What is a Period?
In this case, the answer is not ‘it comes at the end of the sentence’. Although moms and dads might be uncomfortable answering this question, plunge right in. Studies show that girls want to hear this information from their parents, even though it might not always appear that they are listening.
Your daughter may have already gathered some information from friends, TV or the internet. This information may not be correct. Some comments we have heard from girls include:
- If I stay skinny, I won’t get my period.
- People can tell when I’m on my period because it smells.
- The sanitary pads will show through my clothes.
- If I use a tampon, I’m no longer a virgin.
How to help your daughter overcome these misperceptions? Ask her what she has heard and start sifting through the information. To make it more personable, share your own memories and experiences from this time in your life.
- Did you have any embarrassing moments?
- Where were you when you started your first period?
- When did you buy your first bra?
Sharing your stories will help your daughter realize that she is not alone in this experience. Asking other female members of your family to share their stories will provide a sense of family togetherness and will give your daughter an idea of “how times have changed”.
This is an awkward time for girls. She may be experiencing a growth spurt and outgrowing all her clothes, or having to deal with pimples for the very first time. Offer her positive reinforcement and assurance that this is a normal step in her growing up years and that she is always beautiful to you.
For her to have one less worry, make sure she is prepared with the supplies she needs for her period:
- Have her keep an “emergency kit” in her purse, gym bag or locker. Fill the kit with feminine hygiene products, an extra pair of underwear and a wash rag or purchase The Dot Girl First Period Kit.
- If she is a sports girl, suggest wearing spandex shorts or underwear underneath her sport shorts which will keep pads in place and provide a feeling of comfortable control.
- If your daughter is a swimmer you may want to introduce her to tampons. Have her practice at home until you find the brand and fit that she’s comfortable with.
- Encourage your daughter to track her monthly cycle with a calendar. It may take some time before its regular but soon enough she’ll be able to anticipate when her flow will start.
Having conversations with your daughter about periods and what to expect will encourage her to take care of her own health and have control over her monthly experience.