What Should I Do When My Daughter Starts Her Period
Starting her period is an important milestone in your daughters life. But although you may have seen signs that she is in puberty, her first period may still come as a bit of a surprise. She may be a little scared or embarrassed. As a parent, how do you help your daughter at this crucial time?
Here are 4 things to discuss with your daughter to ease her fears and prepare her for this new stage in her life.
How Do I Tell Others I Have My Periods
Encourage the conversation about periods and dont treat it as a taboo topic or something to be hidden from all. Privacy must certainly be respected, but if she feels the need to tell her friends, she should be encouraged to talk. Allowing a girl to address her periods in the open allows her to feel like a normal process is happening to her and that she is allowed to feel low, tired, weak, and irritable during these times.
Prepare Her In Case She Gets Her Period While She Is At School
No one can tell you exactly when your daughter will menstruate for the first time.
Your task is to prepare it so that it can avoid unpleasant situations. Put a pad in a discreet pocket of her school bag together.
Tell her that if she stains her pants with blood at school, she can tie a blouse or shirt around her waist until she gets home.
Advise her to talk to the teacher to get her out of class and so on.
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How Long Do Periods Last And How Much Blood Is There
Periods usually last about 5-7 days, but for some girls, they can be longer or shorter. Periods flow levels vary and can range from light to moderate or heavy. On average, there will be a total of 2-4 tablespoons of blood.
If a period lasts more than 7 days, needs more than 5 pads per day or has heavy bleeding, talk to your pediatrician about what is causing this.
When Should You Talk
Girls usually get their first period, also called menarche, at the age of 12, although that average age is getting younger.
It is important to emphasize that every girl develops individually and it is absolutely normal for the first menstruation to occur in the period from 9 to 16 years.
If your daughter does not know what to expect, the first period maybe just a bad experience for her.
Therefore, it is crucial to start more intimate conversations before menarche.
It is recommended that you prepare your daughter for the changes that puberty brings from an early age and gradually become more detailed.
In the beginning, you can start with small announcements like Soon your body will start to change and beautify to become a girl.
Your daughter should be informed about menstruation around the age of 8.
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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”
How And When To Talk To Your Daughter About Menstruation
When your little daughter starts growing up, its normal for every mother to have a million questions and concerns running through her head. The transitional phase of transforming into an adolescent comes with emotional and physical changes that your daughter needs to be aware of.
Many girls find themselves panicking and in shock when they get their periods for the first time, especially if they did not have any previous knowledge about it. As a mother, its difficult to admit that your child is growing up, but its important for every mother to know when to explain to her daughter about the menstrual cycle as well as how to bring up the topic.
In this article, our positive parenting expert, Rana Hany, will walk us through the questions and concerns every mother has, what you should do, and how to handle your daughter when they get their first period.
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Discussion Is Good But Active Normalization Is Better
In Beyond Birds and Bees, Rough explains how comfortable the Dutch are when it comes to talking to kids about sex and sexuality, compared to the attitudes in the U.S.
What really stood out to me during that year and a half were how open Dutch parents and preschool teachers and elementary school teachers were with children about bodies, relationships, love, reproduction, sexuality and sexual orientation, she told HuffPost. They had this really neat combination of comfort with nudity and acceptance of bodies together with this straightforward use of terminology of every body part, including genitalia.
When asked for advice that shed give to parents looking to chat about periods with their children, she suggested to also be open and leave those menstrual products laying around the house.
Let your kid unwrap one. 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, she said.
Its also crucial that both girls andboys take part in these discussions and learn about this process together.
We need to have as many lessons as we can with boys and girls in the same room, Rough said. Thats what they offer in the Netherlands in schools, and I think its a best practice at home.
Preparing For The First Period
The start of menstruation is a major event in a girls life. Some girls greet those first drops of blood with joy or relief, while others feel bewildered and scared. Whatever the reaction, the arrival of the first period holds the same meaning for every girl: Its proof that shes becoming a woman.
On average, most girls start their periods when theyre 12 or 13 years old . But if you wait until your daughter gets her period to talk to her about menstruation, thats too late.
So, how do you discuss menstruation and offer education, as well as guidance and support, before the big day arrives? Or, what do you tell your son? Before you can discuss menstruation, its important to have a good understanding of how the process works.
