Talking to your daughter about the changes taking place within her body and getting her period can be nerve-wracking for many mothers. It can also be an opportunity to connect with your daughter at one of the most basic levels of womanhood.
As you face this important female milestone together, here are a few helpful tips from our experts:
Update yourself on the facts. She has questions, and you need–and want–to have answers. It’s best to be a trusted, reliable source of information, and it may have been awhile since you’ve researched the latest information available. Whether your daughter has just started her period, or is getting to that age where you’re talking to her about it, spend a little time reacquainting yourself with some of the basic details of menstruation and the menstrual cycle so you are sharing accurate information. If you don’t have every answer, that’s OK. We live in an era of instant and abundant information–look up the answer together, or offer to make an appointment with her doctor.
Chat often and early. We all remember our first period (menarche). It can be unsettling, to say the least, the first time you discover you are bleeding “down there”. Add that to the general uncertainties, self-conscious tendencies, and fluctuating hormones of adolescence, and your daughter may have a mix of feelings, from embarrassment to curiosity, about getting her period.
Rather than wait until her first period and have one long talk, chat about the topic whenever the opportunity arises. Did one of her friends just get their period? Are you picking up feminine protection for yourself? Did they just cover the topic in health class? Did a character on her favorite TV show mention it? These are all opportunities to bring up the topic on your own and begin to familiarize her with menstruation. If your daughter is embarrassed to talk about it at first, that’s normal. She’ll still appreciate hearing from you and getting accurate information.