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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

HappyTurquoise Wed 21-Nov-12 00:15:05

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
Either can, but if my child starts off the conversation, I try to make sure I don't take over and launch into overdrive. It needs to suit each child and parent. I have found that I need 'props' to broach the subject, as my mum didn't ever discuss periods with me. So if one of my dds asked about my tampons or towels/panty liners when they were little, I'd tell them what they are for, in an age appropriate way, little by little.
Then, when they were about 9 or 10 I buy them their own bag of items ready for when their periods start. Both my periods, and DD1's started just before our 13th birthday, so from age 11/12, I'd lend them a small bag of things to take away on school trips and sleepovers, in case they started when away from home, and also a small carry case for their school bag.

When their periods do start, and they tell me, I go into a bit of a social history lesson with added biology! To start with I recommended DD1 used just towels, I explained what the hymen is and how it thickens with age, and is a bit sore when it is first broken (I was surprised this hadn't been talked about in sex ed at school). I explained the cultural differences about the use of tampons for some girls. I told her when I started using tampons, etc and said it was her choice whether (and when) to use tampons. I've bought both applicator and non-applicator type tampons for my girls to try.

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

DD1 is fine about it. It's a bit awkward, but she's brought the subject up when she's needed to. She hadn't wanted to use tampons at first and has only recently started to use them (I am amazed I even know this much!) I've been looking around for packs of varied sizes of tampons, so will try to get hold of the Teen Starter Pack for her, it seems ideal.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
One thing is the fear of it showing through her clothes. I've bought her black knickers, black jeans and always get the ultra towels with wings as well.
Another is period pain, which she seems to find eases with exercise, so she likes to keep sporty.
A third concern is mood swings/PMT. This has improved remarkably since dd1 got a boyfriend. It's amazing how hard she will try to be nice for his sake! grin
DD2's period's haven't started yet, but she doesn't seem to be concerned or worried.

~ 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?

Yes, as above. I bought a range of brands of different sizes for her to try out. I explain how they need to use the right size of protection to suit the flow/day for comfort and to be both economical and prevent leaks.

~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this?

Initially, in the first year or so, I'd suggest she needed to get a bit more exercise, as I find I don't get as much period pain when I've been active. She can get herself some pain relief from the medicine basket, and she tells me what she's had and whether it's had an affect. I think we've both realised that ibuprofen is good. In the evenings, ask her if I can get her a hot water bottle, might let her have a few squares of chocolate, or make her a hot chocolate or hot squash drink.

Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?

I just let my DDs know that I have a bag of things saved ready for when they need them. They can ask me any questions they like, and I answer as well as I can. I tell them it can be painful (I explain about the dosage for the pain relief) and can affect their moods (but no excuse for nastiness) and to let me know if their periods do start.

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

As above, generally having friends (especially boyfriends) around to impress can make a huge difference. Also, to not make too big a deal of it, ask how they're feeling, if they are in pain, offer some pain relief or whatever will help them deal with their own needs, and try to move on. If there's a melt down every single month without fail though, I say that they need to get it under control or they are likely to lose friends, jobs and more if they can't.

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

Children can get all the information they want to on the internet, or from school. The advances in design and technology of sanitary products in the last 30 years is astounding, and this all makes starting periods a lot less stressful than it was in my day. However, it doesn't make it any easier for mothers to talk to their daughters, and it's easy to let yourself feel that you can buy them a magazine, or just let them look it up on the internet, give them pocket money and let them sort themselves out. If they don't get a hug from their Mum, and their own Mum telling them what it was like for them, and how things have changed, sharing some funny stories and embarrassments, well then you are missing out on one of the best things about being a mum. My mum missed out on all of that, and I don't regret finding my own way of sharing some girly chats with my daughters, we have shared a lot of laughs as well as the pain.

Let the people at Lil-Lets know what you think of their teen starter pack.

really great. I've got the drawstring bags of towels (daytime and night-time) ready for when DD2 starts her periods and will look out for the teen starter pack as well.

HappySunflower Wed 21-Nov-12 00:21:02

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I think a bit of both- responding to questions in an open and honest way, whilst also not hiding my own period management from her meaning she will grow up with some level of awareness.

