How do you talk to your daughter about menstruation?

You don't want to overwhelm her with scientific information or topics she's not ready for you, but you do want your daughter to be ready to take care of her body as it changes. How do you tell her about menstruation? What do you say?

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29  Answers

23 16

American Girl has a wonderful book called "The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls", It covers menstruation and all the changes her body is going through, ect. I bought it for my girls and it has been a blessing. Read it with her and answer any questions she has as you go along.

20 47

i also brought that book for my daughter. we read it together and she understands. i like the way the book explains everything.

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12 27

With my daughter, I was able to sit down and talk heart-to-heart with her when she was 9 or 10 years old. I wanted to prepare her and inform her PRIOR to when schools talk about "sex education" which is around 4th grade. I did not overwhelm her with scientific lingo. However, I used the correct terminologies as well as explained to her the many "slang" terms for 'menstruation." I also SHOWED her how to use a tampon and sanitary pads as well as explained to her, the symptoms and hormonal changes going through our bodies as we go through the menstruation process. Fortunately, she was receptive and inquisitive about the menstruation process. But if your daughter is squemish or unreceptive about the nature of this "talk" then it is best to wait another day or until you feel your daughter is mature enough and is ready to talk to you about this.

It is important for me to be always frank and honest with her regarding this. I am frank and factual without showing or labeling judgement on this process. It is a natural and important process and it should be explained as that. As a result, she would always refer to me whenever she had a question or concern about the changes or symptoms that her body is going through during menstruation as opposed to shying away (my daughter has told me that many of her friends cannot talk to their mothers for fear of being chastised.)

From mother to daughter, female to female, I wanted to share this bond with her instead of leaving it up to the schools to tell her. It is important to keep this bond with her regarding touchy subjects such as these (sex education, menstruation, dating, etc.) I would rather that my daughter received the CORRECT information from me than to receive it from erroneous sources (such as misinformed friends or acquiantances.) By keeping this mother and daughter bond intact, I am instilling an trusting, open, unawkward and comfortable environment for my daughter to come to me and communicate her personal problems without making her fearful or feeling chastised.

The bottomline is: keep it honest, frank and natural without chastising or being judgemental. Doing so will help establish and maintain that mother and daughter trust and bond. Your daughter will be happier for this.

8 21

Why would anyone chastise their daughter for asking about this? I don't understand.

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236 440

My daughters are 12 and 6, and my oldest has already started. My mom, a teacher, taught me to teach my kids about their reproductive selves before they were old enough to be squeamish or embarrassed (this includes my son). She started answering my questions when I was 4, and just fed me a little bit of information at a time. She made sure I knew what to do about 2-3 years before I started.

I did/am doing pretty much the same thing with my girls, and even with my son, who is 15 now (pretty much done there). I started talking to them about all this kind of thing when they were around 3-4 years old, and curious but not in a bad way. I did buy the American Girls Care and Keeping of You book, which my older girl carried around with her everywhere when she was around 8 or 9 years old. I bought it for her; she left it behind at a restaurant; it was turned in and we picked it up; she lost it again and it wasn't turned in; she saved her money and bought another one! It's that good. It's "just the facts", so if you need to talk about modesty and how boys view girls, you'll still need to cover that. But it does have illustrations of how to insert a tampon!

When my daughter did start last year, she knew all about what to do. We're still working on getting her to tell me she needs supplies *before* she needs them, but still. We've had no hygeine problems of any kind: she showers regularly, uses deodorant regularly, and even has a nice, light hand with makeup, and I think a great deal of that is thanks to this book.

24 144

Dont wait until the last minute to explain things. There should be an open dialogue from the time they are old enough to ask questions. My daughter is 5 and asked about periods, so I explained them in terms she can understand at 5, as she gets older I will explain in more correct terms and not in child language

2 30

Hi There, my daughter is very shy and embarrassed when I talk to her about her period. There are some good books out there but I decided to have have a play on you tube just to see if there was anything useful. I found a lot of useful talks etc that were extremely helpful for my daughter and she found them a lot more helpful and preferred to watch young girls talking about it and explaining everything. Do have a look yourself and bookmark the links for her to look at in private and at her own pace, my daughter found it less overwhelming. Good Luck :).

