When I was eleven, I was at the mall with my friend, Allison. After lunch I went to use the restroom and there I saw blood. Despite some nerves I did not say a word and we went on with our day. That evening at home it happened again. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Scared to death, I called for my mom. Pale as a ghost and certain that she was going to rush me to the hospital I whispered to her that I was bleeding.
And then… She smiled, laughed, and hugged me.
Embarrassed and confused as could be, I angrily asked her to explain how she could possibly be smiling and laughing while I was hemorrhaging. To make matters worse, she said she could not wait to tell my father.
This, I promise you, is not the best way for a girl to learn about getting her period.
Yes, it is an uncomfortable topic but it is important to talk to your daughter about getting her period. Let her know that her body is going to start changing. Do not assume that your daughter has gotten the necessary information from school or from her friends. Talk with her so that she is not anxious and so that she knows what to expect. Let her know precisely what a menstrual cycle is and what it means for her body.
In fact, you can discuss all of the pre-teen issues such as development, periods, hygiene and even acne. Changes will start occurring in some girls as young as the age of eight, while visible signs of puberty typically appear closer to age 11 or 12. Your daughter may be curious why her friends’ bodies are changing at a different pace than her.
There are other items you may want to include in the discussion. For example, it typically takes quite awhile for most girls to have a regular 28 or so day cycle, so in the first year or two it may be difficult for her to predict when her period will arrive. She should be aware that with periods sometimes there will be cramping. You will also likely want to present her options for hygiene supplies such as sanitary pads or tampons.
Pre-teen girls often worry about getting their first periods at school so your daughter might event want to start carrying a maxi-pad or tampon in case she does get her first period while at school or in another social setting.
Had I known what was happening that very first time I saw blood, I would not have been anxious at all. I simply would have used a sanitary pad and gone about my typical pre-teen day. Talk with your daughter and spare her the embarrassment I had on that day. The more she knows about the changes ahead the less anxious she could be when that day arrives.
Please note that the contents of this article are for informational purposes only.