How to prepare your daughter for her first period is something that will be on the mind of mums of tweens and teens. You don’t know quite when this key milestone will happen but you want her to know the facts and also have some idea of what periods will mean for her for approximately 38 years of her life. If you are like me, you find it easy to discuss such matters but perhaps you are a parent who struggles to approach anything to do with bodies or sex. What are the various ways you can prepare your daughter for her first period.
Talk to her openly
OK, so you may be a little embarrassed but if you don’t talk to her you can bet someone else will. I remember a girl at school who came to me for her information. Now luckily I had a mum who was open to discussing things with me so I was relatively clued up but by no means perfectly.
There are books on periods available now and on the wider challenges and joys of becoming a woman. My own mum left a book by an agony aunt on my bed and told me I could ask her anything once I had read it. My daughter was ahead of the game and chose a book on periods out of the library herself presenting it to me and telling me she would ask if she had any questions. I was very impressed with her that day.
Ensure your daughter has access to pads or tampons. I think most of us start off with pads and it can be a little scary at first for your daughter to think about inserting a tampon into her body. A really great tip is to provide her with something like a pencil case or tin for her to keep supplies with her at all times so when the first period or an unexpected one later arrives, she is all set. Consider pants that are secure such as those from Knixteen which are available online.
Only recently have I let myself off the hook as I come towards the end of my time having periods. It is OK to realise that if you have cramps or other not so good elements of periods, it is sensible to take it easy. This might mean a nap, a treat or extra cuddles. I like that my daughter is already taking extra care of herself at her time of the month. She is an inspiration and I often think she is teaching me rather than the other way around. I am going to carve out some special times for us when she has her period where we do things together as the amazing women we both are.
OK, so perhaps you don’t need to be like my own mum who telephoned every member of the family to announce my first period but you can involve others in supporting your daughter. As with many parenting issues, you are not the only person who can help her. My mum dispatched my dad to buy me a cake when I had my first period to celebrate me becoming a woman. That might sound a little corny but it is a gesture I have loved ever since. I made sure both my husband and boys knew about my daughter starting her periods and what she would need from them at this special time of the month.
What tips do you have on how to prepare your daughter for her first period?