With three girls, I would be lying if I didn’t admit I was a little nervous about heading into my children’s puberty years.
And yet, for my eldest… the clues are already there.
As with so many girls her age, her skin is changing, some days showing that classic light sheen of oil across her nose. Her moodiness can be… predictably unpredictable. She is growing like a weed – all limbs and long hair and crooked teeth in that beautiful smile (that have us heading to the orthodontist later today).
She’s a real beauty, my girl, and whether I like it or not, she is growing up.
Which means: we’re coming up on another milestone or two… and some teaching moments are at hand.
How To Handle A Potentially Uncomfortable Topic
I think that, like everything else in parenting, we each have our own styles. I tend to be pretty direct, keeping things as simple as possible based on each girl’s age, intellect, and emotional make-up.
Hindsight may prove me foolish, but I’ve decided that, on most topics, I’d rather give my kids too much info, rather than talk in generalities and leave them to imagine how to “fill in the blanks.”
I have also found that if anyone can put your child at ease, it’s YOU, their parent. No one else knows them as well, or has a bigger stake in their success as a human being than their parents do. Intrinsically, whether you believe it or not, this perspective also gives you everything you need to make them comfortable with the most uncomfortable of topics. You know your kid. You know how to talk to her. Period. If you get nervous, you’ll make her nervous. It’s that simple.
(Note: I do NOT have a medical degree of any kind! I’m just telling you my perspective. :) )
Where to Start?
I am enough of a biology geek that the chemical inter-workings of the human body fascinate me. Just like hormones regulate how we breathe, sleep, digest our food, grow, etc., they also dictate our reproductive systems’ function. I see nothing but good things coming from being completely honest and open about how your period works from a physiologic viewpoint. Remember: knowledge is power.
Of course, I’ve been inundating my children with loads of info on all things relevant and, well, NOT, from day one, so my more comprehensive approach won’t likely surprise them. They each also know that, in learning situations, I am always open – and kind of expect – questions, and that I’ll be as thorough and patient as I can while helping them understand.
What Does She Need To Know?
For me, for my parenting style, I will give my girls and overview of how hormones dictate the monthly changes in our bodies, and what that actually means in what she might experience. I also want her to be prepared, so we’ll talk about feminine protection and the differences in each.
If you are wondering where to start, or need help developing your talking points, or even just need a few reminders or want to get comfortable with all the info (again!), Kotex has some great stuff on their website (click for link):
If you’re looking to direct your daughter to an age-appropriate site about the topic, Kotex has you covered there, too:
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.