How To Talk With Your Daughter About Puberty


We recently received a great question from a parent. Her question
is so relatable, that we wanted to share it here! It’s something every
parent has felt in one way or another. Here was her message to us:

Hello!
So glad I found your website. I have two daughters. My first daughter
entered puberty, and we talked and dealt pretty comfortably with it. My
mistake was excluding my second daughter from those talks bcse I thought
she wasn’t ready. Boy was I wrong! Her period and physical development
caught me off guard. She started at ten before I had a chance to talk
with her. She was frightened and went through it all alone the first
time. She has now built a “wall” and is hesitant to talk openly with me
when I bring up anything to do with her period. I want openness between
me, and my girls, something I never had with my own mother. I always
thought I would be a “cool” mom. Can’t believe I messed up so badly!!
Any advice? Thanks!

Phew – this one is a doozy, but oh-so-relatable, right? Parenting isn’t easy – so here’s our response:

“Hi
there, Thank you for reaching out to us! I first would like to commend
you on your efforts to create an environment open to discussion for your
daughters. Unfortunately, there is no instruction manual for how to be a
perfect parent. Sadly, as onset puberty begins sooner and sooner, many
parents have found themselves in your shoes. We are here to tell you:
you are definitely not alone. While it is heartbreaking that many girls
face this time in their lives alone, it’s never too late to turn things
around, even if it doesn’t feel like it now. Here are some of our top
suggestions:

1. Be honest

If you haven’t
already, share with her exactly what you’ve shared with me. That is a
great start. Kids have a way of viewing parents as perfect, sometimes
admitting that no one is perfect along with sharing from the heart can
help open the door.

2. Promote positivity

Think of some ways to promote period positivity. This is where your unique understanding of your daughter will come in handy.

  • You could find some cute cloth pads to give her in her favorite color
  • You could make or purchase a cute period kit for her to keep supplies in while at school or away from home to make her feel more confident
  • Buy her a chocolate treat (or her favorite snack!) the next time she is on her period.

3. Don’t be afraid

Know
that kids are always listening, even when you think they’re not. Don’t
be afraid to talk to her even if she doesn’t talk back.

4. Keep it natural

Look
for ways to bring up the topic naturally, rather than sitting down for a
formal conversation. Here are some great times to try this:

  • When they talk about their friends. (Ask about their friend’s experiences – sometimes it’s easier to talk about other people)
  • When
    you are watching TV or a movie and see a growing girl (Or, better yet,
    if the show you are watching specifically talks about puberty/periods)
  • When you are shopping, you could ask her thoughts about different products – kids love to feel that their opinions are valued.
  • While you are driving in the car. (This can help since eye contact is not required.)
  • TIP: sometimes you can “schedule” these types of events to happen 😉

5. Stick to the facts

Understand
that even if you had spoken to your daughter prior to her starting, she
still might not be the girl who wants to talk to her parents about it.
Some girls prefer to seek out answers for themselves and keep pretty
quiet about it. In this case, we recommend you steer her towards
accurate information. Girls who do not have support often turn to peers.
Unfortunately, this is usually not a very accurate source, and “facts”
learned here can cause unnecessary fear. Please know we try to keep all
our content on www.bepreparedperiod.com PG and on the topic of puberty
and menstruation only (no sex ed talk). We know girls of all ages seek
answers online, and we want parents to feel comfortable sending their
daughters to our site.

6. Check in regularly

Touching
base regularly lets her know you are there if she needs you – even if
she doesn’t want to answer your questions. Doing this will build trust
and show that you care. Many times, even girls that prefer to keep to
themselves will open up here and there and ask questions when they
arise. Ask questions like: “How are things going – do you have any
questions about your period?” “Are you happy with the products you are
using – would you like to try something else?” I hope this helps! Please
let me know if there is anything else we can help you with.” _ If you
relate to this mother, have no fear. You are not alone – and there are
tons of resources and support available to you. This is not an easy
time, but it can be a time of growth and bonding for you and your
daughter. Our First Period Kits are a fantastic place to start. Not only
do they come with every product your daughter needs to feel ready, but
they also come with two free guides: one for you, and one for her. These
guides are fantastic conversation starters, and cover tons of helpful
information from puberty to periods, and beyond. Plus, if you find that
your daughter is still a little uncomfortable discussing these subjects
with you, you can rest assured knowing that she’s getting the proper
information she’ll need to feel comfortable and confident. 

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