How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She is too young at the moment, but I never felt comfortable to talk to my Mum when I started mine- in fact I hid it from her for a while as I was so scared and didn't know what was going on (I was 10)

What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
I think that seeing me managing my own periods each month is enough for her until she approaches the age of increased understanding. When she is old enough to understand things a little better I will explain what happens to me each month.

What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for
I think explaining the options to her and showing her how they work on myself might help her to make decisions, but I would assume that starting her on towels would be the best thing? I need to read up on this a bit!

* - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?*
In my own experience- yes.
I started on towels and then as I became more used to it all tried tampons

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 isn't having periods at the moment, but I would help her with hot water bottles, heat pads, and consider pain relief.

Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
Talk talk talk!
Communication and talking about feelings is the only thing that helped me!

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Don't hide things- but do explain them in an age/developmentally appropriate way that is well matched to your daughter's level of understanding.

ripsishere Wed 21-Nov-12 04:01:06

My 11.6 DD is desperate to start hers. I am not sure why TBH. She has known about periods for as long as I can remember. Initially, I told her the 'white rockets' were what her Dad stuck up his bum. I don't quite know why.
She is more than ready for the big day. She has pads, tampons, knickers, wet wipes and a sandwich bag in a pencil case that she takes to school (and where ever else we go) every day.
I agree that the lillets range are expensive. I did buy DD some just before we left England. Unfortunatley with her trying them on often, they were destroyed.
She does have some ob mini tampons and just this morning a packet of panty liners from the 7-11.

RatherBeOnThePiste Wed 21-Nov-12 09:00:20

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

Very straightforward, I had to start the conversation, but we'd been talking about it for a while before she actually started.

How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?

Much more open than I was with my mother! Her group of friends are also very open now, although earlier on none of them mentioned it. She was twelve and a half when she started, she is now 15. It is all fine, although it is just part of life now.

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

I think she thought she would magically change into someone else. She worried she would get in a muddle at school, she worried it would hurt.

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?

Started her with pads, but with the option of tampons always there, we talked through both, the first time she tried a tampon, she wanted me to have a look to see if it was in far enough (it wasn't) bless her. At tat time she was a very keen swimming club swimmer, and we talked about not letting periods get in the way of life, so she did use tampons when necessary. At 15 she now is using them most of the time.

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?

No cramps here thank god! Yes - be prepared! When it actually happened to her it was the most natural thing in the world and she was ready. All her mates carried a little kit from about Y5 onwards, a little zipped purse with a pad, pair of knicks, disposing bag etc.

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

Accept them, be consistent and kind. They'd rather not be raging, and this doesn't last. Drink gin too, that always helps!

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

Be honest, open, make it easy for them, kits and resources in the bathroom, reassure them that every woman they know will have this, and it is all OK.

NeatFreak Wed 21-Nov-12 09:13:28

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
- either, I would be glad if she felt she could initiate the conversation but would be happy to start it off if relevant
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
Not yet applicable but she discusses other things happily, such as how babies are made etc
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
Basic facts and what would happen to 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?
NOt yet applicable but we will discuss the options and make both available to her.
~ 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 bottles, warm baths, resting
~ 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?

Be open and honest and try not to be embarrassed

chocolatelime Wed 21-Nov-12 09:53:38

Well this is a very relevant topic for me as I have an 11 year old daughter. She has not started her periods yet, but many of her friends have. I have a very open and honest approach to this and she knows that she can talk to me at any time. We have not sat down and had a long formal chat about it, but rather just have chatted about elements of it from time to time.

I don’t want to make myself identifiable from this, but my daughter has recently had a very rare and traumatic gynaecological emergency that required her to have surgery. At this point we realised that our relaxed approach to discussing these matters had worked as she was not phased by having to talk to doctors about what was happening.

I have recently started researching which products there are available on the market to keep in stock at home for when her periods do start and was surprised to find that Li-lets were the only brand who did a range specifically for teens. Unfortunately my local supermarket does not stock it, so I will have to go further afield.

Once I manage to obtain these products I am going to initiate a conversation with her about them. I have looked at the link to view the booklet and think that this is a fantastic resource that I will share with her.

She has certainly suffered from mood swings and immediately prior to her surgery was proving very difficult to live with. I have found it the best approach to not confront her when she is in this zone and rather let her calm down by herself in her room. Normally she will then appear in half an hour or so, back to her normal cheery self. She knows that I understand that she does not always mean what she says and she will normally apologise without being prompted.

