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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!

Hopezibah Tue 20-Nov-12 15:23:19

My DD a bit young at the mo - but I remember this being a difficult topic to discuss with my parents so here are my opinions anyway:

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

Parents should start the conversation.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
I used to feel really embarassed about talking with my mum. I hope my daughter will be able to talk a lot more easily with me about it.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
n/a - too young.
~ 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 prefer to start on sanitary towels / pads until she feels ready to try 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?

I used to suffer a LOT with period pains / cramps etc. Painkillers to help with pain. I really hope my daughter doesn't suffer anywhere near as much as i did. My only solution in the end was going on pill to reduce 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?!)
Just be really understanding - theres a reason for all that grumpiness.

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

I remember having a great book that helped. I think having books aimed at girls that openly talk about periods and other issues that affect girls is a great addition to talking with parents.

missymoomoomee Tue 20-Nov-12 16:12:56

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

I did with my oldest DD, I started my periods when I was 9 and didn't know what was going on so from the age of about 4 or 5 she has been aware of the very basics, I will do this with my younger DDs as well.

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

She hasn't started but she is really open about any aspect of puberty and coming to me with it, I haven't made a big deal about periods so she doesn't feel like its a big deal to talk about.

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

She is worried about starting her periods, although I have provided the information its still going to be an unknown feeling.

~ 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 will buy lots of varieties when DD is old enough so she has the choice and is comfortable with 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?

She is too young yet but I will be buying a hot water bottle for her and I will look into some herbal remedies 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?!)

I have explained to her about the grumpiness but I guess we can only deal with it when she gets there (I am perfectly rational and like a little ray of sunshine when I'm on mine so I hope she takes after me grin )

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

Not to make a big deal about it and have the 'big' talk. I think its much better to let children know from a young age about the changes that will happen in their bodies and then it doesn't seem such a scary prospect.

DD is only just approaching 3 so this is a while off yet!

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

I think I'll just raise the subject normally. She has already been in the bathroom when I'm changing my moon cup so she will have some idea about mechanics, if not the intricacies.

How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?

I'll be honest and say I think I will feel awkward but it's one of those jobs that just has to be done.

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

I expect her concerns will be similar to mine and thousands of other women. Will it leak, will anyone 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?

I wish I'd heard of mooncups when I was a teenager, though I appreciate some may find it fiddly to start with. I will give her all the options and let her choose for herself. I don't want to be like my mum, who never thought to buy me tampons because she'd had problems as a teen and thought you had to be a non-virgin to use them.

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, paracetomol, tea, sympathy for an hour or two, followed by a robust and stoical attitude.

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 suffered from horrendous moodswings, and nothing changed them. Even now in my 40s I still get them. I think that acknowledging that you are likely to be tetchy a week before, and being aware that your behaviour may need to be modified/rationalised to yourself are important.

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

I'm going to try very hard to remember what it was like when I was in puberty, try and avoid the mistakes my mum made, and remember the bits that were good.

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
For us it was my DD who approached the subject. I have always talked openly with her and answered her questions and provided her with as much information as possible - fortunately she loves reading so this is a great way to get information across. Also she was in a year5/year 6 class at primary school so had the "period talk" a year early which raised lots of questions.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She seems to feel very comfortable and asks about anything she wants to know.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
What it will be like when she starts and what pads and tampons look like.

~ 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 haven't discussed it with her, just presume she will use pads first as I think at this age she is too young for tampons. I think when she is older and more experienced and feels comfortable with her body, then will be a good time to discuss 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?
My DD hasn't started yet but I will provide her with a heated wheatpad as this is what I use to help with the cramps. If they are really bad I will give her some painkillers if necessary. I think the best way to help her if I suspect she is going to start is just to be honest and answer all her questions without making a big deal out of 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?!)
Pick your fights! - some things are too little to fall out over or make a big deal about, just save that for the bigger issues!

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Try and keep calm and keep them informed about what is happening. If it is possible to talk about periods etc from when they are little, then it won't suddenly be a big surprise - some of DDs friends knew nothing before the talk at school and were very shocked!