28 57

Only you know how much is too much for your child. I prepared my daughter at 7 when she caught me in the bathroom changing my pad, she asked me why I was putting a diaper between my legs. After laughing out loud I corrected her and asked her to wait on my bed for me. I told her the truth every woman goes through it starting between 10-12. I told her all that at 7, I thought she could handle. She had questions but again I kept it simple. Then in 6th grade they watched the video. Which I quickly gave her permission to watch telling her just to write down get questions and bring them home to me. We sat down that night and had a long talk. Then next time I went to the store because she was close to the age I was when I started I bought her some pads and showed her how to use them. I even bought her a little cosmetic bag to put in her backpack. Then when she did start she was prepared.

28 57

Tell her the story of your 1st period. My daughter & I laughed about mine. Best thing you can do is be honest. Teach her slang terms, as well as the technical ones. Encourage her to come to you with all her questions. Always answer her questions. Also remember to tell her that it may not always be red, it might be brown the 1st time. Helping her be prepared, & being there for her will make it all the more easier for her to handle.

11 7

We got her the American Girl book, our school did a good program in 5th Grade... I'd ask her questions each day when she got home, for which the answer was always "MOOOOOOOmmm!" When she got her 1st period, she was fine and calm... she started later than most of her friends, and I am sure they had filled her in on what to expect. I was in WalMart and she and Daddy were in the car. I got a text saying, "Mom, my period started... get me some pads... and LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS WHEN WE GET HOME, NOT IN THE CAR!!!" Next day I gave her a dozen red roses!

0 6

The book American Girl, The Care and Keeping of You. It is excellent!! You can get it on Amazon.

1 20

Be comfortable, calm and relaxed!!!! If you aren't comfortable she will be uncomfortable and most likely both of you will walk away with an "unfinished" and for her confused feeling... practice in the mirror if you have to and bring props, pads pantyliners etc. allow/encourage her to touch and feel use correct terminology and advise her of the "slang". Books help but I prefer sharing real experiences some times the books can be too clinical. You know what she is to expect because you have already gone thru it. Be prepared to answer all questions and be completely honest. How you handle this talk will most likely shape your future talks with your daughter and you want her to feel that she can come to you about everything and anything.

10 4

Don't do what my mother did! She gave me some pamphlets...never said a word about it. I was brought up to think sex and everything related to it was dirty and forbidden. My parents were very strict and never let me go anywhere. My mother has issues from her childhood that cause her to think the root of everything is sex. I knew very young that I was going to break the chain and not raise my children the same way. I have always been very open with my children about their bodies and sex. If you let them learn from other kids, they are very misinformed! We even discuss these things around the dinner table. And never forget to teach them about protecting themselves from unwanted pregnancies and STD's. Good luck!

3 39

I book my little sister the american girl books on differnet topics but the one that was most helpful was all about you and it went into detail about their bodies.

6 5

I was very open and honest. Let her know everything that is going to happen. I told my daughter what she was going to feel, about hormones, what to look for, etc. I am so glad we had that talk because I was put in the hospital for a week in 09. I received a text from her saying she had started. I asked was she ok or did she need one of my good friends. She said she was fine. We had already bought pads and she was good to go. Good luck.

21 20

I've just always been open about it being something that would happen to them someday. I didn't hide my own pads, and let any questions from her seeing them come. Both of my girls just have sort of always known what was to come at some point, I've always been open to explaining about the hormonal changes that accompany it beforehand, how their bodies change in preparation for it's arrival, and what they may feel like emotionally with it. There was never a "big moment" when I decided to explain it because there was just always an open conversation when something would come up. My oldest was lucky enough to not start until the day after her 14th bday, but my youngest wasn't so fortunate and started just 10 days after her 11th bday, poor thing.

