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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

Cambam2010 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:34:07

I only have a son but if my neice was to approach me on this subject I would be as straight and open with her as possible.

I think parents should use correct terms for things - call them periods don't confuse things by using alternate names such as aunt flo etc Girls will be discussing these things together and it saves embarrassment all round if they know what they are talking about and not trying to deciper a code language!

Use the correct names for body parts. If girls need to talk to other people ie drs about problems then they shouldn't feel embarrassed to say vagina so don't make it a word not to be said at home.

HollyDayzacummin Mon 19-Nov-12 15:54:54

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

Conversations in this house have been started at different times by both of us. Initially, when dd was very young, I had to tell her about periods because she saw me buying sanitary protection and, occasionally, using it. I told her how it worked, what it was for, using age appropriate language and not going into huge detail. I used correct language. I didn't go into depth as she didn't ask many questions.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? My dd is 11 and doesn't really want to grow up. I have talked to her about periods, sex, alcohol and drugs, all in an age appropriate way. I try to give her facts, tell her why I'm talking to her about things, and then I let her know she can ask me anything at any time. She doesn't generally want to talk about things, so I keep conversations short, to the point, and I try not to make her feel bad.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
I don't think she's worrying about periods, spots, boob development, or anything else. She has a slightly spotty complexion, but it doesn't bother her as such. She is interested in fashion, but only to the degree that she wants to wear 'cool' clothes which are practical and functional. She isn't one for flamboyant fashion. She's a jeans and tee-shirt girl. She worries about her school work, but not obsessively.

~ 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? DD is only 11 at the moment. I have provided her with towels, teen appropriate, and I'd like her to start with those. If she takes after me, I was 16 when I started my periods. She knows this, so she usually says she'll probably not start til later. Her aunty was 11 though...so she knows there's a chance she could start then. If she wanted to use tampons, she'd have to ask. I can't use them. I seize up taking them out, so they just aren't an option for me. I therefore wouldn't promote them. I wouldn't stop her using them, but I wouldn't encourage it either.

~ 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? Not applicable. I have talked to her about cramps though, as this is my first sign that a period is coming. It may well apply to her too.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!) We have mood swings now. They are part of a pre-teen's life. I try to choose my battles. I point out when she's being rude, but try not to make a big deal out of things. DD would doubtless say I'm not good at this. I hate kids that are rude!

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? I think all you can do with kids on any area of development or growing up is give them the facts and tell them you'll be there for them...

Tyranasaurus Mon 19-Nov-12 16:19:10

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

I think it's best to start young before it becomes a big thing

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

too you atm

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

n/a

~ 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?

It's her decision. I'd probably ge ther some different towels and tampons and let her try them and see what she likes best

~ 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?

painkillers, hot water bottles. Make sure she carries tampons/towels in case she starts periods whilst out

~ 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?

keep it open andlow key

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Mon 19-Nov-12 20:51:01

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

She's too young now, although she does know about periods as someone said upthread, from seeing me buy tampons and pads. Ideally, I'd love it if it were her who niitiated conversation, but I know it's more likely to be me.

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

At the moment she discusses anything and everything in a totally non-embarrassed way, but when she actually gets to period age, I'd imagine she may be pretty mortified by discussing it with her mum.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
If she's anything like I was, she'll have heavy periods pretty much from the start and will be mortified at the thought of leaking and it showing on her clothes.

~ 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?

Depends how old/mature she is when she starts. I'd likely suggest she starts with pads and moves to applicator tampons then a mooncup.

~ 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?

I don't really know how I'd 'suspect' she was about to start, but I reckon it'd be wise to keep a supply of age-appropriate sanitary products in from age 12 or so. We live a long way from a shop and I don't always have things in as I can tell when I'm about to start.

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

Grin and try to bear it, I guess. I definitely wouldn't give an already hormonal and moody teenager pmt medication.

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

Try not to be embarrassed. It's worse for your DD than it is for you!

Willemdefoeismine Mon 19-Nov-12 21:23:47

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

DD is only 7 but I have always been very open with her about periods. She hasn't asked too many searching questions about why girls/women have them but she does know that Mummy has them every month, that I use tampons and that I sometimes feel rather less than 100%. As she gets older I would imagine she will ask more questions (she's naturally curious) and I will just go with the flow (excuse the pun!).

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

As we are quite laid back as a family about periods and everything else about our bodies, DD is quite up front about asking questions that occur to her. Currently I don't sense any embarrassment and I hope she continues to be open and confident discussing such things.

