At what age should menstruation be explained....

Toni - posted on 05/20/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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to girls, but also to boys?

These days many girls have their first period at age 9 or 10. I was 11 or 12 when I had my first period and I knew nothing about it. I was on holiday staying at an Aunts when I woke up one morning covered in blood....I thought I was dying, no kidding.
At what age is it best to have this chat with girls? But also, this is for parents of boys....when do you explain periods and what girls go through each month to boys?

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Lizziek18 - posted on 07/09/2013

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Good question.Not every parent is ready to talk to their child about puberty.Girls need to know about periods by around 10- 11 years old. Boys probably by 11-12 years.Girls should be mentally prepared, and shouldn't feel like they are the only ones going through it. My daughter was well aware of periods before she got it, since I had a session with her. I gave her a small kit that had pads, a pair of adira period panty (which is cotton and prevents stain), baby wipes, disposal covers, calendar (so that she marks her period) etc, when she got her menarche. She never felt weird is the best part!

Andrea - posted on 05/20/2009

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i have two daughters and i told then when they were 8as it gets them ready for when the day does come...

i aslo got them to put two pads in there school blazer just in case,i aslo told them not be scared as we know our selfs its a scary moment in our lives because no matter how much our mothers tryed to prepair us for that day,i was frighted....didnt know what was happing...

Martha - posted on 05/20/2009

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I am the mother of a wonderful 17 year old, Hannah - so, this is coming from first hand experience - my answer is there is no one time to have "the" conversation - I started the conversation when Hannah was about 5 - just some age appropriate talks - and built on from that point - the conversation has not "ended"....it simply morphs as her needs and questions change. Good luck

Brandi - posted on 05/20/2009

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My oldest is 15. I also have a 7 and a 6yr old. all girls. I started talking to them when they pretty much would not leave me alone in the bathroom and would ask me why am i bleeding. I would say around 4 or 5 yrs old. I have never sugar coated anything about anything. My 15 yr old to this day is very grateful. She is in the 10th grade this yr. I told her b4 she started 9th grade that she will see quite a few girls pregnant in the spring. she asked why I told her they were sexualy active during football season and basketball season. (I had worked in a high school cafateria b4 she started high school) so sure enough she was coming home and telling me who got pregnanted. I want my girls to get the TRUTH from and not from their friends who dont have a clue. Plus I wanted to be a mother I didnt have. My mother told me NOTHING about periods sex sexual deseases and I had always resented her for it.

Brnshuga - posted on 05/20/2009

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Well it should be talked about before they are at that age. I started telling my daughter about it, when she was about 7/8. She is thirteen now. So when she started her first at age 9, she was familiar with the situation. Now, I feel boys may want to know about that when they are about 13/ 14. I mean you can probably talk about it around 10/11 but I would start with my son about 13/14, when I think that his body is starting to go thru puberty!

Toni - posted on 05/20/2009

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Quoting Karen:

"To my mind the chat about sex should start when they're 6/7 ish and then expanding on it and bringing more info in to the chats as they get older. Too many parents leave the whole thing until it's just too late."

I agree but why put something in their head that's not there to begin with? If my daughter wasn't even concerned or knew nothing about sex at age 6-7-8...why would I put all of that in her head only to have her talk about it with other kids whose parents don't want them to know at that age? That's where the incorrect information starts. What I meant about waiting till they weren't so uncomfotable was when she was a little older like 11,12-13 and never give a young child 6,7,8 more information than they need (recommended by our pediatrician). She never even asked because she didn't have a clue. As in my experience, you never know where and your kids are going to learn and from who they'll get the information from...mostly in school and on the bus. I totally agree with you about talking to them and then expanding on it as they get older..we started that when our daughter was 11-12 when all of her note passing started..We were very open with them when we talked to them about periods, sex etc.. Today they learn so much a lot sooner, not that sex was less prevalent years and years and years ago, it's everywhere so you need to talk to them earlier in life. Please know I'm not attacking you, I'm just clarifying my point hoping maybe you'll understand where we were coming from. I don't think there is one specific age to talk to them about sex...6, 7 or 8 it just depends on the child but definitely before 13 or 14. It's up to the parent and what the child can understand at a certain age.


I think that a child should hear about things of a sexual nature from it's parents and if it's left till they're 10, 11 or 12 then they won't, they'll hear it all from their mates.



We don't wait till kids ask how to spell something before teaching them about English, or wait till they ask about other countries before teaching them about Geography....why should our bodies and sex be any different? Wht are we afraid of or embarassed about?



There are so many girls having babies at 12, 13 or 14...I'll bet you any money it's because many of the parents didn't sit down with them in a responsible manner at an early age to discuss these issues in a non embarassing way. Did you know that sweden has one of the lowest teenage pregnancy rates in the world, it's no coincidence that it's down to the fact that they teach sex education to children from age 6 starting with anatomy, eggs and sperm. From age 12 they discuss contraception and diseases and as a result they have the one of the lowest rates per capita,  in the world for both teen pregnancy and STD's?



Sweden's teenage birthrate is 7 per 1,000 births, compared with 49 in the United States.



We as parents should be as open with our children about our bodies and sex as we are about English and Geography.

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We have two sons and the notice more then we think even at a young age. As long as I could remember my husbnad has been talking about changes in their bodies. Howevr the conversations are brought dowwn to their level. My oldest son is 13 my youngest is 12 so I'll say about a year ago we explained menstration to them becasue they were embarking on purbity and when talking about sex and making a baby you must also talk about what happens to woman body so that they can be fully educated.