6 0

First, as far as age. Girls should know about menstruation well before their first period. It would be very scary to start having a period and not know what it was. Boys should be told about it before girls that they are friends with have periods. Of course, boys don't need as many details as girls, but do need to know that it is private information and girls will not want to discuss it. If the boys have older sisters they should know before their sister has a period.

Also, they don't need to know about sex to know about periods. They may learn when they learn about the birds and bees, but they may need to know before. Most little kids know that babies come from their mommy's tummies, they can learn that nature makes sure that the lining of the womb is always new.

30 0

Give her a dildo for her birthday or for christmas from santa. Don't have her open it in front of everyone. You will be the coolest mom ever.

7 0

I grew up with 2 older brothers and 1 older sister and i kinda picked it up from my sister and her friends and when i was in Elementry school we learned about it because it was going to happen in most likely 6,7 or 8 grade..............i was disgusted since i was in 4th grade and the showed a naked girl so yeah just don't sugar code it and just tell her being a girl sucks and i think 9 or 10 is a good age but maybe 7 because girls have been having it earlier and earlier but tell her not to tell anyone and if she has questions go to u:)

216 0

I have three boys (thankfully!) so I don't have to worry about that.
I got my period when I was 10 though and my mother hadn't talked to me about it but luckily the week before I started, we learned about sex ed in school.

21 0

I think the only hard and fast rule is, "before they're old enough to menstruate." Don't let them find out the hard way and humiliate themselves seeking medical attention.

0 11

Well I always had problems with my periods because of endometriosis and cysts on my ovaries so I knew the importance of getting my daughter set out with the facts and what she would feel when it came. I had the talk when she was 9 I'm glad I did as a year later she started not regular at 1st but by the middle of year 6 they were regular. Unfourtunatly she has had 2 episodes of ruptured ovarian cysts and is now on the pill to control them! She is more embarressed about being on the pill than the periods them selves!! We all talk about her periods including her step dad so we are very open about how it feels and what's going on. Its quite nice because of the relationship we have she has helped several girls in her year when they started their periods.

0 5

I also bought the American Girl book. Someone asked where to buy it. I purchased it through Amazon. I bought my daughter the whole box collection which also talks about taking care of your skin, emotions, friendships, etc. It comes with a guided journal too. We read the books together and discussed them. Then she had the class this year in school so she was prepared. Her body is slowly starting to change and she has been ready for most of the steps as they have come a long. She is at least comfortable enough to ask me questions about shaving and bras which has been nice. I think the book was a great help. She has the set on her book shelf to refer to as needed. I did notice she has used the journal.

0 7

Hi all mom's there. Is that book available here in United Arab Emirates too? Coz. I have a 10y/o girl and I want her to be prepare.:-) many thank's .

2 3

I purchaed the book It's Perferctly Normal for my kids. Even though it was embarrasing for them to view in my presence, I allowed them to view on their terms and then if they had questions we could discuss them. About a year later when my daughter started her cycle a few months before turning 13 she seemed comfortable. At that time we had a discussion of all the products and how to use and properly dispose of them as well as hygeine. I tend to buy her products when I purchase my own so that she never runs out. As far as sex is concerned I have used the Sixteen and Pregnant show as a discussion starter even though this show may not be the best option it allows us to discuss the options that each young couple has, and the many many obstacles that they will encounter with being a teenage parent. Now that she's in middle school she's heard many horror stories regarding very young girls having to deal with pregnancy, STDs and even a bad reputation. I'm happy she feel comfortable talking to me abouth these issues, I try my best to be truthful about how things may turn out and what dangers lie ahead without trying to be too negative and scary. Good Luck!!

12 16

Well when my daughter got to be around that age we took a mommy daughter weeken. It was a special time between us and we could talk openly and honestly without interuptions and she was not embarassed to talk to me. This was also the time to talk about other things that go with being a young woman. There was shopping we did, eating otu it was a good time. I have a 10y/o and now that my older daughter is 22y/o She wants to be part of her sister's transition, and wants to do the mommy daughter w/e with me and her little sister. good luck.