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

I am not sure that the penny has yet really dropped that one day she will have periods. I think she equates periods with being a grown-up!

~ 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?

Well I haven't started considering these things yet as DD is still young. I had to use towels when I started mine and I would like DD to have the choice and use whatever she feels comfortable with. Certainly I would recommend tampons although I gather some younger girls find them difficult to insert initially.

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

Yikes, DD already has quite marked mood swings and we have joke about what it's going to be like when she's a tween/teen. Not looking forward to it at all!

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

Just be open and honest and although DD is not at that stage yet, I am sure that it is wise once they start to develop to ensure that DDs are prepared physically (and the pack sounds perfect to put in their school bag just in case) and emotionally. And that they know that they can talk openly about periods. But also to respect their privacy.

I think the teen starter pack sounds fantastic although with puberty starting earlier and earlier perhaps it should be more correctly termed the 'tween starter pack. I have two conversations recently with mums of eleven year olds (Year 7 at school) who have been rather vague about preparing their daughters and to whom I've flagged up the need to ensure they are prepared with a little bag of tampons, towels, spare knickers etc..... I think it's amazing how many women still bury their heads in the sand about periods even nowadays!

cherryjellow Mon 19-Nov-12 21:30:50

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

My DD is too young yet but im hoping she will bring it up. If she getsclose to when I think it might happen I will bring it up.

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

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

~ 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?

when shes at the age I will explain all the options and let her decide and try what she wants. age wont come into it, its her body and period smile

~ 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?

paracetamol, and heat thiings whatever makes her feel comfortable. I think tell her in a gentle way the signs, so she can be aware orr whats happening

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

ughhh I'm really not looking forward to this bit..... no idea!

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
My sister found tampon lying around age 9 so I had to explain, if you dont want them to know, dont leave stuff lying around. Also be honest and not embarressed, and if your awkward about it, they will probably be too smile

Wandaaa Tue 20-Nov-12 00:09:15

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
DD is 8, I have never hid tampons from her and she knows what they are for and that women have periods.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She hasn't asked any questions for ages but I think this is because she already knows about periods rather than any embarassment.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
She does not appear to be concerned about anything 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?
This hasn't been discussed, I think it would be easier for her to use towels to start with but I almost exclusively use tampons so she probaly doesn't know what a towel is, which is probably a flaw in the plan now I think about it.

~ 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?
Probably recommend Paracetamol.
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
No, but I'll be reading everyone elses advice for pointers.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Don't hide anything, it is normal and not some big secret that we should all be embarrassed about.

achillea Tue 20-Nov-12 00:39:05

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I was always open about it, but didn't make a point of having 'a conversation'. It was always part of life. Be discreet but be open and honest.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
They don't discuss it with me, they get on with it quietly but they do need advice and monitoring in the early stages - you can't just leave them to it. They will discuss the main issues but not the details (like how to put the towel in the bin, how to keep clean etc). I need to prompt those matters.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
When will the next one be? How can they feel comfortable about using tampons?

~ 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 buy the pads (new Lilets teens range) - they really don't want to be involved. I think they want as little to do with it as possible.

~ 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?
Hot water bottle makes her feel special as well as eases the pain.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
Give them space and don't rise to the bait.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Be open and honest, but discreet. Pre-empt your daughter's needs and questions, don't assume they are happy and comfortable.

*Your booklet - if you want my views on this, has far too many words. It is confusing enough for me. The language used is not very teen friendly (and many will be reading this at age 10 or 11). They need simple diagrams, with arrows and very few words. They need bullet points, quick facts. This is 2012, they are used to utube, apps and learn on screens at school. Body parts diagrams are confusing and unnecessarily clinical - this isn't a sex ed lesson, it's about how to deal with a problem with a practical solution. They need to be able to read the most important facts first, and the facts that they won't already know about (like how to use a tampon, how to wrap up the pad, how often to change them etc). Toxic shock should be mentioned cautiously and clearly as many will panic on reading it. The booklet needs to be more simple.

buize Tue 20-Nov-12 00:41:04

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

I think the best approach is a series of chats, instead of one long session and definitely before puberty so that when it happens it doesn't come as a surprise. I initially spoke to my DD about periods and puberty when she was about 7/8. She has adrenarche so was developing already. I bought a book to back up our chats and this seemed to work well for her.

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

She was a little embarrassed at first especially when we went to buy towels at the supermarket. But she is ok now with it and knows what to do if she starts her period and I'm not around.

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

Whether her friends have started and would people know she had.

~ 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?