Elainey1609 Tue 20-Nov-12 17:13:53

Ummmm to think when i was introduced to the subject started when both mum and dad discussed with me when mum was having one so i knew that men and women were different.
But the main discussion was after i had my first talk about it all in primary school...they didnt do a very good job of explaining it at all....so mum mum sat me down and was completly straight with me

I think parents see signs of impeding puberty and can become aware of when the discussion should take place

Make sure its explained that its normal, not embasrrsing and encourage discussion.

Also even though you may use tampons ect make sure there are some towels avalible for when the children start

Enable them to use the product which is most comfortable, taht isnt always the same as you

If moods swings happen let them cry or shout,,,its better than bottling it all up which can make them ill

CanonFodder Tue 20-Nov-12 17:40:32

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD? DD asked me about my tampons when she was about 5, I gave her a very brief version, but have since explained a bit more about the details of what happens, shown her diagrams of what her body looks like inside and whenever I discuss anything I've done before kids that sounds fun she says 'I was there, as an egg!'.

How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? She's only 7, but already seems very interested, asks a lot of questions, we had to put a tampon in water so she could see how one works etc.

The other questions don't apply at the moment, but I will continue to tell her about them as and when she asks and when she gets to 9 or so I think we'll get her her own little pack to have in the bathroom for when the time comes. As with all the big topics (drink, drugs, boys) I'll share relevant experiences and be as honest as I can. I'd rather she hear the truth from me than the usual school horror stories.

quail Tue 20-Nov-12 18:01:32

My dds are 4 and 6.

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

I've been very matter of fact to begin with, I think very small girls should begin with the technicalities but none of the downsides. So when they asked me why I was using tampax I told them about periods, what is going on in the body etc, and explained that it was blood but it doesn't hurt and I'm not ill. (It does hurt, though. Cramping today.)

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

At this age they're curious, for about 5 minutes. They have no notion of this happening to them even though I told them it happens to all women.

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

Why their mum is having a period.

~ 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 basically going to tell them what to do. I think this isn't something you want to figure out for yourself. The way I do it may not ultimately be the way they do it, but when they're little, I think you just want to be told, here's what happens, here's what you'll do, don't worry.

~ 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?

Depends, I guess. I have no problem with child nurofen now, so even though the thought of medicating my teenagers makes me panic, I wouldn't rule out a couple of painkillers if the pain is as bad as mine was in my late teens. If I suspect my dds are about to start, I suppose I'll talk to them about it a lot. I'm sure their friends will be.

~ 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 noticeably a bit weepier and sometimes a bit angrier pre-menstrually, but I didn't notice it when I was a teenager (because I was always weepy and angry) and I don't think this is something they need to watch out for. I'm guessing that if they get a bit weepy in an observable pattern I would point out the possible hormonal link. I don't really find talking about any of this stuff awkward, I don't think many women do any more.

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

My kids are too young for me to have any advice for anyone else.

quail Tue 20-Nov-12 18:04:16

Oh, also, please could I ask not to be sent the teen starter pack. There'll be people who it's going to be much more useful for, I'm not likely to keep it for 6 years.

John Lewis voucher, on the other hand, that will be okay.

44SoStartingOver Tue 20-Nov-12 18:06:48

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

My dds have known about periods forever. They cheerfully accompanied me to the loo, so no secrets there. No mystery, no panic

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
Very upfront. One very awkward in front to her dad. The other thinks hse is extremely clever for having periods!

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
For one dd it was catching up with her friends who started earlier. For the other, it was starting ahead of her friends whilst still at primary school.

~ 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? No really discussed, I bought small teen pads to suit.

~ 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?

One dd has calpol, the other takes nurofen.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
One dd is quite unmoody, the other (younger) has such dramatic mood swings she does not know what to do with herself.

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

Familiary with pads and how they fit into knickers is good. Prepare a little toilet bag with nappy sacks and spare knickers well in advance, so if it happens at school or brownie camp she feels prepared and not panicked.

