How and when to initiate “The Talk” is a question that vexes most parents. When is too soon, when it’s too late, what information should you give her, what questions will she ask, how can you prepare for those? There’s a lot to consider. One thing is certain: Your daughter’s first period is a huge moment in her lifetime, marking her transition from childhood to womanhood. It’s normal for her to feel bewilderment, wonder, fear, and curiosity about her body.
Make It “Talks” Instead of “The Talk”
Perhaps this is something that prevails because of pop culture references, but the notion of “The Talk” puts far too much pressure on the child and the parent. One conversation isn’t going to be enough for your child to understand or take in all the information you’re about to give her. Instead, try to pepper information about their body function into everyday conversations or when the opportunity arises. This will give your daughter the chance to absorb information in small doses and ask questions at her own pace.
When to Start the Conversation
Kids start asking questions about their bodies from the moment they learn to form sentences. Most child experts advise parents to answer these questions honestly, taking into account need to know specifics and the child’s maturity level. Ideally, by the time the child is approaching puberty, they should know in detail what will happen to their body and the process of menstruation. Be sure not to wait too late! You’ll end up with a My Girl situation where your daughter runs from the bathroom screaming that she’s “hemorrhaging.” Her first period doesn’t need to be traumatic.
Period In a Positive Light
Be careful not to give your daughter a negative impression of periods. Remember that this is a process that naturally occurs in the body of every woman. If you refer to her cycle as gross or burdensome, or even if you use colloquial terms for her cycle like “The Curse” or “Mother Nature’s Revenge,” then this could translate to her as she and her bodily functions are somehow wrong.
Make Sure You’re Right
A lot of parents fail to brush up on their knowledge before talking to their children. Remember, you want to make this conversation as seamless as possible for your daughter so she can weed out the misinformation she’ll likely hear from other children and pop culture. Do a little research beforehand to ensure you’re giving her the best information.