***Warning: content not for everyone.***
No discussion of rainbows and bunnies today, folks!
Over on the Q&A Catie wrote:
I have enjoyed your parenting posts so. You are an amazing mother. You need to write a book!
I have teenage sons, but (thankfully) all the puberty and sex talk has been hub's job. Our eldest daughter is thirteen. She got the talk at school two years ago, and we haven't discussed it very much. I know she will get her very first period soon, and I want her to be prepared and be comfortable approaching me with any questions. I know it's my job as her mother to make it less 'awkward' for her. I know she isn't comfortable discussing that stuff with me right now, and I want that to change.
So Nancy, what are your "girl talk" tips for me?
And then Patty added this.
Great question, Catie! Nancy I came over to Q&A to request a certain recipe, but I think Catie's question is much more important than what I came for.
I'm in the same boat as Catie. My daughter is thirteen and her first period is on the way, probably sometime this year. Should I (the mother) be the one initiating those conversations, or do I wait for her to approach me?
You cannot imagine how much an answer would mean to me and many other mothers out there that read your blog. Please? Pretty Please? With a cherry on top? Make it a whole jar of maraschino cherries
This is going to be the first of 2 posts on "the talk." Ultimately, we're going to be talking about 2 different talks. In reality they go hand in hand and are both a series of talks that we should be having with our growing children.
First off, I don't make the period talk it a big deal. Initially it is a big deal to my daughter, but I don't bring it up like it is. After all it's already a huge deal to your daughter at school when the boys and girls are separated into different classrooms. The pink elephant in the classroom. You daughter certainly doesn't want to be another big deal. I might suggest that the big talk coincides with the school talk and that you start with what she remembers about it. Fill in the words and give her prompts if necessary. The main objective is two fold, 1 to get her information and 2 to facilitate a discussion with you on an awkward topic.
I think a book is a great idea too, one that you can give her to look at on her own. The industry comes out with new ones so fast that I can't suggest one. (Can reader comment with their favorites? Maybe even include an Amazon link?)
I thing I also suggest having "the talk" when you're driving her somewhere in the car with your daughter. It helps put your daughter at ease to know you aren't staring at her while talking about her period. And she also has the added benefit of knowing the awkward-for-her conversation will be over when you reach your destination. it can't last forever. You have the benefit of a captive audience who can't flee the scene at the mention of words like tampon and vagina.
Get vocabulary words like tampon and vagina in your and her vocabulary.
Do tell your daughter what to do when accidents happen and how to get more supplies. Does your family have a grocery list? Is she going to be comfortable writing these supplies on it?
And no matter how you take care of you time of the month, give your daughter options.
After you have the talk, go shopping together. Peruse that isle at the drug store and see what's there. The feminine hygiene isle shouldn't be a scary or unfamiliar place. Create an emergency pack for her to carry in her backpack and go through it's contents.
And when Aunt Flo does start making her appearance, I'm not altogether opposed to celebrating. I don't think we need to go all "first moon party" about it, but really, an ice cream cone outing just with mom and daughter and maybe any older daughter(s) too isn't necessarily a bad idea in my book. It's a whole new season of life after all and another opportunity to facilitate discussion.
Follow up in next few months with a few conversions about how it's going. Accidents? How's it going at school? What's being talked about at school? Which supplies work best for her? What's not working?
In the end, the period talk is just another discussion in a long series of hard talk that we need to have with our growing kiddos. And the more we facilitate conversation the better... because even harder talks are coming... soon.
As women, most of us no longer have quilting bees and bridge parties to gather together an talk about such thing. That leaves many of us with the internet. I'm sure y'all have some fabulous suggestions too. It takes a village folks, so woman to woman let's put our suggestions for "the period talk" down here in the comments, along with book suggestions that I mentioned above.)
Stay tuned for part II of the talk next week.
Where it gets even harder!