy, confident youth, we need to have more than a one-and-done conversation.
After our daughters have had their first period, theyll benefit from regular check-ins where theyll have more specific questions. We can then get into meatier topics like modesty, sexuality and the dignity of a woman of God.
One more item you can add to your period kit to help you draw closer together is a mother-daughter journal. Ive put together some pages with prompts for you to download below.
Surprisingly, this first talk can be a wonderful memory for you and your daughter! With a period kit, the Whole Story video course, and a mother-daughter journal, youll discover that this talk youve been dreading can be a beautiful enrichment to your relationship and a grace-filled milestone in your journey together.
Dont forget to download your journal pages to help you connect and communicate whats on your hearts:
So now that you know 3 ways to talk to your daughter about her first period, what are your thoughts? Still worried about what to say? Have anything youre going to add to the period kit?
Feel free to share your ideas in the comments, Id love to hear!