The process of taking care of our children changes from the time when they’re infants to when they’re kids, and towards the teenage years before hitting adulthood.
Many parents face challenges when dealing with kids in their teenage years, with their rebellious, raging hormones, and for girls, their first periods.
I thought back upon this chapter in my life and also talked to mum about this, as we have many fond (and funny) memories of me growing up as a kid.
How big a role do parents play?
When we are young, we tend to find information about changes to our bodies by talking to peers, or read from magazines and most recently, the internet.
However, the biggest influencer of a child’s life is his or her parent. Daughters are often found to feel shy about sharing or asking questions about puberty to anyone else, so as parents, we should give the best support we can.
How can we do that?
1. Talking about menstrual periods
The average age for a girl to undergo her first menstrual period is at about 11 to 15 years of age, so you can start planning how to start talking to your daughter about this by the time she hits this age.
You may start talking to your daughter about her upcoming first menstrual period when she is 10, as she would be undergoing puberty changes with raging hormone levels and changes mentally as well as physically.
This discussion is important for both child and parent as your daughter wouldn’t feel awkward talking to you about it, and as parents we would understand the changes our daughters are going through.
2. Picking sanitary pads together
This may sound unnecessary but it actually means a lot for your daughter. Parents should introduce the right and suitable sanitary pads for their daughters.
There are many types of sanitary pads in the markets with different brands, manufacturers, colours, and usage. Girls would be clueless the first time they hit the markets to buy their first sanitary pads without any guidance.
Mums should also teach girls how to use sanitary pads correctly, and about the cleanliness and care for sanitary pads usage. Slowly but surely, your daughter would pick up on your tips and be independent in no time.
3. Teaching how to calculate menstrual cycles
They’re actually all at the reach of our fingertips these days. With smartphones on hand, there are applications of calendars that can calculate menstrual cycles downloadable for free.
Learning to calculate menstrual cycles is important for girls to know whether they have regular periods or not. Many obstetrics and gynaecological diseases can be detected early through calculations of menstrual cycles.
Several diseases that women face starts from irregular periods since a young age, so it’s important to be able to detect any irregularities early.
With easy-to-use applications to stay organised these days unlike the traditional note-taking in the past, why not?
4. Teaching how to control emotional outbursts
A girl who is about to experience her first menstrual period will face different changes to her hormone levels. Emotions like anger, frustration, and sadness can come and go really quickly and frequently during this period, sometimes even without their own realisation.
Physical and mental changes that a girl goes through during her puberty may be daunting for her alone, so we should spend time talking and guiding them during this period., so that they don’t get too huge of a surprise when these changes come.
5. Guiding in terms of habits and diets
A first menstrual period experience can be confusing for young girls, so it is important that parents guide them on what to take note of during this period. It may sound simple and unnecessary, but it may mean a lot to your daughter.
There are foods that you should avoid during your period, like food with high sodium or caffeine. I have compiled a list of the Four Tempting Foods You Should Avoid During Your Period here, do check it out!
Besides, there are also a few habits and activities that could lead to uncomfortable periods, like period cramps or pain. See the 7 Things You Should Avoid during Your Period that I have previously covered here.
We all want the best for our children as parents. We are like candles lighting up their worlds. If you have any interesting experiences to share, come have a chat with me in the comments below!
Juliet’s Reminder: A girl’s first menstrual period is an experience that doesn’t come twice, so let’s get ourselves prepared to help your princess along the way. If you have any questions or comments, you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!