When do you have the period talk with your daughter?

Shaina - posted on 07/25/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 7 and I have begun to question should i have the period talk with her now or wait as long as possible. I know some girls get theirs as early as 9 and am curious when and how to discuss this with my daughter?

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Mrs. - posted on 04/30/2012

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I had my period at 10, so it's never too early, IMO.

I think I was 6 or 7 when I was taking a shower and my mother came in to use the bathroom. Wanting to be polite, she didn't flush the toilet. It just so happened that after my shower, I had to go pee. I saw blood in the bowl and, because it had never come up, I assumed she was very sick or dying. I flushed the toilet and kept it in for a few days, thinking that she was going to die. A few days later, I started to cry and told her I didn't want her to die. I explained to her that I saw the blood in the toilet and knew she was sick. She quickly assured me that she wasn't dying, apologized for not knowing she should have had a discussion about it with me earlier and explained simply that once women reached a certain age (I think she said "moms" and "older sisters") they would get blood once a month. She said it meant that these women could have babies if they decided to.

I urge you to be honest with your daughter and speak to her level of understanding. To this day, I remember the upset of thinking my mom was dying because of this misunderstanding. Hearing it from you, in a simple way and then adding to that information as she gets older...it is smart.

My daughter is almost 3 and I'm trying to potty train her. She doesn't have siblings so sometimes I'll pop on there and show her how to pee. A couple of times, she's seen blood in the bowl and said, "Mommy, ouchy!". I've told her that I don't have a boo boo, it is just a kind of "messy" that moms and big sisters get sometimes. She seems fine with that and not upset about the bowl anymore. I figure, why hide it? As much as you can normalize it and move on - the better.

Julie - posted on 08/11/2010

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I started at five when she asked about a tampon comercial!
Whats that mommy?
Women use those for their periods.
OH
then at Seven
Mommy whats a period?
A period happens once a month it a signal from a womens body if she is going to have a baby or not?
Oh? how?
Well if she isn't going to have a baby she bleeds a little bit so the unneeded egg inside her can gets out and those pad catch it. kind of like hosing out the horse barn....
Oh ok
I never sat down and had "the talk" we just talked naturally as things came up... on TV in song lyrics...when the dog got spayed... when they did worth the wait at school mydaughter was shocked that there were girls who had never spoke with there moms! AMerican Girls has a great book!
My ten year old was funny at the dinner table last night we were talking about thetrash on tv and the internet...and my 12 year old said "once you put that stuff in your mind its there so you just open the door to peek" and my ten year old said " yep there is more than one one to loose your virginity mentality and physically!"I was blown away by her !

[deleted account]

I don't think there is such a thing as doing it too early either. You don't necessarily have to drop every detail on her at once but you could ask her what she knows about it or what she thinks and you can just go from there. I don't see the problem in at least getting the ball rolling now. Periods are a part of nature that she is going to have to deal with every month for the rest of her life so she might as well start learning. Good luck :)

Michelle - posted on 07/25/2009

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I have recently begun to wonder also. I noticed my daughter (almost 9) had begun to have mood swings. After talking w/ some of her friends' moms we found it was running through their class. So we are all trying to figure out exactly how to talk to them. My m-i-l started at 10 & I was around 11 or 12. I found a great series of books by AmericanGirl Library. "The care & keeping of you: the body book for girls" and "The feelings book: the care & keeping of your emotions".

Jodi - posted on 07/25/2009

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I think 7 is too young for the 'full' talk, but you should answer her questions. The tactic I have used with my kids at that age has been to allow them to ask the questions and give them a concise, but truthful, answer. Only answer the question. For instance, if she asks about why she gets a period, you can answer so she can have babies when she is older. You don't need to go into the whole information on the cycle and sex, etc. If she wants more information, she will ask the question.



I think you will know when it is time to have the full talk. My son is 11, and I sat down with him about 6 months ago and had the full talk with him (keeping it at his level of course), including girls and periods. I found a fantastic book for him aimed at the male pre-teen age group (there may be one for girls, I'm not sure). The reason I decided to sit and have the full talk was because his questions were becoming more complex, so it was obviously time.



Some kids need (and are ready) for that talk earlier than others. Just go with your gut.



Having said that, however, it is really good to make sure you open the door early, and make sure your daughter knows that door will stay open for any questions she has.

