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NOW CLOSED: DDs and periods: share your thoughts, experiences with Lil-Lets – you could win a £200 John Lewis voucher

(114 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 19-Nov-12 14:21:17

Hello - we've been asked by the team at Lil-Lets to find out from mothers (and fathers) how they approach conversations about periods with their daughters - or if your DD is a bit young - how you think you'd introduce the topic with them and how you'd help her prepare and advise on what protection to use.

Here are some questions as a starting point;

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?
~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?

Lil-Lets say "We are proud to be the only sanitary brand in the UK to offer products designed specifically for teens. With their younger and smaller bodies in mind, the range of towels and liners are shorter and narrower than the adult range to provide the perfect fit. To make things even easier, we have brought all of this together in a 'Teen Starter Pack' which includes 2 lite tampons, 1 regular tampon, 2 regular applicator tampons, 1 teens liner pouch, 4 day teens towels, 2 night teens towels and 1 becoming a teens booklet for advice on puberty and using the products"

Have a look at it by clicking here - and let them know what you think

Share your thoughts, experiences and stories on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £200 John Lewis voucher - 5 runners up will also get a teen starter pack (worth £3.99).

For more information and advice on talking to your daughter about periods visit the parents section of the Lil-Lets website

Thanks
MNHQ

Meglet Sat 24-Nov-12 22:17:26

DD has only just turned 4 but we have had a few brief chats about periods. She had asked me what the machines were for in ladies toilets so I felt it was better to explain sooner than later.

My words were something like "when girls turn into teenagers their bodies get ready to have babies when they are grown up women. And the place where babies grow has to bleed a little bit every month to keep it working properly. So ladies need a little teeny-tiny nappy to catch the blood". I won't win any agony aunt awards but it seemed to be the best way of explaining it to a 4yo with her equally short attention span. I'll fine tune the facts as she gets older.

I've been meaning to explain them to her 6yo brother too but keep forgetting, this thread has reminded me I need to do it soon. (we've done how babies are made and come out, I've just overlooked periods).

I don't have periods anymore but I did keep all the sanitary towels and tampons so they can muck about with them in the bathroom.

My mum used to keep a decorative bowl of tampons in the bathroom near the toilet. I suspect it was so that my sister and I (and our friends) never needed to ask for some. My friends used to laugh about it, but it probably came in handy at some point. I remember being really embarrassed when I started my period at a sleep over.

snigger Sun 25-Nov-12 12:00:49

I actually have to say DD1 uses the Lil-lets towel range purely because it's "less like having a pillow in my knickers" (no communication issues, that one). I was happy for her to use tampons if she wanted to, but at the moment she's not into the idea so I'm not pushing it - I'm sure when swimming coincides with her cycle she'll change her mind!

Regarding approach, our family is pretty matter of fact about the realities - what's the point of pretending this doesn't happen to everyone? With DD1, I began the conversation, and bought her the 'What's happening to me?' Osborne book (thanks, MN wisdom for suggesting) and she was happy to come to me with questions.

I think you have to be careful to acknowledge natural embarrassment and reluctance and not just charge ahead regardless, but the best advice I could give her was that this is normal, and if you shrink back in mortification it's going to happen anyway, so best to be straightforward and open about it and get the advice you need.

DD gets cramps which are dealt with by calpol fastmelts (can't quite get my head around the fact that my PFB is now old enough to take actual tablets) but our main issue has been my slowness to acknowledge that she's subject to mood swings outwith the normal range - the first couple of times I was caught out and it caused major rows, then I realised the rows were sychronising with her cycle and the lightbulb moment happened - a hug and an 'I love you, let's talk about this later' helped diffuse things. That's the biggest tip I would share - from the moment of their first period, hold your tongue through any unusually severe mood swings because you'll feel like the worst mum in the world if you give the dressing down of a lifetime, only to be offering hot water bottles and paracetamol twelve hours later.

SunshinePanda Sun 25-Nov-12 14:43:44

My teenage DD and I are writing this together. We have had a series of chats often when we are out walking (out the way of DH and DS). Found tampons tricky to start but persevered for the sake of swimming. She says the the thing that helps the most is being able to talk about it with me and I find she often needs a bit of TLC.

buggyRunner Sun 25-Nov-12 15:25:09

How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?

No problem- shes only 3 and has been coming to the toilet with me all her life (as privacy is not an option in this house with 2 under 4. She knows it happens because I'm a older girl and it means there is no baby in my tummy- we have had the baisc facts of life chat.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?

None

~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?
n/a
~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?`
n/a
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)

n/a
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Well I was 11 when I started and I was mortified- so I vowed to make it fact of life and normal for my dd's

HuwEdwards Sun 25-Nov-12 18:31:42

DD started when she was 10, she's 12 now. I knew it was coming, she was already tall and quite developed.