CheeryCherry Tue 20-Nov-12 18:19:37

I spoke to both my DDs before they went on Y5 residentials as I worried they would panic if something happened while they were away. So they have carried a little toilet bag in their school bag since they were 10 with a pair of pants, and a couple of panty liners. I also made it clear they could dispose of any really badly soiled pants as I didn't want them stressing over that.
I think my DDs have been happy to discuss things with me, and they are both very organised so forward thinking pays off.
My eldest DD does not want to try tampons yet though I do occasionally encourage her to try. Her choice. She suffers from aches and pains on her first couple of days, which shocked her at first as she has a very high pain threshold, but a hot bath, hot water bottle and an early night tends to help. She never wants painkillers.
I quite like the idea of the teen pack....but not the name! My eldest was 11 when she started as was I. I know she is growing up fast but at 11 is not yet a teen...I'm not wishing her life away!

hermancakedestroyer Tue 20-Nov-12 19:18:55

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
My dd is 10 and I am waiting for her to bring up the subject. I often say to her if there is anything you need to know please ask and keep the lines of communication open.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She hasnt discussed them yet but I will be there to listen when she does.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
Body changes, breasts developing, hair growing in irregular places, sweating

~ 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 will discuss all options when the time arises.

~ 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 do not hide any tampons or towels in my house. They are in the toilet to be discussed where necessary.

~ 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 friend said to me 'choose your battles' and that is good advice. If you find your DD getting ratty or irate then be the adult and try to speak calmly and rationally to them. Give them space and always be there to listen.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Be open and honest and answer questions as they arise.

Snog Tue 20-Nov-12 19:21:32

Re mood swings, I think it helps t

Snog Tue 20-Nov-12 19:27:25

Re mood swings, I think it helps to empathise with how difficult this is for your dd more than how difficult it is for the parents! And to explain how hormones affect mood, and to recognise when your child's behaviour is hormonally driven!
I recommend evening primrose oil, good diet, exercise, early night, hot bath, good cry and a cuddle with dad. And a lot of understanding and love.
Re periods, I give my dd info and choices and am very open about my own experiences.

QOD Tue 20-Nov-12 19:27:53

I just wish I had a boy!

Vivalebeaver Tue 20-Nov-12 19:30:17

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

I think that been factual about it is the best approach, it's no different to discussing teeth, etc. I approached dd to discuss it in detail when she was about 9yo. But she's always been aware that women get periods, since a toddler.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? Fine, no problem at all. I've told she can always come and ask me anything.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time? Dd is 11, she's desperate to get boobs and oddly enough she's desperate to start her periods. I think she perceives it as been grown up and sadly she seems in a hurry to grow 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 have some sanitary towels in the house and one in dds school bag. These were free teenage ones I got in the post from Lilets a while ago. I would imagine once she's a little older she might want to start using 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? Dd already gets bad cramps and is prescribed buscopan. Hot water bottles and paracetamol help as well.

~ 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 ignore most of the mood swings as much as I feel I can. Yes she can be vile at times but it won't last forever. If I pull her up on it at the time she goes crazy and it turns into ww3. I'd rather walk away, calmly telling her that I won't discuss things while she's been like she is. Then have a chat when she's calmed down and remind her about trying to be nice, not lose it, etc.

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

Ask on mumsnet for advice if its all going a bit pear shaped!

HazeltheMcWitch Tue 20-Nov-12 20:09:44

My DC are too young to be nearing puberty, so I have not had to go into specifics, but I am keen to normalise periods. As 'it' was something that was not at all discussed for me; I really had to figure it all out from magazines! And I never really lost the whole idea of periods being shameful and havign to be hidden away.
So the thing I can do now is NOT hide it away: they know what periods are, I openly buy/store tampons etc, and they know that I sometimes have period pains. I hope that this will also lead to being able to discuss it openly, ask questions, although of course as time goes on, I will need to have more specific conversations. Not sure exactly how yet, but will probably browse on MN for inspiration!

Arcticwaffle Tue 20-Nov-12 20:09:53

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

We're pretty open about bodily functions in this house and I have 3 dds (12, 11, 8). Periods are something we've always discussed, from when they were little and showing interest in my mooncup. Since then they talk about it on occasion. None started yet.

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

They are generally interested and ask questions.

