Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Becoming a woman is a beautiful, wonderful, and potentially incredibly confusing time for a young girl. But you can make the experience positive and helpful by being there for her and having these crucial talks.
Talk to Your Daughter About What’s Going on
Remember how it felt when you were your daughter's age. Come to the table with facts, anecdotes, and a positive attitude. When you were her age, what would have helped you? What might have been harmful to you?
Explain what it is that’s going on. Get all technical, but at a relatable level. Respect your daughter's intelligence by talking to her in a way that lets her know you believe she’s smart, competent, and able to understand what is happening in her own body fully.
When you were an uncertain eleven, twelve, or even thirteen-year-old, how great would it have been for an adult to recognize you are in control of your body, and that you deserve to be given straight answers? You don’t have to be or speak like a doctor, but being honest and straightforward with facts about the menstrual cycle will demystify any lingering concerns and help her feel that she is in full control
Share What to Expect
Refrain from stopping at the “you’re a woman now” cliché and walking away. Dive in with explaining just what the body is doing up in there and walk her through the process and functions of the eggs, the ovaries, the uterus, the vagina – don’t shy away from using “real” words with her.
Let her know that she should expect this to happen monthly, that the egg will be sent to the uterus, that the uterus is like a nesting home for a baby, which is something that she won’t be encountering until later. If you feel she is ready, walk her through the sperm end of the deal as well.
Tell your daughter when an egg is unfertilized, the nest the uterus makes will be shed. Let her know it’s normal to feel cramping, fatigue, nausea, etc. but that she can and should always feel comfortable coming to you with any questions.
Chat About Period Care and Maintenance
The age-old debate: pads or tampons? Make sure your daughter knows the only best option is the one that she is most comfortable with. The good news is, as well, is that there’s also an excellent third choice for your teenager. Ruby Love has teen period underwear designed with preventing leaks in mind.
It will be natural for your daughter to worry about stains and leakage. Let her know that she has well-made options at her fingertips. If she’s worried about missing out on beach parties or swimming, there is period-proof swimwear ready-made, too!
Let her know that just because her body is changing, her life isn’t. Surprise her with a first period kit, so she’s ready and armed with useful items such as feminine wipes, period panties and cozy pick-me-ups, like soft socks. Exchange pampering secrets for this time of the month such as how chocolate is a wonder at this time and that hot water bottles can be her friend. Let her know that her preferred period care routine may change with time, and that’s totally OK.
It’s always a big deal, getting your first period, but with you on her side, being open and honest, your daughter will be thankful and prepared.