Effective Parenting : How To Prepare Your Daughter For Her First Period
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Preparing For Your Daughter's First Period
Women irrespective of race, face the same bodily challenges-that of having their periods once every 28 days. Attaining puberty which is the onset of periods in girls can be a trying time, if she is not properly prepared much before the time. It is best for the mother to talk to her daughter about it and let her know that she can talk about her fears too. In today's world where children are much more aware of everything, particularly about their bodily changes, chances are that your daughter would already have her information. But, she will have to have the correct information and she needs someone to dispel any fears she may have. This is where your duty as a mother comes in, and schools do their bit in educating them too.
Top 5 things you should tell your daughter which will dispel any fears she may have about menstruation :
- Menstruation is natural and nothing to be alarmed about.
- Onset of menstruation or getting your first period means you have stepped into womanhood.
- All women across the world face the same thing every month upto age 50 or so. And that includes you and your mom before you.
- There is some pain accompanied by cramps during periods which can definitely be handled.
- You can continue every activity including sports and travel even on those days.
Outward noticeable changes in the body are to be seen from now on and feel good and beautiful and confident about it. Girls who are not confident about developing breasts tend to develop drooping shoulders or hide behind sweaters and jackets even when not required.
When And How Should You Broach The Subject :
Girls used to have their first period around the age of 14 -16 earlier, and today, this age has reduced due to various factors with girls beginning around the age of 11 and in some countries as early as age 8 and 9. The average age is around 12 1/2. So, if your daughter is around this age, and shows some maturity, it is wise to begin preparing your daughter. As puberty approaches, you will notice huge changes-emotional, physical and attitudinal. First physical changes include a sudden spurt in height and weight with breasts beginning to make an appearance. Emotional changes include sudden bursts and shutting out mothers. It is your turn to be patient and not take things to heart.
Initiating a conversation about the first period can be the following situations.
She may ask about the human body or its behaviors. Sometimes, a girl may ask about the first period, after listening to a friend in school. Or after a session in school discussing the topic.
She may want to know the meaning of words such as puberty, menstruation and so on.
Unknowingly, she may ask what a tampon or a pad is. Or she may point to an ad for these on TV or newspaper and want you to tell her.
Girls can be given books to make them understand what happens to their bodies during menstruation. Or better still, get on to the internet and find some information together. She will do it anyway, but when you are also there, any doubts or questions are sure to follow and you can take it up from there. You will also have a chance to find the right words to use in explaining to her.
Also, let her know that you are ready to explain any other doubts in her mind at any time of day or night. By doing this, you gain her trust and confidence and she will be more open to you. Communication is a key factor during this stage of growing up and it is good to make time for her.
Prepare a First Period Kit and gift it to her. She can keep it with her at all times and be told how to use each of it, when she wants to.
Remember not to cram her with too much information at one go. She may get frightened out. She will automatically understand better when she sees other girls her age in school, and see her own body undergoing subtle but noticeable changes.
Do not wait for her to ask you questions, but begin early and talk often about this topic.
Never be embarrassed to explain any point related to growing up, if you want your daughter to grow up into a confident and beautiful woman. A positive body image and a strong mother-daughter bond are the fruits of preparing and being prepared for your daughter's first period.