My DD hasn't started her period yet. I have bought towels, but if she wanted to use tampons that would be ok with me.

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

We are experiencing the mood swings now. It's really difficult as DD alternates between and rude teenager and a needy pre teen! I've gone back to toddler parenting. I ignore the behaviour I don't like and praise the behaviour I want to encourage.

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

Keep the channels of communication open and try to hide your own embarrassment.

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

I do think the parent should initiate the conversation at an appropriate time. You can't be sure that they will have learnt about periods at school so its better to get in first just so that periods don't come as a nasty surprise!

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

My daughter is too young to discuss anything like this with me yet!

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

She's too young at the moment but I think her main concern when her periods do start is being comfortable and feeling "fresh". I know these were my main concerns growing up!

~ 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 think I would explain the options to her and let her decide how she wants to manage her periods. I do think it will change as she gets old and more confident about sanitary protection and her own body.

~ 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?

I've always suffered with terrible menstrual cramps and if DD suffered the same, I would offer her painkillers (nurofen most effective for me) and a hot water bottle. Then I would send her to bed to sleep! Sleep was always the best cure for me.

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

I think to a certain extent you have to be a bit understanding when it comes to hormonal mood swings - it isn't them being bratty or horrible, its hormones.

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

None at the moment, I'm yet to go through it with my DD!

jimmenycricket Tue 20-Nov-12 11:26:31

I started my periods when I was nine so have already had some discussions with my six year old about them. She understands what periods are and why they happen. I've also explained that sanitary protection is to keep you clean etc.

It's quite tricky for us. I've had to have surgery to reduce menstrual bleeding and am on drugs every month because of excessive blood loss. I don't want her to go through that, so I'm trying to be positive about what, for me, for the last thirty odd years has been a bloody awful experience. sad

hurricanewyn Tue 20-Nov-12 11:39:03

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD? DD is still young, only 8, but I've had the conversation with her as I know two of her classmates have already started. I didn't want her to caught by surprise. I started the conversation by asking her if she knew how a woman can tell if she's pregnant or if she'd ever wondered what the ads on the TV for sanitary protection were about.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? She hates it. She's quite immature and does not want to discuss or think about periods, sex or body changes.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time? The whole thing. I think she is dreading them starting.

~ 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? Obviously I can't give a full idea as she's still young & hasn't started her periods yet, but I have bought a selection of things and let her know where they are and told her just to take what she feels comfy with. I've also explained that tampons can be a bit tricky at first, so not to be put off if they don't feel right straight away.

~ 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? As above, I've know experience yet. I'll probably get her a little stash of choc, a hot water bottle and offer paracetemol.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!) None yet, thankfully grin

Elfontheshelfiswatchingyou Tue 20-Nov-12 11:40:18

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off? you or your DD?
I have always been open about periods and buying sanitary wear with my girls. I spoke to DD1 when she was 9 as she was showing signs of developing. I gort her some Lilets stuff, a nice storage abg and an Usborne body bbok to look at. She also had a talk at ther end of Y5 but I wanted to get in there first, although after the school talk she was keen to discuss it further.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? She will ask questions but look mortified and squirm if I try to intitiate the conversation, so I have given her what information I can and a book and she will come to me as and when with questions.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time? I hadn't realised that I hadn't been very clear about how long a period can last. She thought it would be about an hour so when I (reassuringly I thought) said it's only a few days out of the month she was a bit upset but seems fine now. smile

~ 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? At the moment DD is planning on using teen towels and thinks she will never use tampons. But she is only 11 and hasn't started yet, so I know from my own experience that this will probably change. I know this is for Lilets but I have found a reasonably priced brand called Halo for myself. I wish santary wear was more fairly priced. it's like a woman tax.

~ 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? Not yet, she hasn't started but I think she will soon. Hot water bottles, paracetemol, cuddles, a warm bath will hopefully help.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!) Lol. Run away, don't say anything, don't laugh or even smile. wink Seriously, remind yourself it is out of their control and get your cuddles when you can.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? Not many yet apart from being as honest and open as possible and maybe being prepared for them to prefer to talk to someone else sometimes- I have lined up DDs Godmother as her other woman to discuss things with so hope it works.

Dontbesodramatic Tue 20-Nov-12 12:07:42

I talked to my 9 year old DD about it last month. I bought a fantastic book and we talked and covered the subjects together. We laughed hysterically, squirmed together and got it out of the way and it really was much easier then I thought it would be. infact, I I was in abit of strop a few days ago and she cheekily asked me if I had my period..! /-:

Well dd is a little on the young side at 4 but I plan to build on how my mum talked to me. Although she did miss out a couple of important things. I've tried to ensure she can ask me about anything eg when I was pregnant and when ds was bf. I will bring it up if she hasn't by a certain age but just really focusing on having a good relationship. It will be her choice what she wants to use and when.