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29 Comments

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Dorelle - posted on 04/30/2012

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Hello Shaina,
I would start preping her with hints on the experience, then possible another year to really prep her as to not be afarid when it happens. I think if you give kids information in bites it eases the shock of the experience because they can put the pieces of the puzzle together. maybe including her in on some of your own experiences in that area. I call it the Candy Land approach, one step at a time.
~D

Jen - posted on 04/29/2012

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Well the "when you hit 110 pounds" thing isn't necessarily accurate, because I'm a grown woman and I'm barely 100 pounds

Tena - posted on 08/11/2010

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I would start now. Even if she doesn't start hers for a few years some of her friends might which will still lead to questions. In my family we started periods anywhere between 8 and 10. But there usually are other signs of puberty first such as body hair, body oder and breast filling in.

Louise - posted on 08/11/2010

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My mother told me about 9 as she was 10 when she started her periods and so was I. I will tell my daughter when she is 9 too. Girls tend to follow there mothers so if you were an early starter then it is a possibility she will be too. I think 7 is to young let her stay innocent as long as possible it is something she does not need to know at this age. I would approach the subject around 9 as this is when sex ed is started in school and she will have a greater understanding of what you are trying to tell her.

[deleted account]

You know I will never really have that problem until my girls start their period. I haven't had privacy in the bathroom for years thanks to almost always having a little one around so each of them have walked in at one time or another while I was changing a pad.
They asked what it was and I told them. I said that when you get bigger your body makes to much blood and has to bleed some of it out sometimes. That is basically true. (mind you I am telling this to 3 and 4 year olds.) My oldest daughter has already started and she is fine. She asked questions when she wanted and I answer appropriately. My 7 year old shrugs it off and tells me and her big sister she will ask mom when she needs to know the details. She knows the basics. She knows that I bleed once a month and that I get moody for about a week before. When I start crying for something stupid they know its coming. LOL We feel sorry for daddy since he and his friend are the only 2 men in a house of 5 girls. Can you imagine what it will be like in another 10 years? lol
anyway, If she knows nothing then find the right time and ask her what she knows about periods and the changes her body will go through in the next few years. Be open, casual, and understanding. Don't make it complicated and don't over think it.

good luck and god bless

Joan - posted on 08/10/2010

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my daughters dr said once a girl begins to grow breast she will usually have her period within the next two years. so i would pay attention. if she ask questions she is obviously ready for answers.

[deleted account]

The sooner the better!! My daughter got her period at age 9 so its better to be prepared and not have her be surprised by it when it happens.

Rhonda - posted on 07/25/2009

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I have a grown daughter, and I have to tell you, you'd be surprised at what she probably knows already especially if she goes to public school. Explore this topic with her as a part of your biology talks with her (birds and bees). Use feminine hygiene product commercials as a good start. Better Growth hormones in the food we by has begun a trend where girls start sooner than ever before. Approach this as natural for her and beautiful as any other topic important for her health and well being. You want her to feel comfortable talking to you. Good luck

Firebird - posted on 07/25/2009

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If you can't figure out how to start the conversation, a good ice breaker might be to ask her to put your pads (or tampons-whatever you use) into the bathroom for you. Then mention something about how she'll be using them in a few years too. Explain things to her your own comfort level from there.

Sheri - posted on 07/25/2009

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You start early, as soon as they start asking questions. always tell the truth that is age appropriate. Also there is a GREAT book called (What is Happening to me) It is cartoon based. It is for all stages of puberty. I would paperclip what I did not want them to see yet and when the next stage came then we would read it together and laugh. My kids are older now and they still talk about it. :)

Celeste - posted on 07/25/2009

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I started with my daughter when she was 8 years old. I started with answering her questions. And if she came to me with anything she was hearing at school from her friends I would talk to her about that as well. I am glad I started those lines of communicaton early because she still comes to me to talk about anything.

Ginger - posted on 07/25/2009

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My daughter is only 5 so I have not had to do this yet. However, I teach middle school children. I would advise you to have the talk now. I have had students who have started at school and flipped out! The guidance counselor has to end up talking to them some and it can be very embarrassing for them. Also, make sure you daughter has something with her that is comfortable b/c many get upset when they have to ask a teacher. Also, the longer you put off the "facts" she will learn other things from people at school- not always good! Good Luck!