When she first starts her periods I will definitely encourage her to use towels and then maybe she can consider tampons when she is a bit older. It is also important to have a suitable toiletry bag on hand for them to use to carry the products to school.

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

I would say answer what she asks and nothing more. Make it age appropriate and truthful.

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

I think she is fine to discuss them, I have never acted embarrassed or like its something not to be talked about with her.

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

Boys and friends, friends are the be all and end all at the moment.

~ 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 she first started her periods she used pads but as she has got older she now prefers to use tampons.

~ 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 doesnt have cramps but for a girl due to start her periods I would get her a small bag (pencil case)) with some wipe, underwear and a pad in it to put in her school bag so she will be prepared. Also ensure she does understand what is happening to her body.

~ 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 just told my DD we all have bad days and moments and thats all normal but whats not fair is to inflict your mood onto others, if she did feel snappy to take herself away for some quiet time.

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

Just be honest open and approachable

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Wed 21-Nov-12 12:28:41

I let it come from my daughter initially. She saw me using sanitary protection and asked questions which I answered as simply and age appropriately as I could. I was quite open and honest.

When she was about 10 I bought her a book about girls growing up. It was funny and fun but very informative about many issues. It got well thumbed by her and her friends. We also talked sometimes after she brought up questions.

I was slightly taken aback then when the first I knew of her periods starting was when I found very stained knickers in her laundry basket. I took her aside privately to talk and she was embarrassed about the whole thing.

She liked the lil-ets teen starter pack and products but has had to move onto adult pads as her periods are quite heavy. She has tried the tampons but didn't get on with them.

When she has cramps she takes painkillers and a hot water bottle helps. Lots of sympathy too.

THERhubarb Wed 21-Nov-12 13:18:58

Ok so my dd is 12 and hasn't started her periods yet. I didn't start mine until I was 16 so I'm not holding my breath.

I don't think you should leave it up to them to start the conversation. Many may be too embarrassed and others pick up misinformation from friends and playground rumours.

I have always been open with both of my children and they have seen me buying sanitary towels and using them. There is plenty of opportunity as young children are often dragged out shopping and inevitably at some stage they will be in the bathroom with you. If children are told about this from day 1 then it's really no big deal. Society tends to feel shame and disgust about periods but that is not a helpful attitude to have. Periods are a natural process and there is nothing disgusting or shameful about them. By being so open, you can hopefully encourage children to ask questions and not to feel embarrassed.

My son also knows about them. It's important to educate boys and not just girls. I don't want my ds thinking it's just a "woman's thing". I want him to be able to help his future girlfriend, to know about PMT and be able to walk into a shop and buy sanitary towels without feeling embarrassed.

So with my daughter, from the age of 10 I started to explain about the different products for periods. We were in the supermarket and I showed her the type I bought and explained the different ones (i.e. ones with wings, tampons, panty liners, night-time towels, scented ones, etc.)

I think she, like most girls, will start off with towels as it may be uncomfortable for them to use tampons at first.

I have bought some sanitary towels for her. I can't remember which brand it was but think it might have been Bodyform (sorry) who were giving out little tin pocket sized containers with their towels. I thought this was a great idea as it stops the embarrassment of having a towel fall out of their bag or pocket. It's just big enough for one towel and looks much like a square compact. So she has a towel in there which she has put in her school bag in case she starts at school.

I've explained why women get periods and what it is (i.e. not actual blood but the lining of the womb) as I thought it was important that they didn't think it was a scary thing.

They know about PMT as they've seen me every month! grin So I've explained (to both of them again) that this is perfectly normal, that it's down to hormones that can change your mood and that you might not even know why you feel angry or sad, you just do and you need to note down the times you feel that way so you can see if there is a pattern and that you need space and love at these times.

I suffered very very badly from period cramps when I started (looking back those severe cramps coupled with my late starting age should have meant a trip to the GP) so I felt it was important to let dd and ds know about this and to reassure again that cramps are normal and that painkillers and a hot water bottle can help enormously.

I've also told them what is not normal and when to see a GP (very heavy bleeding, large clots, severe stomach cramps, etc).