I have 4 dd's the oldest is 11 and I've started talking to her about puberty and periods. We started by giving her some age appropriate books to read. We are a very open family so when I purchase sanitary towels for my self I show her the different ones you can get, at home I put them in the bathroom and she knows where they are for when the time comes. I'm going to get her a little bag and put a couple in to keep in her school bag just incase she starts at school. I didn't start until I was nearly 16 and my mum was the same but I think we have prepared her early enough so that it won't panic her when it happens.

site is down for maintenance sad

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
Pretty comfortable i think, she seems to find it more of a practical concern

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

~ 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 gave dd the option, pointed out that she didnt have to miss swimming if she used tampons and that was the option she took from day 2.

~ 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?
Make sure they have a little kit with them. Tell them about some possible warning signs (like sudden outbreak of spots, tender boobs and how to look out for ovulation) Make sure they know abou disposal and make sure they can manage discretely.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
Pick your battles! and when irrational tears (yours or theirs!)start to flow a bit of understanding helps.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
It was something I dreaded, but actually they seem to cope with it fine if they dont get any big issues (like flooding or bad pains)

AgaKhant Tue 20-Nov-12 13:22:53

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I used the fact that DD had moved to middle school (years 5-8) as the prompt for it. I discovered the teen-pack in Boots and brought it to use as a way of introducing it to her. I started my periods quite young and was the first in my year at school. I had no idea what had happened to me or what sanitary products were and although DD is not particularly physically forward, I wanted her to be prepared for it, to understand when it happens to others if she's not first and to treat it as something that happens as you grow up, not something to giggle about (I also wanted her to learn at home rather than in the playground from the older girls)

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She's cool with it

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
She's quite young still (only 9) so isn't asking too many questions about what's worrying her

~ 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?
We're not at that stage yet, but she's not so up on the idea of inserting a tampon

~ 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?!)
I think her getting to grips with PMT and my menopause are likely to coincide - you'll be able to spot where we live wherever you are in the UK by the fireworks!!!

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Tis natural, happens to most of us of the female persuasion and nothing whatsoever to worry about discussing with your children. I wouldn't sit down for the talk, just let it evolve naturally from another discussion. Oh, and be honest and biological about it.

Without wanting to plug the lil-lets any further (scuse the pun), the teen pack they do is very good and the little booklet is helpful in explaining and the website link in the leaflet is fantastic. However, I wouldn't let girls who are too young be on there unsupervised - there are some bits, moving slightly away from periods, like virginity for instance, that may start more questions than get answered and if you're not around when they're on the website.

~What sort of approach works best?
Honesty - don't sugar coat things and pretend that periods are not going to be the bloody bane of their life for the next 40 or so years but be honest and say they can be uncomfortable to bloody down right painful but are something that we all, as women have to deal with. Can sometimes get you out of PE, swimming lessons and all kinds of things if you use the old women's problems things to your advantage - thought I would sugar coat it with an upside and considering I have baffled many a male boss over the years with 'women's problems' thought it would work wonders!

Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
Adults should upon the first signs of impending puberty - my daughter was very tall for her age and had breast buds and pubic hair but I was told by other mums that she would probably not start her periods for ages - and as I didn't until I was much older than her I thought this was probably likely - but had a sneaking suspision due to her needing a bra and moaning about the hair under her arms that it would be a sooner rather than later situation and it was. So I am glad that I approached her to talk about it before she had to deal with them herself.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
Fine - no different than discussing what we are having for dinner that night.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
My daughter was more interested i things like placentas and the biology of it all rather than the actual mechanics.

~ 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?
DD was against tampons to start with but when we were n holiday and she wanted to go swimming she relented and let me show her how to use them (funny old situation!) - she now will use one but only if she needs to, much preferring sanitary towels.

