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When your little daughter starts growing up, it’s normal for every mother to have a million questions and concerns running through her head. The transitional phase of transforming into an adolescent comes with emotional and physical changes that your daughter needs to be aware of.
Many girls find themselves panicking and in shock when they get their periods for the first time, especially if they did not have any previous knowledge about it. As a mother, it’s difficult to admit that your child is growing up, but it’s important for every mother to know when to explain to her daughter about the menstrual cycle as well as how to bring up the topic.
In this article, our positive parenting expert, Rana Hany, will walk us through the questions and concerns every mother has, what you should do, and how to handle your daughter when they get their first period.
When is the most suitable time to let your daughter know about the menstrual cycle?
The average age that most girls get their period lies somewhere between 12-16 years old. However, there are some girls who could get their periods at the age of 9-10. For that reason, it’s best to prepare your daughter at a young age to prevent her from panicking if she gets her period early.
A girl’s body will undergo physical changes and once you start picking up the first signs, you should start raising her awareness on the topic. Many girls might even hear about periods from their friends and come home with numerous questions. If your daughter is curious, then you should make sure the information she has is accurate by answering her questions in a simple, but scientific way.
How and what do I say to my daughter?
Simplicity is key
- Make sure you do not overwhelm your daughter by giving her too much information. Instead, try to simplify the process and gradually feed her knowledge every time you talk.
- Talk about the body structure and the changes that she should expect without freaking her out. That way she’ll be able to take in the information when it’s given to her in small, scientific, and simple doses.
- When you see an advertisement on sanitary towels, explain why they’re used and that sooner or later, she will use them, too.
- The next step would be to explain to your daughter about puberty and the changes that will occur to her body.
- You can do this by explaining that each month, a female’s body cleanses itself which leads to discharges being released over the course of a few days.
- Make sure she understands that this happens to every girl and it’s something to be proud of.
Help your daughter understand what to expect
- You can start by discussing the symptoms and side effects that she’ll experience when she gets her period and that it will be painful and uncomfortable.
- Show her the different remedies that can be used to ease the menstrual pain and help her put up with it.
Share your experience
- Help your daughter understand that you know exactly what she’s going through by sharing your experience and the story of when you got your first period.
Demonstrate how to use a sanitary pad
- Show your daughter how to use a pad and how to keep her body clean during that period.
- Show her where to find them and how often the pads should be changed to avoid accidents.
Be her safe and comfort zone
- When she gets her first period, take your daughter in your arms and congratulate her on becoming a young lady.
- Make her feel how happy you are to be sharing this moment and celebrating her transition.
- Reassure your daughter that no one at school will realize that she got her period and help her prepare a small bag with a pair of clean underwear and sanitary pads to take with her to school just in case.
- If your daughter is shy and doesn’t feel comfortable talking about this issue, you can buy her a book that explains the menstrual cycle in an easy and simple manner.
Teach your daughter when to expect her period
- Instead of having an accident and being embarrassed, help your daughter understand when to expect her next period or even download an app for her to keep track of.
- Make sure she understands that it is normal for her period to be a few days early or late, so she doesn’t panic.
Further reading: Why You Should NEVER Tell Your Child to Lose Weight