109 15

just sit her down when she is old enough and explain that when she is at an age she will go through something called puberty which means your body will change and you'll have what's called menstrual cycle in which you bleed from what my daughter calls her nicky i think thats the only way my daughter is coming up to 6 she is asking about babies i have just told her that daddy has got fish in his belly when they go in to mammy's tummy it makes a baby she has seen people pregnant ive also shown her my c-section scar and told her she come out of there and they also come out a mammy's nicky.

63 20

My girls are only 5 and almost 4, so hopefully I have a few years before I have to worry about them starting, but they know all about it already. We have an open door policy (although we do have two older boys, 10 and 7, and they like to have privacy so we respect that) and the girls have seen me changing my pads or tampons. When they first noticed they were younger and just thought I had an owie, I let them go with that as I didn't want to go into things they wouldn't understand, but I did explain that when they got older they would bleed there as well, and that it wasn't painful. Just this past couple of months though they have started to notice mommy gets owies a lot down there, so I finally realized I needed to let them know it wasn't an owie per say. I just explained that girls have lots of eggs in their bodies that can turn into babies and if they don't become babies, our bodies bleed them out to prepare for the next egg that may turn into a baby. Since we haven't had the sex talk with the girls, I didn't go into any details of how the egg turns into a baby. They know when the time comes, they will grow hair on their privates (just like mommy and daddy have), they will get breasts, the time will come to shave like mommy does, and one day they will bleed from their vagina. The only thing they don't quite understand, is how mommies and daddies have different ways of taking care of their bodies. They know the differences in the male and female bodies, but the other day I was shaving, and they asked me why. I told them to look nice for daddy since I care about him, they then proceeded to tell me daddy must not care about me very much since he is hairy like a So they do still have lots to learn, but I am hoping by talking to them now, and showing them that this is all normal and natural, they will be comfortable when they start to hit puberty and go through all the changes they will encounter. And hopefully will continue to talk to me about it all.

0 36

I just sat my daughter down and chatted honestly with her. we are very close and the chat led us to other topics witch I was pleased about. xxx

3 20

Whatever words you choose, you need to be matter of fact, honest, and not behave like you are embarrassed. This is the 'opening round' in a number of very personal chats with your daughter, and where you get to set the tone for all the future conversations. Letting some of it spill over into another area of life (e.g. a couple of observations while unpacking the dishwasher) helps with the concept of in depth conversations being allowed to take place anytime, rather than only when you get to sit down together. Having open stressless conversations about menstruation lead to open stressless conversations about all the other reproductive conversations to come.

40 92

Don't forget after it starts... CELEBRATE. Mark the event proudly as you would a birthday or graduation!

There are some fabulous ideas here:

15 18

My daughter is 10 and will be 11 in January. We haven't started yet but she is well aware of all the things that will happen. Her older sister will be 13 in December and still hasn't started. I started at the end of my 7th grade year. I just was honest and totally up front with her. If your open with your kids then for the most part they will be open with you and know there isn't a stupid question.

3 22

I'm still waiting for my 12 yr old daughter to tell me she's started hers. I was 10 when I started & had expected her to be the same way, but i'm still waiting. She knows what to expect now that the school has explained everything to the girls in a phys ed class with the school nurse. She's developing well but still no sign of that yet. I have shown her how to use the pads & even had her show me how it goes in her panties (she got it right on the first try!) I have a package of them in the bathroom cabinet & she knows where they are for when she does start. I've been thinking of making her an appointment with my gynocologist & have HER talk to my daughter but I dont want to scare her. The advice that all of you ladies have posted will help me as well. Thanks!

28 57

Don't worry I have heard of girls starting as late as 18. She will start when the time is right for her. You have done your part, keeping her educated & making sure het questions are answered honestly will help both her & you. My daughter & I discussed many of the slang terms used for when one has their period. Like "I have my monthly visitor." & some others. Make sure she knows that it may not be bright red at first it might be brownish in color or even a slight pink color. But most important make sure she knows no matter what you have gone through it, & will be there if she has any questions.

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