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I started it when she was very young; I think she's always known about them.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
Quite free and easy, especially now she's started, although she's only told one of her friends.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
She's pretty fine with it - although she can't use tampons, not even those provided with the Lil-Lets starter pack, but other than that, she's really taken it in her stride.

~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?
I bought the Lil-lets starter pack and since then she's always used the Lil-Lets teen packs - she likes that they are for teens and not what her mum uses.

~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?
She has a hot water bottle and nurofen for the first day or 2, then it's fine.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
How can anyone distinguish a menstrual mood swing from any other?!! Thankfully, DD become very affectionate just before her period.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?

IMO, it's never too early to introduce them to the notion of periods - I don't think it's a great idea to have the 'period talk', it should just 'be' there in the background to be discussed if needed.

DD started about 2 years after initial breast development and was as regular as clockwork from the start.

DD wasn't certain she'd started as her 1st period wasn't the scarlet coloured blood she would've recognised.

Always keep some towels/tampons to hand and if you think it may be imminent, get her to secrete one or 2 about her person in school

Have a method of disposal of towels/tampons worked out and agreed.

Remember to reinforce the personal hygiene message, wrt daily showers.

HuwEdwards Sun 25-Nov-12 18:34:48

Oh yes, last tip; especially if wearing pads, wear 2 pairs of pants in case of a leak.

DD1 is 8.5 so we are on the cusp of starting all this! She is well aware of periods due to seeing me use tampons & pads, and we have had several open conversations from about the age of 4 onwards, with more technical questions & answers each time!

She knows that it's going to happen to her but I think it's still a bit theoretical yet, she hasn't started getting breast buds/pubic hair etc yet, so doesn't really appreciate the changes.

I am also a straight talker, so will be using proper terms & not mealy mouthing.

Haven't seen the starter pack yet but it sounds like a good way to introduce a range of products!

elizaco Mon 26-Nov-12 09:28:51

Rather than having a specific "talk", I found it easier to drop bits of info into conversations, and answer questions as they arose. My daughter is quiet, and gets embarrassed easily, so she does find it all abit uncomfortable!
My daughter is 11, and hasn't started her periods yet, but we'll start with pads and move onto tampons if and when she feels ready. The mood swings do seem to have started though, and to be honest can be quite stressful and upsetting. But making sure both myself and my daughter realise they are normal (although sometimes some of her rants AREN'T acceptable!!) does help.

I would approach DD sooner rather than later. I started my periods aged 9 so she may be similar to me. Casual chats are probably best, when it;s just the two of us and give heer the chance to ask lots of questions.

I think she'll be concerned about it mostly once other friends have started or it's talked about at school.

I'd be happy for her to use either towels or tampons, whatever she found better.

I think that mood swings are very tricky. Lots od reassurnace, but also poor behaviour needs to be dealt with too. Chocolate on hand!

fallingandlaughing Wed 28-Nov-12 16:24:04

DD is a toddler, so not quite in period territory yet.

I hope that I will take a matter of fact approach e.g. by explaining what tampons are for when buying them. I remember getting the lilets pack at school - I already knew about periods as my Mum was relaxed about the subject, but I enjoyed getting the pack anyway - made me feel grown up grin

PostBellumBugsy Wed 28-Nov-12 16:36:05

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?

In our house we had a conversation in the run up to the school talk from a nurse about periods & puberty.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?

She knows that she can ask me anything.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?

I think she is fascinated by the changes that take place. A little nervous, a little grossed out but mostly quite accepting of it all.

~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?

I'm going to let her choose. She can have a look online or in the shops and I'll buy her whatever she wants. If she'd rather buy it herself then I'll make sure she has the money so she can do that.

~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?

If she suffers from cramps, I'll be offering her painkillers and a hot water bottle if she wants it.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)

Yes teens can be moody, but that is no excuse for bad behaviour. I've already got one teen & I'm understanding of it being an awkward time, but actually they have to learn to manage their emotions & feelings.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?

Keep the dialogue open & don't forget to have the sex talk too!

Just wanted to add that I found a little sanitary pad holder on Amazon, ideal to carry three pads discreetly in her school bag.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Nov-12 18:47:22

Hello - thanks for all the comments.

Am pleased to say MissChristmastRee has been selected as the winner of the £200 JL voucher - well done!
BetsyBlingtastic, HappyTurquoise, R2PeePoo, achillea and needtogetalife all win a Lil-lets starter pack.

Will pm you all now.

Also - if you (or your DD have any questions about periods etc please do post on the sponsored Q&A here

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