Now that girls are reaching puberty earlier, moms (and dads) realize that they have to have “The Talk” about periods and puberty with their daughters before they reach middle school. So how do you talk to your daughter without intimidating her with the information? And how do you tell her without becoming a nervous wreck?
Here are some tips should make having The Talk a little less stressful:
- Don’t reinvent the wheel: Do you have friends with teenage or college age daughters? Ask them how they had The Talk with their daughters! I’m sure your friends can give you some valuable insight and strategies.
- Enlist an ally or two: If you’re nervous about talking to your daughter about puberty and body changes, ask her favorite “cool aunt,” godmother or older female cousin to help out. Maybe they can join you in the discussion or be the designated go-to person if your daughter feels awkward coming to you with questions. Some girls feel more comfortable chatting about personal matters with dad, so don’t be afraid to ask him to help out, too!
- Go to the experts: There are many wonderful books out there that explain puberty, body changes and periods. Our family’s favorite is What’s Happening to Me? (There’s a boy’s version, which my son enjoys, too.) Other good ones friends have mentioned are The Care and Keeping of You and My Body, My Self for Girls. These are books that you and your daughter can look at together, or she can read them on her own.
- Get the facts online: Hello Period from U of Kotex is a terrific website for your daughter to explore on her own to get advice from other girls about periods and products.
- Start slowly and make it part of your normal day: If you’re at the grocery or drugstore, maybe it’s a good time to discuss body odor or hairy legs when you wander down the personal care product aisle together. Ask your daughter if she’d like to pick out a stick of deodorant or some body wash to keep in her bathroom. Or show her the brand of leg shavers you like to use. Make purchasing hygiene products as normal as picking up milk or toothpaste.
Kotex Tween also has some great tips on how to have The Talk with your daughter:
- First, pick the day you’ll have the conversation.
- Second, start the conversation right. Kotex Tween suggests making time for just the two of you to talk by having at home spa day. If your daughter’s more outgoing, take her out for a meal either alone or with female relatives. It’s all about creating a safe space to talk about growing into a young woman and what that means.
- Third, be prepared for the questions she may ask. Kotex Tween has an extensive Q&A section here on periods and gives you answers to fit your daughter’s maturity level.
- Finally, take her shopping for the right products. U by Kotex Tween products feature the same absorbent protection as U by Kotex products, but are smaller than Kotex’s regular pads. They also come in vibrant new colors and patterns that tweens and teens really like. After shopping, find a special place in her bathroom to store her products in. If she shares a bathroom with younger siblings, she may want to keep her pads and other personal care products in her room.
Have you had The Talk with your daughter yet? How did you handle it?
Disclosure: 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.
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