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Teach Your Daughter When To Expect Her Period
Via: Freepik When to talk to my daughter about menstruation
- Instead of having an accident and being embarrassed, help your daughter understand when to expect her next period or even download an app for her to keep track of.
- Make sure she understands that it is normal for her period to be a few days early or late, so she doesnt panic.
Does This Mean I Can Now Get Pregnant
This is something most parents miss explaining and girls are usually too afraid to ask, and this results in unwanted pregnancy or unsafe sex. You need to explain that every act of intercourse means a potential pregnancy and a sexually transmitted disease if contraception is not used. If you assume that your daughter would not need to worry about this, you are kidding yourself. About 30 to 40% of teens are sexually active and it would be safest if you allow your child to have this conversation with you in an open manner.
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Use Anatomically Correct Language
Part of normalizing this topic includes talking about our bodies correctly. Be straightforward and steer clear of indirect names for our private parts. If your daughter is uncomfortable with terms like vagina, discharge, and menstrual cycle, she may cringe or even blush when she hears them. Its important to help her realize that we should treat the feminine parts of our body with some extra care and respect. Emphasize that her private parts and these rites of passage are not something she should ever be ashamed of. The best way to normalize these conversations is to talk about our bodies and the incredible things they do normally.
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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Educate Yourself & Your Daughter About Her Period
Starting their menstrual cycle, otherwise known as menarche, can be a perplexing time for many girls. The average age of menarche is 12 years old, but it is considered normal to start from age 9 to age 15. Many girls that start on the earlier end of the spectrum, like myself, find themselves unprepared and mortified. I have found from talking with my patients, that this occurs because it is a topic that was never discussed prior to the onset. This can really hurt your daughters self-esteem and brings about mistrust in her body.
If you educate your daughter about her body and her cycle that is to come in a casual and comfortable manner, she will not feel confused when she starts her cycle. And it is confusion that often leads to shame. Therefore, with just talking about our cycles, we can avoid a lot of unnecessary shame.
There is also shame for the late bloomers. They may ask themselves, What is wrong with me? All the girls in my class have started, but I havent? Again, it is normal for her not to start her period even at age of 16. The menstrual cycle is a part of the body and just like all parts of the body, it varies. With that said, if she reaches 16 and has not started her menstrual cycle then it is time to visit the gynecologist.
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.
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Tools For Tracking Your Cycle
It’s common for a girls period to be irregular for the first year or two. Everyone has their own cycle, so it is a good idea to keep a calendar. Start it with the first day of the period.
- GirlsHealth.gov has a cycle calendar and printed.
- For iPod or iPhone users, there are several apps that can help track and anticipate menstrual cycles. Two popular ones are iPeriod and Period Tracker. These apps are able to be password protected, which can prevent embarrassment if a friend or sibling gets a hold of your daughter’s phone or iPod.
What Should I Talk About
What you talk about depends on your child’s age and level of development. Here are some questions that most kids have:
When do most girls get their period?
Most girls get their first period when they’re between 10 and 15 years old. The average age is 12, but every girl’s body has its own schedule.
Although there’s no one right age for a girl to get her period, there are some clues that it will start soon. Typically, a girl gets her period about 2 years after her breasts start to develop. Another sign is vaginal discharge fluid that a girl might see or feel on her underwear. This discharge usually begins about 6 months to a year before a girl gets her first period.
What causes a period?
A period happens because of changes in in the body. Hormones are chemical messengers. The ovaries release the hormones and . These hormones cause the lining of the uterus to build up. The built-up lining is ready for a fertilized egg to attach and start developing. If there is no fertilized egg, the lining breaks down and bleeds. Then the same process happens all over again. It usually takes about a month for the lining to build up, then break down. That is why most girls and women get their periods around once a month.
Do periods happen regularly when menstruation starts?
For the first few years after a girls starts her period, it may not come regularly. This is normal at first. By about 23 years after her first period, a girl’s periods should be coming around once a month.
What is PMS?
How The Body Is Going To Change
As the body grows and approaches puberty, it will make noticeable changes that modify the infantile figure. Legs will look longer, breasts will grow, hips will widen and the body hair will be more profuse, especially on the pubis.
Everything happens in parallel and reaches the peak level with the appearance of the first menstruation. Sometimes this initial bleeding is only a few spots.