“If your daughter is approaching menstruation, you can make the whole process easier and more comfortable for her (and you) by talking to her openly about what it means to have your “period.” It’s very important to begin to teach girls about the changes their bodies will go through during puberty – and especially menstruation – before they get their first period. But it is never too late to start!
Girls often begin to menstruate between the ages of 9 and 16, with the average age being around 12. You can help your daughter understand what is happening before it happens. While it’s important to know about the biology behind menstruation, don’t let that be the only thing you talk about. Use language that your daughter can relate to and remember that many girls have concerns about all the little details such as: Will I still be able to swim and do sports? Will it hurt? What do I do about the blood? Why haven’t I gotten my period yet when all my friends have it? As well as how starting their period might change their lives and their relationships.
To get you started with your conversations, here are some tips to keep in mind:
….Be positive. Menstruation is a part of being a woman. Your positive values and attitude towards menstruation as a normal bodily function can affect her own feelings about getting her period. If your daughter knows that you think it is an important step in growing up, she will have a more positive attitude towards menstruation and will probably be more willing to talk to you about any problems or questions she has. In addition, educating our sons about menstruation can help to develop their positive attitudes about the natural and normal reproductive cycle as well as to let them know that you are a good resource for information about sexual health.
Comment from Leslie
Lots of great information and tips in this article – I picked up “Be positive” (about menstruation) because it is the underlying theme of my work. A must read for Mom’s with daughters entering puberty.