I started getting my period when I was 10 years old. Fifth grade- in March, to be more exact. My parents were gone for the day- and remember, this was before the era of cell phones…they were at Power Squadron classes and who knew when they’d be home. I was home with my brother B who was 22 months older than me, and um…well…he was of no help to me whatsoever. Not knowing what to do, because I thought I did something to hurt myself, (actually I thought I somehow managed to poo from the front, can you imagine?) I called my grandmother. She was overjoyed that I’d become a woman. I’m not even really sure that she told me what to do- what I remember most is that most of my extended family knew well before my parents arrived back home hours later that I’d joined the ranks of “women” everywhere. Mortification. Confusion. Embarassment.
I was a quick learner. Good thing for me, but it was a lesson I don’t want my girls to learn the same way. I have discussed things about being a woman with my oldest many times, and as she’s getting older and closer to “that” age, I’ve started to delve more into details. I don’t want her being confused and wondering what’s going on with her body. She knows that as she gets older, she’ll start to develop breasts, and that when she’s older still, part of being a woman means she’ll get her period. So as (NOT) fun as it is, she’ll be fully aware (hopefully) before that first cycle ever starts, so it won’t come as such a shock. I have to be prepared- I was wearing a bra in third grade…my first period in fifth…I hope and pray that my girls don’t have to but in the event they do, I want them prepared for things.
I recently was invited to be a U by Kotex Mom Ambassador and you will be seeing several posts from me over the next several months about this subject. Let’s be real, let’s be open, and honest. Let’s help one another to educate our girls, together! Kotex was one of the first brands for menstruation I was introduced to- it was what my mom used, and what I use. It kind of seems natural that I’ll be looking to U by Kotex for when the time comes for my girls- made for tweens, meant for tweens.
Listen, if we don’t talk about things with our kids, who will? Their friends? Yes, friends can be a great resource, but let’s be real. Its our job as parents to do the best we can to prepare our kids for things. It doesn’t have to be graphic or gory, but it’s got to be true. You don’t want your daughter blogging about things the way I just did in 28 years, right? I don’t!
It doesn’t have to be a huge, uncomfortable talk. At some point, our daughters notice that there are items that appear at certain times of the month….we may get headaches…cramps…use the bathroom more. Take that chance to open the dialogue- keep it appropriate for her age and development, but start talking. It’s part of our bodies- it’s nothing to be ashamed of, or embarrassed about. I work hard to have an open dialogue (sometimes my husband shakes his head) with all three of my kids- I’m determined to not have them mystified about their bodies. I may have known how babies were made when I was three but I sure had not a clue about anything else. (Ask my godmother. I sat her down and explained it all to her).
Check out this video of Friday Night Lights star Aimee Teegarden talking about getting “real” with her mom– courtesy of Koten & Nickelodeon ParentsConnect. Do you have conversations like this with your daughter? Your mom?
I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate