Usually schools will talk about this in health, or with a visit from the nurse in your child’s classroom, somewhere around 4th grade. Generally, this is where girls get their first contact with the word “menstruation”. They will have questions, although they may be hesitant to ask them. Do your best to bring these questions out and answer them truthfully. If they ask ‘How much blood?’ tell them. This is not the time to shuffle by with phrases like, ‘Oh, not that much, honey.’ The truth is that there is more blood then if you cut yourself. Saying this may scare them a bit, but think of how scared they would be if you didn’t tell them. If you stutter, it’s ok. There is no script!
I also suggest a preparation gift from you. I know the schools give them pamphlets, and samples of stuff, but a gift from you will mean 100% more to them. I actually put together two gifts, one for preparing and one for Woman’s Day; I have a link to what I give them below.
Prepare Yourself Too!!!
Ok, sit down, take a deep breath, and count back from 10. Your daughter is no longer a child, she is growing up, this was unavoidable since the day the doctor smacked her and said, and “It’s a Girl!” Just think of all the good things that can come out of this, you can start borrowing her clothes soon, LOL, ok, maybe not!
In all seriousness, there is nothing that will make you feel your age more than a growing child. Having a daughter who is starting their menstrual cycle is a huge blow. Take some time to sort out your feelings. Have a good cry, and pamper yourself too.
When the Big Day arrives and your daughter walks up to you and says, “Mom, I got my period.” Give her a hug, tell her you love her, and ask her if she is feeling ok, i.e. does she want Tylenol? Sometimes we get so caught up in the fact that this is the first time, happy that she is growing up, sad that she is no longer a child, we just plain forget that she might not be feeling very well.
Now is the time for the Woman’s Day gift. This gift has two parts; one comes in a box, the other from you. I have an example for what I give in the box in a link below. The second part is your time. Let her choose what she wants to do, but make some time for her, only her, ASAP.
The preparation gift:
I use a decorative box, usually made of plastic, that has a lid. The reason I don’t use a basket is because it is open. These are private things for your daughter, and you don’t want them to get embarrassed if they have these things open in their room and their siblings happen to see them.
A calendar – this is so she can plot when her periods begin and when they end. I explain how important it is to use the prevention method for medical problems to my girls. It is important that they realize the medical side of their monthly cycle. Get them used to knowing all about this, and writing these things down now.
A pen – one of those really elegant ones you find at the Hallmark store. This is for writing in their calendar.
Stickers – for their calendar. Use hearts, or stars for the day their period starts in a month, and a happy face for the day it ends.
A book – all about the ins and outs of menustration. Let’s face it, you can talk to them until you are blue in the face, and you will still forget something. Give them a book to read and reference when they need to.
A box of pads – I do not give them tampons. I am of the opinion that tampons should wait until they are comfortable with the fact that they are menstruating.