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

What they're most interested in is how much liquid a tampon can hold. On occasion we get one and fill a bowl with water and red food colouring and they watch the tampon soak it all up. They love this! They also like to hear stories of my mooncup flipping blood across the service station loo, 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?

I have packs for when they start, with cute little tins to keep the towels in. When they do start we'll see how they go with those.

~ 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'll be recommending nurofen 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?!)

my dds don't seem to be in that mood swing time yet, I'm still the biggest drama queen with pmt in the house.

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

Not sure, as we don't get embarrassed easily about this stuff so it's hard to give advice to people who don't find it easy to talk about personal things. but we have a good book "What's happening to me?" which was full of information for 8 year olds up. the dds really liked that.

GetKnitted Tue 20-Nov-12 21:52:01

Although, clearly it is the conversations with DDs around periods that you're interested in, what with them buying Lil-lets and all, with two boys I want to make sure that from a relatively early age they are appropriately educated about everything biological. I'd rather have lots of small conversations rather than one big one!

Elfontheshelfiswatchingyou Tue 20-Nov-12 21:55:24

Tried to initiate this topic with DD2 earlier. She covered her ears and went "lalala" so maybe she's not ready yet. Where did DD1 leave that book...?
smile

cornishblue Tue 20-Nov-12 21:59:15

I have 2 girls, 15 & 13, and both have started their periods - at 13 and 12 respectively. I think they might have asked about them first when they were little (finding my tampons and asking what they were for, something like that) and after that the details came up gradually. I bought them a book too, which sparked other conversations. Both are very relaxed about about discussing periods now.

They are both concerned about frequency and heaviness. DD1 has a particularly hard time with heavy periods and a short cycle, and DD2 is concerned with hers being unpredictable.

Both use towels for now, but they have tampons of different sizes to try if and when they are ready. DD1 has asked about their suitability for her heavy periods - she is nervous of leakage - but is interested in trying. DD2 has only had 3 periods and isn't keen on the idea of tampons at the moment.

They both get cramps and take paracetamol (they have some in their school bags too). Also they like hot water bottles if they are bad in the evening. Before their periods started I tried to make sure both girls had emergency knickers & STs in their school bags from age 12 or so. Of course neither had anything on them when the day came. But they are fully equipped at all times now

Once puberty starts, it's surprisingly quick, so be ready. Have all the kit, the patience and the answers ready to go...

As for mood swings/general teenage histronics, it's a huge topic, shall we write a book?

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I think it should all be very casual, normalising this is of major imprtance.
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
Absolutely fine - very easy and casual.
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
She finds towels uncomfortable - but I feel she's not ready for tampons, but I'm not sure why.
~ 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 doesn;t seem to have suffered pain 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 have told her that the rage and irrational irritability is inevitable, and learning to deal with it is an ongoing skill. I have suggesting that removing oneslef from other human company is often the best option. Ahem.
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
To normalise the whole thing - nothing is dirty or disgusting about it, unlike how it was addressed to me. sad

Theas18 Tue 20-Nov-12 22:19:07

Have a 19 yr I'd and a 13yr old and matter of fact normal part of life type conversations have been had from very young. Don't ever recall a big chat. Bought a few books for them too ( especially as we thought dd2 might start very early) .

"keep calm and carry on" is our sort of mantra. The youngest probably has cyclical mode sings but she's moody anyway do is hard to tell!

Re cramps , periods on holiday and all that my attitude is medicate to the hilt, no reason to suffer , and no reason to allow a period to blight a pool/beach based holiday (yup tampons work fine but if your beach has no toilets it's a pain).

The funniest thing was a really sweet family happenstance when dd2 had her 1st period when the kids were on a course. Got a text from my son (then 13) to say the 11yr old had started her periods but it was fine because the 15yr od had sorted her out.

My only issue, and I'm sure Liletts don't want to know , is that the teen towels etc are awfully expensive for girls that probably change a lot more than they need to - limited loo access at school, fear of leaks etc . Mine use own brand ultra thins, and a lot of them lol.

nothingtodotoday Tue 20-Nov-12 22:20:26

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

This subject is best talked about from an early age so the child is prepared and not shocked by the onset of periods. My DD saw lil lets and sanitary towels in the bathroom and were well aware of what they were for prior to needing them.