~ 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?
DD gets very emotional, often teary and shouty (wonder where she gets that from) just before her period. We have a cuddle and I let her lay iin bed and read or watch a film with me. A bar of chocolate (imperative to combat hormones we have decided) and a few paracetamol and if we are really serious a hot water bottle does the trick.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
Give in to them - let them realise that they are normal and we all have them (women - although am sure DH does too) - if you feel like crying or shouting do it - just make sure you do it at me (mummy) and not someone who won't understand or your little brother who will just think you are being your normal 'stropmonster' self. It is bad for you to hide how you feel especially when it is something you don't have a handle on and creeps up from nowhere to make a perfectly happy occasion down right miserable or make a crappy situation even worse. I think a lot of mums make life harder for their teenage daughters by not picking on the fact that their precious little princess has turned into a hormonal uber teenage cow and it is not their choosing but their hormones doing this to them.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Just be honest and relaxed - realise that your child is now turning into a woman and it is right that you should be understanding and sympathetic - we have lived with bloody menstruating for years - to them, the blood, the pain, the hassle and the tears and tantrums are all new - its going to take a lot of getting used to. Oh but dont fall for it as I have done when DD is just being a cow and is nothing to do with her periods - be nice but clued up nice IYKWIM!

ThursdayWillBeTheDay Tue 20-Nov-12 13:50:39

Rather serendipitously have just his lunchtime had The Talk as dd (9) came home from school to tell me about one of her classmates having "a problem" with blood coming out "from there"

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

I think if the girl is still young, and therefore less likely for it to happen unexpectedly to her (as with my dd) then it should be the girl....these things tend I think to come up naturally in mother-daughter conversation. The older the girl gets without having asked though, I would say it would perhaps be a good idea for the mother to bring it up.

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

grin Up to an hour ago she didn't know what one was. I explained in a matter of fact way and she is now nomming her lunch.

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

About periods? Prob when she will start?

~ 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 would advise her to start with towels for ease. When she wants to try tampons, she can.
~ 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?

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

Whilst acknowledging really bad PMT hits some people, I don't like it being a get-out-of-jail-free card for normal noxious teen (or adult) behaviour. So let's not go there....

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

Just be normal and matter of fact. And buy deodorant by the bucketload.

lubeybooby Tue 20-Nov-12 13:58:19

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

I felt it important for me to broach and explain about puberty and periods. I started puberty quite early and had heard of girls as young as nine beginning to menstruate so I told my DD all about it when she was eight years old. I was direct and factual but reassuring too that it's all normal, etc.

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

No problem at all there

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

She would like to try tampons but has trouble with insertion, even with applicator ones.

~ 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?

DD has always chosen towels, her own choice, I've never tried to influence this in any way but I did leave some mini tampons in the bathroom cabinet in case she ever wanted to try.

~ 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?

My DD does get cramps yes and I give her a stock of ibuprofen for this, which seems to work well for her.

After we had the period talk, practical things wise I made sure she knew where the towels were kept in case she needed any and let her know she could talk to me at any time if anything worried her.

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

My DD really doesn't suffer with mood swings very much! I'm a lucky mum. If she did though then I would maybe suggest a starflower oil supplement

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

Just to always be open about it from a reasonably young age and don't be embarassed

R2PeePoo Tue 20-Nov-12 14:11:09

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

I think you should respond to their natural curiosity when they are young and be as open as possible. DD (7) has seen me buying pads, seen them in a drawer and occasionally has had to bring them to me. She asked questions, I explained in the same age appropriate way that I do everything else. I want her to not be afraid to come to me and ask about this stuff. If you have got to 6 or 7 without beginning to talk about this stuff its probably a good idea to start as some girls can begin their periods at 9.

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

Comfortable at the moment.

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

She has asked when she will start already and we have talked about it depending on when her body is the right weight and size. She is much more interested in babies in tummies than blood.

~ 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'll buy a range of brands and products and let her choose what she gets on with the best.

~ 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?

This is a way off yet.

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

I am quite an emotional person myself. Quite worried about arguments etc in the future.

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

I think an open environment where your DD feels safe and confident enough to talk about these things is the best thing you can do for them.

Welovecouscous Tue 20-Nov-12 14:41:12

Reading with interest! Think the biggest point is to make it all seem very normal - not yuck or problematic.

Belo Tue 20-Nov-12 14:47:53

I bought my DD1 a book for her 10th birthday which dealt with 'growing up'. We've been reading it together.

She's always known about periods as I've never really had the chance to go to the toilet on my own. She's a very inquisitive child. When I used panty liners, she used to refer to them as my 'plasters'.

Reading the book together allowed me to broach the fact that soon she may need her own 'plasters' and they're not really referred to as 'plasters'. She is scared, but also looking forward to the changes that can't be too far away. We bought some of the sanitary towels when we were shopping together which are specially designed for girls (Lil-Let ones) and she now has them hidden in her drawer in her room in case something happens when I'm not at home. She says she doesn't want to talk to DH about it!

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