Both my kids are more than happy to discuss these things with me and dd gives me regular updates on what's happening to her body (I've got underarm hair!). When I talk about my own period that's their cue then to ask questions and both have asked things like, does it hurt? How long does it last? Can you feel the towel? And these I've been happy to answer.

The conversation is never one we've gone out of our way to instigate but rather a part of our general family conversations that everyone is included in. I hope that when dd finally does start, she'll be able to come to me with problems and that she'll try out a range of products until she finds the one which suits her best.

insanityscratching Wed 21-Nov-12 14:14:36

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
Dd has been aware of sanitary protection since she was a tot as she followed me to the bathroom, shopped with me etc. She is 9 now so have been drip feeding information to her and checking that she is aware. She had the puberty chat at school last week so it prompted another chat.I answer her questions as they arise I haven't sat down and done a formal chat.Dd has autism so her concerns are more about growing up rather than the mechanics so I'm sensitive to that first tbh.
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
Dd is happy to talk with me but less happy about the school chat her feeling is that it's something for mums and daughters to talk about rather than schools.
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
Her prime concern at present is that puberty will cause her hips to spread and she doesn't want a big bum and the other is she can't wait to wear a bra.
~ 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?
Like my older daughter I will provide a selection and let her discover her preference for herself. Older dd started with towels and then moved to tampons and now she switches between the two.
~ 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 has quite severe cramps that she uses Feminax for she is currently resisting my suggestion that we see a Doctor.I bought dd a selection of sanitary protection some black underwear ensured that she new where to get clean sheets if needed and put some bags to use in the bin in the bathroom and told her about painkillers and wheatbags.
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!) Try not to rise to the bait would be my top tip and a bar of chocolate and a magazine to let them know you empathise works wonders here.
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? If you stay calm then your child will too, I think they take their lead from us at the end of the day.

GooseyLoosey Wed 21-Nov-12 14:18:11

We too have always been fairly open. Dd has seen what I do and is aware of what the blood is from and that when it is her turn, she just has to come and tell me.

With mood swings, I just don't engage. Smile sweetly and ingnore.

Would not bother with the starter pack - seems like a bewildering aray of stuff. All you need is a couple of different sizes of whatever type of product you intend to use.

aristocat Wed 21-Nov-12 14:41:36

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

my DD is only 8 so a little young yet but she is aware about periods and the changes that will take place on her body. I have always been happy to answer any questions and we have spoken many times and have a book to help us.

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

very happy to ask me questions (too many TBH grin)

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

when her bust develops and she is able to wear a bra ....

~ 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?

possibly towels to start with as I still think they are easiest and then progress to tampons as she is more confident.

~ 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?

no periods 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?!)

to keep calm and have a book/bar of chocolate ready! and a hot water bottle for pains if needed.

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

to be honest and open with boys as well as girls about puberty.

madhairday Wed 21-Nov-12 15:46:06

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

dd has been curious for a few years. She is 12 now but at around 9 started asking questions, which I responded to by buying the Usborne Book 'how you are changing' which has been helpful - we read through it together and discussed everything. Never used made up words for body parts, was always straight down the line.

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

She is very happy to. She knows many of her friends have started their periods now and is wondering when she will. She asks me lots of questions about it.

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

She is worried about how it will feel, and how she will keep clean, and 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?

We'll go for towels first (the Li-lets ones sound a good idea) then tampons when she is ok with the idea - she says it 'grosses her out' at present grin

~ 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, paracetomol, exercise - dd is a cross country runner so hopefully all that action will help with 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?!)

She's started on the mood swings despite not starting the periods yet - dh says she is in sync with me grin - no real tips - girlie nights with chocolate and films help!

flamingtoaster Wed 21-Nov-12 17:01:21

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I gave my daughter a book and we then discussed it.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? No problem - she is entirely happy to.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time? Initially she was worried about would people know etc.

~ 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?
After initially using what I supplied I got lots of free samples so she could see if she liked anything else better!

~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Painkillers and a hot water bottle if at home. Also I read that celery (an excellent anti-inflammatory) reduces the prostoglandins which cause cramps and she started eating a stick of celery each day with a very positive result. This has also worked for a friend's daughter - they found almonds eaten regularly also help.

Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods? Be matter of fact and give her a little pack containing what she would need if it started at school.

