Mother Nature provides all females with a fantastic little gift one week out of every month – their period. The first time a young girl receives her period can be extremely confusing and scary. However, if you give your daughter a “period talk,” she will be informed about what’s going on and will be able to handle the situation. Knowing what to tell her and how to approach the subject might be worrisome and slightly uncomfortable, but there’s no need to fear! It’s something that is inevitable and a natural part of life.
When to give the period talk
Knowing when to give the talk is a crucial part of getting your daughter informed. Give the talk when:
- She’s showing all of the signs of puberty. Her breasts have started developing and she’s growing hair in places there wasn’t hair before, like her legs, underarms and pubic area. Those are signs that she’ll start her period very soon.
- She’s going to hear it from someone else. It’s much better that you talk to her rather than a teacher or peer. You know her the best out of anyone she knows, so you’ll be able to give her the best advice.
- She’s starting to ask questions. When your daughter starts asking questions about why her body is changing, it’s time to have the period talk and possibly the “birds and the bees” talk.
What to tell her
Girls typically get their period between the ages of 10 and 16. When you’re giving your daughter the period talk, make sure you don’t sugarcoat anything. However, don’t scare her. Avoid using words like “nightmare” and “gross.” Periods are completely natural parts of life and you should explain that to her.
When you’re telling her how to use pads and tampons, don’t use anything complicated like applicator-free tampons. There are tampons specifically designed for ease of use by teen girls.
Telling her stories about your experiences with periods will help her learn what to do in emergency situations. If she leaks at school or out with her friends, you can tell her what you’ve done in the past, such as wrapping a sweater around your waist or bringing a change of underwear just in case.
If your daughter is experiencing symptoms related to anxiety or depression as a tween, and it’s not just because she’s freaking out about her period, she might be in need of additional help.
Asheville Academy is a residential treatment center in a therapeutic setting for young girls ages 10-14. For more information, please call us at 800-264-8709.