Listen, as a mother of two girls, and having been a daughter to my mother for many years, picking the “day” is never going to be easy. It probably won’t be comfortable. Your tween won’t be any more comfortable than you are, but I promise you, once you do Pick Your Day and have The Talk, you’ll be oh so very glad you did. If you have a girl, chances are really, really good that she’s going to get her first period. Maybe when she’s 10, like I was, and maybe when she’s 16, like some of my friends were. Taking the plunge and having the talk before that time comes is going to give your daughter (or niece, granddaughter, cousin…) the information she needs to be able to handle having her period, and knowing what to expect.
I’m not saying this will be easy. In fact, it probably won’t. But if you don’t, who will? A friend, who’s prone to dramatizing things? The rumor mill, which never seems to have much truth or validity running through it? Get past the awkward and get into the talk. It’ll be worth it. She’ll know a bit more about what’s going to happen to her body, which may already have started in some ways, before it’s happened, so things won’t come as a surprise. She’ll know to keep pads and maybe tampons in her bag, for just in case. She’ll know not to panic that something’s wrong if it happens when she’s not with you. She’ll know it’s normal. She’ll know it’s ok.
Now, this is not an easy topic and it is kind of serious but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it…I find for me that poking a bit of fun at myself helps me to settle my nerves and kind of breaks the ice. (I’m going to try to put together some fun and silly ways to break the ice in August, so stay tuned).
I can just imagine a conversation with my oldest now. “So, um, maybe you notice that there’s some times when mommy seems very very crabby, and seems to always want to have chocolate.” Maybe she’ll roll her eyes at me…maybe she won’t. But she’ll probably smirk just a tiny little bit and then I can start to explain why…she’s seen my ‘period products’ her whole life in the bathroom, in the cabinet- she knows there are times when I go into the cabinet and times I don’t. She’s asked what those things are for a while- for a short time, I simply said that they were things that grown up girls need to use and that I’d explain more as she got older, but that it was ok…and no, I didn’t have a boo-boo. (Two out of three of my kids have found pads or pantiliners in the house and have questioned WHY we have these enormous bandaids, and have asked why we don’t have ones with Dora or Barbie or Spiderman on them).
Now that my daughter is older and getting (uncomfortably) close to the age when I got my first period, I’ve been a bit more open with her. Those are tampons, and these are maxipads. Ladies wear these sometimes and no, it doesn’t hurt. You will probably need them when you get older, and we can talk about it whenever you want…..that worked for a while, but honestly? I need to Pick MY Day. It is time.
So here are some tips from U by Kotex to help get started on picking your day:
First Period Facts— Keep this simple. Facts don’t have to include every single detail. Keep it light (like her first period will hopefully be!)
Prepare for the Talk– Gather some information. Find a time that you can be with your girl without a ton of distractions, so she can ask questions in private.
The Right Product for Her– I plan to have some of the products from U by Kotex to show her, so that she can see them, touch them, check them out, and ask questions. The packaging is great for tweens- definitely more up their alley. I think letting your daughter see the products and be able to ask you questions is a really, really great way to get her to feel a bit more comfortable about what’s to come. Make a first period kit for her before you have the talk and go through it with her. I plan to have a “kit” for her that’s a fun pouch to keep in her bag with some U by Kotex products, but I’ll also have tissues (I cry a lot, maybe she will too), a small package of wipes, extra pair of underwear, empty ziploc bag, a note for the teacher, a book about puberty, and a little journal with a fun pen, in case she has things she’s wondering about and I’m not there, or needs to get some feelings out. A few “kisses” from Hershey’s may find their way into that kit, too!
Have you had the talk with your daughter? Have you decided when your day to have the talk will be? What concerns do you have about having this talk with your daughter?
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.