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

She has always had no difficulty discussing them for tha above reasons.

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

She has no worries and was always prepared incase they started,sg took sanitary towels on a school trip "just in case"

~ 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 agreed to start with sanitary towels then as she was a competitive swimmer used lil lets for swimming sessins from her second period onwards.

~ 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?

Luckily, none really suffered

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

Let them have their "moment", then remind them it is mood swings and hope they calm down!

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

Be open ad talk about things!!!

maxpower Tue 20-Nov-12 22:26:51

~What sort of approach works best?
Honesty

Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
Depends. DD is only 6 but if she asked me I'd give her an honest answer appropriate to her age. If she hasn't brought up the subject by the time she's about 9/10, I'll tell her.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
I would hope she'd feel able to talk to me, although from personal experience she's bound to feel a bit embarrassed as she gets older.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
I would imagine that to start with, she'd want to know that it's perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. If it will 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?
I'd let her know about options (probably only towels or tampons rather than mooncups) and explain the pros and cons to them. Give her some of both to let her try out. I would however explain that one towel will last all night - I remember that being a real worry first time round!

~ 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's not old enough yet. As for practical things, I'd make sure she had a supply of protection.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
(Pretending this won't affect by DD hmm

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Not there yet so difficult to speak from experience.

sausagerolemodel Tue 20-Nov-12 22:38:56

I've always felt I wanted to be honest and also for it to be very normal and matter of fact. My DD is 4 but after a couple of times in the bathroom going through contortions to try and hide what I was doing, I decided just to act normally about it. She saw some blood, asked what it was, and I explained (in an age appropriate way) that it happened once a month unless I was going to have a baby and it happens to all big girls and grown up women. That was as much as she needed/wanted to know. From time to time she asks another question about it "did it hurt" - "no". I just give her answers as and when she asks. She knows the tampon is like a plug to protect my clothes from the blood. She knows the blood is like a nest for a baby. The rest will follow. I've always felt that I'd rather she grows up knowing than the idea of sitting down for "a chat". I still remember how embarrassed/shocked and unable to ask questions I felt aged 9/10 when my Mum told me, even though she did it in a very normal down to earth way. It felt like it came out of nowhere.

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.

QuietlySpoken Thu 22-Nov-12 12:13:33

My DD is very nervous about starting. She doesn't like the idea of tampons, or sex for that matter! I rthink a starter kit for young teens is a great idea.

bohemimum Thu 22-Nov-12 12:22:02

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

As mum to a year 5 DD, we started talking about it after the year 4 SexED video they had at school. She was open to a discussion, not embarrassed and keen to have a rummage through my things and just learn all about growing up!

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
Totally open about it now - you have to establish a warm, open rapport whereby you can discuss anything - periods are just another part of life, so it comes easily. The other day she had a 'show' so am expecting them to start soon and we discussed this in a very open way so that she is not scared and feels comfortable going to me, dad or teacher.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time? Being the same as everyone else, not wanting to be too different, yet knowing that she will probably be one of the first as she is developing first.

~ 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 already found this great kit (the starter kit that you mention) and when we got home had 'fun' peeling the backs off all the pads and putting them in knickers and seeing what they felt like.

~ 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 at moment, but as a homeopath I will be giving her remedies to help her and teaching her about a healthy diet.

~ 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 we just have to look back - we were the same! Deep breathing, walk away if need be and lots of hugs. When the going gets really tough, then that is when we should take them out for a mum/daughter day to shift the energy into one of positivity.
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? Enjoy the changing nature of the relationship with your daughter to one of guidance and growing friendship.

One other thing - why are schools not teaching themabout mooncups, etc. There are so many health and ecological benefits. I want my daughter to not only be a fine young woman, but a planet conscious one too!