Syndi - posted on 07/25/2009

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My daughter is 11 and I first had "the talk" with her @ 8 years old, gradually. I wanted to get a step ahead of the school which teaches them how their body is supposed to work. I tried to eliminate as much curiosity as I could. She still has yet to get hers, but at least she knows what to do and expect when it happens...don't know why but, she's actually looking forward to it!!

Lisa - posted on 07/25/2009

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Hi I have 6 going on 7 children. I spoke to my daughter when she turned 12. And she started later that year. I just told her that as she gets older her body changes and she will soon bleed. Nothing to worry about. And i told her about pads how to use them vaguely. I told her to tell me when she started, and she did. She was scared at first but then was fine. I gave her her own supplies and told her about carrying her purse with her when we went out if needed. One thing i also did was to have my husband talk with her too about it. He told her what would happen and that it was completely normal. In our family I want things to be always open to dad or mom. I know alot of people as the kids get older segregate one parent for one thing and vice versa. But I want our kids to feel comfortable about things with both of us, we are a team!

Kate - posted on 07/25/2009

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Some girls get it even younger -- 7 or 8. But it depends on your family history, if you and your sisters didn't get yours until older chances are your daughter won't either. I plan to keep an open dialogue with my daughter continuously. She is 18 mo. right now and accompanies me to the bathroom. She sees that I am bleeding (DS born 9 days ago) and points and kind of asks. I think I will just tell her as she is asking questions. Some people think that it's best to keep it totally private until the kids are old enough for "The Talk" but I don't think that's the best way to handle it. I'd rather keep the lines of communication open and answer questions as they come up, than try to hide it for years then suddenly have to have what I imagine would be a pretty uncomfortable conversation! I feel like if you talk as things are happening, as kids have questions, they'll always feel open coming to you and it will never be weird, and they'll never be ashamed of it. You can ask me in 10 years how that's worked out...but that's my theory now.

Tara - posted on 07/25/2009

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I would start now. Take it slowly for sure, age appropriate (proper body part names, etc). That's what my mom did with me, and I'm really glad she did - I had my period start just after I turned 8, and was a DD cup by 11, and having the knowledge that I did, when I did, was the best thing for me when I hit that stage.

Amanda - posted on 07/25/2009

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I would say sooner is better than later. My mom never had that talk with me and when I got my period I thought I was going to die or something. I was horrified. I agree that a little info now and the rest later is a great idea, just don't wait too long haha

[deleted account]

I agree. Talking a little bit about it here and there. Plus, I think Kotex.com has an intro package they will mail to you too, with samples. At least they did a few years back. Plus, when they get into about fifth grade, the schools put out....what my daughter called "The Video" on growing up and maturity....what your body goes thru.

Cheryle - posted on 07/25/2009

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I had the period talk with my daughter when she was 8. I'm glad I did because she started hers when she was 10.

Kate CP - posted on 07/25/2009

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There is no such thing as too early. If she's "lucky" enough to get her period at age 9 then it'll be too late. My husband has a cousin who has her period at age 7. She had to undergo hormone therapy to help her finish growing and being a kid.

Denise - posted on 07/25/2009

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I did the period talk with my daughter and my sons right after they turned 10 years old. But I started out when they were little (3, 4, 5, 6) talking about how neat nature was -- how there's a mom and dad animal in order for the baby animals to come into the world...how even flowers have 'mommy and daddy' parts and then that naturally went into how wonderfully our bodies were designed by God - which I explained in depth at 10 years old. I let them ask questions which, interestingly, were different for each of them. Enjoy! They grow up so fast...Denise in California

JC - posted on 07/25/2009

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I would say 9 but every girl is different. You want to make sure you have the talk before she gets it but not to early. I think most girls get it 10-12 years old or when they hit 110 pounds is what I heard.

Becki - posted on 07/25/2009

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you should discuss it with her now. the longer she has to take in the info and get used to the idea, the better she should be able to cope with it. atleast that is what i am hoping. none of my girls have gotten theirs yet. but we have discussed it and they all seem comfortable with the idea. my girls are: 13,11,9 years old. i suggest being open and honest. try to let her lead the conversation and ask questions. good luck :)

Kate CP - posted on 07/25/2009

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Start now. Take it slow, bait the water (so to speak) with little pieces of information here and there and see where she goes with it. I would definitely start now. I was 7 when I started developing breasts and I had my period at 10. If my mother hadn't started talking to me when I was that young about my changing body I would have freaked out. Good luck! :)

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