Karen - posted on 05/20/2009

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"To my mind the chat about sex should start when they're 6/7 ish and then expanding on it and bringing more info in to the chats as they get older. Too many parents leave the whole thing until it's just too late."



I agree but why put something in their head that's not there to begin with? If my daughter wasn't even concerned or knew nothing about sex at age 6-7-8...why would I put all of that in her head only to have her talk about it with other kids whose parents don't want them to know at that age? That's where the incorrect information starts. What I meant about waiting till they weren't so uncomfotable was when she was a little older like 11,12-13 and never give a young child 6,7,8 more information than they need (recommended by our pediatrician). She never even asked because she didn't have a clue. As in my experience, you never know where and your kids are going to learn and from who they'll get the information from...mostly in school and on the bus. I totally agree with you about talking to them and then expanding on it as they get older..we started that when our daughter was 11-12 when all of her note passing started..We were very open with them when we talked to them about periods, sex etc.. Today they learn so much a lot sooner, not that sex was less prevalent years and years and years ago, it's everywhere so you need to talk to them earlier in life. Please know I'm not attacking you, I'm just clarifying my point hoping maybe you'll understand where we were coming from. I don't think there is one specific age to talk to them about sex...6, 7 or 8 it just depends on the child but definitely before 13 or 14. It's up to the parent and what the child can understand at a certain age.

Toni - posted on 05/20/2009

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Quoting Tiffany:

My mother got her period at age 9. She is from an upper class family and always ate healthy, exercised, maintained weight etc.... so poor diet/health had nothing to do with it, as you sometimes read. My mom told me at age 9. I got my period at 13. I told my daughter about it at 9, she got her period at age 10. A few times she had "accidents" at school. One boy knew what was going on and gave her his sweat shirt to wrap around her waist : )


Oh bless him...this is why boys should be given the chat too.

Tiffany - posted on 05/20/2009

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My mother got her period at age 9. She is from an upper class family and always ate healthy, exercised, maintained weight etc.... so poor diet/health had nothing to do with it, as you sometimes read. My mom told me at age 9. I got my period at 13. I told my daughter about it at 9, she got her period at age 10. A few times she had "accidents" at school. One boy knew what was going on and gave her his sweat shirt to wrap around her waist : )

Toni - posted on 05/20/2009

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Quoting Karen:

I started my period when I was 11 1/2 so when my daughter was 10, I talked her about it....which was a good thing because she started the next summer when she turned 11 as well. At our house, we were always open and honest about that kind of thing with our kids. When it came to boys, I didn't think I really needed to talk to her about that yet because I always heard wait until they ask so they're not so uncomfortable and don't give them more information than they need etc.plus she was only 11-12. (she's now 23 yrs. old) Well, one day I got a call from the middle school principal and he told me she and another girl were passing around notes in class and he wanted her to read what she had written over the phone to me. Well, you could say I was shocked but I didn't freak out over the phone, the principal was freaked out though. The sex language and what they were talking about was so x-rated and incorrect I decided when she came home from school she and I needed to not only talk about notes in school but boys and sex...and get the correct information.


Personally I think once kids are embarassed about talking about sex it's because in a way it's already too little too late. They already 'think' that they know it and so don't want to discuss it. They also don't want to imagine their parents 'doing it' and let's face it....who can blame them, it's enough to give me nightmares when I think about my own parents....lol. To my mind the chat about sex should start when they're 6/7 ish and then expanding on it and bringing more info in to the chats as they get older. Too many parents leave the whole thing until it's just too late. My mum never told me about periods or sex. I learned everything in the school yard, from other parents, films, books and eventually from sex ed in school when i was about 14/15. I already knew of several boys and girls who were having sex by that age so what was the point in showing videos etc at that age....it was too late for many teenagers.



i think boys should be taught about girls and what they go through and what it means, not only biologically (how the womb is prepared) but hormonally and physically too.



As parents I think too many leave chats till they're too late (as you learnt yourself) or for someone else like the schools to deal with, they're not fulfilling their responsibility as a parent and are effectively letting their child down.



 



This isn't meant to be judgemental towards anyone, just an opinion and an observation.

Karen - posted on 05/20/2009

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I started my period when I was 11 1/2 so when my daughter was 10, I talked her about it....which was a good thing because she started the next summer when she turned 11 as well. At our house, we were always open and honest about that kind of thing with our kids. When it came to boys, I didn't think I really needed to talk to her about that yet because I always heard wait until they ask so they're not so uncomfortable and don't give them more information than they need etc.plus she was only 11-12. (she's now 23 yrs. old) Well, one day I got a call from the middle school principal and he told me she and another girl were passing around notes in class and he wanted her to read what she had written over the phone to me. Well, you could say I was shocked but I didn't freak out over the phone, the principal was freaked out though. The sex language and what they were talking about was so x-rated and incorrect I decided when she came home from school she and I needed to not only talk about notes in school but boys and sex...and get the correct information.

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My 11 yo doesn't want to hear any of it, but I keep passing him little blurbs at a time. We just started talking about what girls have to deal with because it came up with his soccer team and I want him to be respectful and understaning about how rought it can be (cramping, moods etc.)

Kathy - posted on 05/20/2009

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Well, I just keep reminding my daughter that she can talk to me about anything, anytime. She is also ten. Her school sent home a permission slip for her to watch a movie about changes in her body..she didn"t want to watch it but I signed it and made her go. That afternoon she said I'm glad I saw that movie. As far as boys go I don"t have a clue.

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