CambridgeBlue Thu 22-Nov-12 12:59:36

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

My DD is 10 and we had this conversation a while back so she is prepared. I don't think either of us 'raised' the subject as such, it just came about, probably in relation to me buying tampons or moaning about feeling awful. I think it's best to be as matter of fact as possible - I'm not going to embarrass either of us by going on about her 'becoming a woman' so I've just explained the facts (and given her a book so she can explore it by herself if she prefers) and said that it can be uncomfortable, messy, painful and a right PITA but generally it's a good thing because it means your body is doing what it should.

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

She thinks the whole thing is gross so hasn't asked much more after that initial conversation. God knows what she will be like when something happens!

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

She likes music and clothes, is passionate about her gym classes and quite enjoys school but I would say the biggest influence on her (good and bad) is her peers - what people at school think is very important to her confused

~ 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 prefer her to use tampons as I know from experience that they are more comfortable and discreet but I'm not sure whether they are recommended for younger girls - clearly I need to do some reading up. In fact the idea of giving her something to keep with her in case 'it' happens when I'm not around is a very good one, I hadn't thought of that at all.

~ 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'll offer her pain relief and sympathy - the wine that helps me through every month wouldn't be appropriate! I'll try and prepare her as much as I can (if she wants to discuss it) by providing some protection and by warning her the signs to look out for - I remember when I started I had a bad tummy ache all the day before and didn't know why!

~ 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 seem to have plenty of them already so maybe something is imminent?! I cope by trying to sympathise and remember how I feel at certain times of the month but I won't pander to her - she has to learn to deal with it the same as the rest of us. If she gets too stroppy I suggest a 5 minute cool down in her room where she can rant/cry/whatever and then has to come out and behave like a normal person.

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

I would say be matter of fact - we all have them!But be guided by your DD and how she wants to handle it - some will prefer silly names and being made to feel 'grown up', others will just want to pretend it's not happening.

Seeing as people are answering even if their DD(s) are too young, may I answer even if I don't have a DD (yet), as I could really do with a £200 JL voucher.grin
If I ever have a daughter, I think my approach would be:

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off? You or your DD?
Probably mother-lead. Be open about having your own periods, don't make it a mystery. So it's always known about from a young age.
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
I would hope any child of mine would feel they could talk to us about anything. I shall certainly encourage being open and frank and kind.
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
N/a. Being conceived? 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?
Her decision, obviously. I use cloth sanpro, I would encourage these as they are better for the environment, and cheaper, but she will use what she feels comfortable using. Though I do have concerns about TSS, and have never gotten on with tampons with this in mind.
~ 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?
Well, I'd be able to empathise! Practical things would be a lovely warm bath, hot water bottle, a massage if she'd want one. Practical things, provide the necessary equipment - towels, pads, whatever, and chocolate. smile
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
Just always be there for your child, accept them, and be extra kind.
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Remember what it was like for yourself. Be open and honest, don't treat it like a horrible thing, try and get them to see it in a positive light, like a period is a cleansing out of our systems.

CMOTDibbler Thu 22-Nov-12 17:39:53

I have a ds, but I think the open from the start approach is right. My mum never talked about periods with me, and certainly never bought me anything specific. Ds and I on the other hand chat about stuff as and when it occurs to him, so he'll grow up just thinking of periods as a thing that women have, and that towels and tampons aren't something hilarious.

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

* down to earth approach that is led by, initiated by dd's if possible. I try and be open, answer questions honestly.
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
* my dd's are young,per puberty so are just interested in the facts, they are happy to ask questions e.g. When they've seen me on the loo etc.
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
*my dd's have associated blood with pain, so worry that it's a sign of injury or that it's unmanageable. They want to be reassured that it's 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'll present the different options and let them try them out.
~ 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?
*mine are too young.
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
* patience, try not to be reactive.
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
* don't say you will throw a 'welcome to Womanhood party' as my mum did once I started my periods. I never told her when I started as I was mortified at the prospect of a lot of lentil weaving types celebrating my time of the month.
I would have also wishes that my mum made tsmpons and pads available to me. I suppose that I hope I'll help my dd's feel that periods are normal, give them the support and necessaries to help them manage theirs.

HilaryM Thu 22-Nov-12 23:02:30

I have two boys and a girl, and it'll be a while before I need to do this. I am also a GP so fairly frequently deal with girls and their mums in the surgery talking about period pain, contraception etc.

