Tips on how to talk to your daughter about menstruation


how to talk to your daughter about menstruation

It is best to start sharing information with your daughter BEFORE she has her first period. Hence, the conversation regarding body changes and menstruation should begin early, perhaps when your
daughter is about 8 years of age. Girls who are approaching menarche are often curious about what to expect. Likely, they have heard other girls at school discussing the subject. They have questions, but many have difficulty formulating exactly how to ask about it. They may be embarrassed about the subject. 

The following tips might help parents get through to their daughter.


1.Focus on the early stages of menstrual education.

It is best to focus on the more immediate and practical aspects of how to deal with menstruation. In addition, you may need to answer such question as: How will it feel? Or What should I expect? Later, you may wish to discuss in detail the biology of menstruation. You can get educational materials from the library or bookstore. Some girls may read this material themselves, while others may feel comfortable if you read with them.


2. Pick a location.

Pick a private quiet place to start the conservation. Begin with a simple discussion about growing up and maturing. Perhaps you could say: “Someday soon you are going to experience something very normal that happens to all girls. Do you know what it is?” Or a mother might start with a personal comment, such as: “When I was your age, I started to wonder about what it was like to have a period. My friends and I talked about it in school. Have your friends started talking about it yet?”


3. Find out what she already knows.

Clear up misconceptions and any misunderstandings. Make sure you and she have accurate information.


4. Share your experience.

By reflecting upon and sharing your own experience of menarche, you can provide much-needed support for your daughter.  Endeavor to provide a balanced view of the positive and negative aspects of menstruation. Be open to questions.


5. Offer practical information.

Common questions young girls ask include: “What do I do if I get my period at school?” “What menstrual product should I use?” “How do I use them?”


6. Present factual material simply.

Adapt material to your daughter’s age and ability to grasp it. As young girls grow older, they are more able to understand additional details.


7. Promote continuous learning.

Begin talks with your daughter before she reaches menarche, and continue such talks as necessary, even after she begins menstruating. You do not need to cover all the details in one sitting. Too much information all at once can be overwhelming for a young girl. Children learn in stages. Also repetition of information on different occasions may be necessary. Hence, continue to share information with her as she grows up, focusing on what is meaningful and appropriate for your daughter’s age and ability to understand.


8. Take the initiative.

But what if she appears not to be interested in the subject? It will likely be up to you to initiate short talks about menstruation and continue them. Whether she acknowledges it at the time or not, your daughter NEEDS your help. You may feel frustrated and inadequate but do not give up. Be patient. In time, your daughter will no doubt come to appreciate just how valuable your efforts were.


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