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

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? Treat it matter of factly to avoid increasing her natural anxiety.

NettleTea Wed 21-Nov-12 18:09:06

I have talked about / been open about periods with both my son and my daughter since year dot. By them just being a part of life I have tried to avoid them being an embarrassing or taboo subject.
I make cloth nappies, and also cloth san pro, and we also have mooncups and sponges around the house, as well as tampons, so she is aware of many different types of protection.
I am also a herbalist, so if she needs help with cramping or mood swings we may look at things she can take to help her.

LineRunner Wed 21-Nov-12 18:41:36

Same as NettleTea. We've always talked about it as normal.

In the bathroom I have a little basket that I keep tampons, tampax and towels in. We just help ourselves, and DD keeps what she wants in her room as well.

She has been to the GP with me when she had PMT, for some medication which helped. But of course she will have some ups and downs.

She also knows that she absolutely can ask me to do her laundry or do it herself at any time. I hated my own mother's ridiculous attitude to periods and laundry. It was, frankly, effing pathetic.

prettybird Wed 21-Nov-12 19:47:17

I only have a ds but am thankful for my parents for always being open and talking about hings by their proper names.

One funny story and one extremely embarrassing but cautionary tale:

Funny story: mum told me about how just before one of her friends had her "talk" with her daughter, they discussed it at school. They were asked what they knew about sanitary protection: her daughter told the class that her mum used limpets grinshock

Embarrassing but cautionary tale: mum went through the facts of life chat with me. When my period started, I duly used the lil-let that mum had supplied me. However, what she hadn't made clear was that yu need to change them regularly blushblush First period was very light so the tampon didn't saturate for a few days..... blushblushblush and I denied it was me that was smelling blushblush

LineRunner Wed 21-Nov-12 19:48:46

My mother gave me one packet of sanitary towels.

Ever.

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

My dd is a toddler so I have a while yet before it comes up in conversation but I'll definitely be bringing it up for her in a matter of fact way from an early age.

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

Too young to say, I remember being a bit embarrassed as I could tell my mum was embarrassed. So I'm hoping that by introducing her to the idea at a younger age it won't be as cringeworthy!

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

I would want for her to continue her life as normal, so it's in her interests to find the best options that allow her to do so.

~ 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?

Bit early to say, but it's her body and her choice.

~ 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 mum said that she could always tell as our moods were foul wink. I think keeping a stocked up bathroom cupboard and giving plenty of space works wonders.

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

Tips: Remember, you were probably worse and put your own DM through hell, here is your comeuppance! wink

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

It's a fact of life. Not a big deal- make sure the information is available.

avelte Wed 21-Nov-12 20:48:34

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
girls these days are not shy to ask ,they know more that we think they know,mine is 13 and she was prepared from school when the time came for her..no shyness at all

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
free to talk every month

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
nothing major but she make the discussion in private
~ 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?
mine is too young for that,but help will be there when needed

~ 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 can have plenty of rest let the nature do the course

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

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
dont shut down the problem,teach her well about good and bad points..and she will open to you for help...
thing that stuck in my mind last year was when the headteacher of my daughters primary school was so close with girls these age that they will go to her and ask for advice,she even remembered most of girls by date when period start,was amazingly shocked to hear that...my point to this is that girls know these days where to ask for help ,just be their friend too not just mum

neontetra Wed 21-Nov-12 21:10:28

My DD much too young for this to be relevant at the moment, but it is something I've thought about, in the same way I've thought about how we'll discuss romantic relationships, sex, body image, etc. I don't have periods myself due to the pill I use, and I'm the only other woman in the household, so periods won't be a part of life, as such, until she starts. I hope that it will be something we can talk about quite openly and normally nontheless. I think it will be important that DD has some sanitary protection available tucked away in a drawer so that she's under no immediate obligation to tell me her periods have started until she feels ready - I remember having to.tell my own mum immediately, though I was still trying to get my head round it myself! The lillets pack sounds ideal for this. I won't be promoting tampons as I've never used them myself due to discomfort and paranoia about toxic shock. If she wants to use them, though, in many ways I'd be pleased for her as I know they are more convenient for swimming etc. I've

kellestar Wed 21-Nov-12 21:33:46

I'll have to face this in the future with DD who is nearly 2, I will be open about it all with her.

I knew nothing about periods at all, I was the first of my friends to get them at about 10. It happened at school, a teacher gave me a tampon and I cried. I had no idea about it at all, my mum was really funny about it, when I got home and asked her about it, she was really evasive and didn't answer my questions. I went round my friends house nearby and cried it out with her, she had the talk with her mum a little while ago and her mum gave me the talk that night and sent me home with some pads and things. My mum was furious that she'd done that and threw the pads out. She left me with no san pro until she went shopping a few days later, I was just using loo roll. She bought these giant pads that were huge and ridiculous. She was just vile about it all and it didn't get any easier. She was still young and having periods herself [she had a stash of naice brand pads, but wasn't prepared to share with me]. I ended up having to buy my own san pro out of my pocket money. It wasn't until I was 18 that a friend finally explained how tampons worked, I has just got a job as a lifeguard, what a life changing experience that was.

I think it's good that there are products designed to fit teen bodies, I had a terrible experience and don't want my daughter to go through something like that. It's actually encouraged me to be more open about it.

psychomum5 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:40:45

oh goodness, three daughters here, and each very different in their experiences, and how I approached 'the talk' with them

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

This one might have been the easiest, and actually, probably the most similar with each. I have never ever had privacy in the bathroom. We had to hide the key when DD2 locked herself in and we had to break in, and then said key, in its 'safe place', disappeared for YEARS. Therefore, they saw me having periods, using protection etc, and asked in the way small children do. I told them what was age appropriate each time, but they grew up always really knowing.

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

DD1, very open.
DD2....I would not know when she is on, or even if she is in pain. She does tend to sail through her tho with nary an ache or niggle envy
DD3....very very open, but she was the youngest starting her periods, and has hell with them every month. Lots of pain, lots of flooding, lots of hormones. She suffers, and so we talk.

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

The greatest fear from each during their period is that other people can tell, or see evidence.

~ 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 each of them started I bought some of everything, so they could work out what each of them prefer. Pretty much tho they have all settled on the same brands I use and trust.

~ 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 have in medicines aimed at helping cramps, plus hot water bottles, and tell them warm baths help.

Nothing helps more however than sympathy and a hug.

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

Oh god, mood swings. Lets just say that with three girls, and me, all suffering and arguing......my poor husband and two sons hate that one week of the month when we all turn evil blush

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

Just go with the flow (not a meant as a punwink). If they ask questions, answer them. Dont hide it and don;t be ashamed of what is, essentially, a normal part of being female, and what will be part of their lives for probably 40 years.
And have lots of hugs ready.
And a place to hide...I hide in the car.

oh, and wine. You need a lot of wine to cope with teenage hormones.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 22-Nov-12 01:47:28

I think it is difficult to be positive about something that has been horrendous for you for 30 years.
Hey on the positive side you could take after me and be completely finished by 40. Violently sick from the pain on the first day every month, from the age 0f 9 to 15.
Be rushed into hospital with a very high temperature and nearly die, because the warning of toxic shock syndrome was so small I never noticed the writing.
Why do I know so many people who still aren't aware of this. Ok don't frighten the poor things, but they need to know theres even a tiny risk.

BetsyBlingtastic Thu 22-Nov-12 12:06:16

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

I let dd see me dealing with my periods from an early age so she was familiar with sanitary towels and tampons, it was just another thing to be sorted out in the toilet (although she wasn't in there with me but saw me handling the sanitary wear). Hopefully this took the mystery out of it and was presented as something very natural without a big reveal moment. Things were also explained at school (and no doubt in the playground).

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

I hope she's relaxed - I give her tips on the practicalities of coping and am very matter-of-fact about handling "accidents".

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

Coping with being "on" during a school camping trip was an issue but it went off just fine.

~ 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 initially chose what I thought was appropriate and then we tried a few different sizes of tampon and she's settled on what suits her 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?

No cramps so far! Have told her to let me know if she suffers so we can organise painkillers if necessary. She's very regular, so checks the calendar on her phone.

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

Really not too moody at all!! Can't say I link any behaviour with her period.

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

Parents hopefully know how much info and when to share with their particular child. I'd say don't hide things when they are young so it all remains very natural and matter of fact.

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