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

I will continue to do what I already do with the boys, and talk about bodies and puberty whenever it comes up. My older boy who is 8, knows about periods, as well as the facts of life, and he knows that sanitary protection exists as a concept. He hasn't asked any further yet, but I daresay he might. I try to be as matter of fact as I can be without embarrassing him. We also have age appropriate books, and I'll be making sure that even if my daughter reaches menarche quite young (some of my patients are 8 or 9 when they first menstruate) she'll be well prepared, with bits and bobs in the cupboard etc, and a book or two to explain what happens. I think I would wait until she asks, and let it happen organically, unless it's getting to the age where things might start to happen, in which case I might initiate the conversation.

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

I expect she'll be a bit curious, and a bit embarrassed, when the time comes. But I really think it's important that she feels she CAN talk to me.

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

How to do it! How to use towels or tampons. What it feels like. What if I feel unwell? What do I do with used sanitary ware? Where should I keep it? Should I tell mum? Am I normal??

~ 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 will lay out the options and let her decide. Will probably get her some towels, some tampons (applicator and non applicator) and maybe a mooncup - then let her decide for herself once she's tried them out.

~ 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 gets pain I will be sympathetic as I suffered dreadfully when younger. I will give her plenty of painkillers and seek GP advice if that doesn't so the trick. I will make sure she knows that while she may be lucky she may also get some pain and she can ask me for help if she does.

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

Let her have time and space to express her emotions, alone or with friends if that helps. I'm going to try not to freak out too much if she's vile to me!

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

My mum was great, very matter of fact, and she kept me informed by buying me sanitaryware and buying some good books. I'll try to be the same.

CointreauVersial Thu 22-Nov-12 23:39:34

DD1 is 11.5, but clearly a long way from starting periods (I was nearly 16!). We did have a chat a year ago, as she was having the talks at school - she was fairly unconcerned about the whole thing, and actually found the whole concept a bit unbelieveable/amusing! She never really notices what goes on in my bathroom and has never asked me about period or methods of sanitary protection.

In the next few months, I will think about revisiting the subject and maybe equip her with some supplies - the teen starter kit sounds good.

Her best mate has already started her periods, and I think they have shared some information, which is a good thing - I'm sure I learned way more from my friends than I did from parents/teachers!

Pinkbatrobi Fri 23-Nov-12 00:40:07

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
In our family we have always been very open about everything; my DD was always very inquisitive and I always tried to answer her questions honestly and in a way she could understand - she used to follow me everywhere and I explained to her very early on (I think she was about 3) that the blood didn't mean I was hurt, it just meant there was no little brother or sister in my belly for this month, and at the time she didn't ask me to explain any further... But in time we talked about periods several times and quite openly. Her brother knows just as much and I try to be just as open and informative with both. If they hadn't asked me so early on I would have started the conversation. I bought several books that approach the issues of changing bodies and growing up, but they seemed uninterested.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
I think she is slightly embarrassed about anything to do with HER body, but she seems not to mind discussing my menopause!!

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
How to bring an emergency kit to school without running the risk of someone rummaging in her bag and finding it. We have found a pretty little bag that looks like it could be a pencil-case. I think there is definitely an opportunity in the market for some cool container for Tweens/teens to put pads/wet towels/spare pants etc. Also make up, and how to remove it and prevent spots, how go keep her increasingly greasy hair clean, deodorants, fashion, how to look 'cool', make new friends, eat healthily.

~ 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 11 and not started yet, she carries a couple of individually wrapped panty liners to see her through if it should happen when she's out. I don't think I would push her towards tampons unless she'd wanted to try them. I couldn't stand tampons when I was younger but decided they were definitely for as I got more into sport and swimming, so I will advise her to try and see as soon as she got a bit more attuned to changes she's going through. Possibly also mention 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?

N/A for now, but I had dreadful pains and my mum took me to a gynaecologist when I was 14 who put me on the pill which made it better. I hope she won't have to go through the same.

~ 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?

Patience patience patience and more patience. I was a dreadfully moody teenager and am now going through horrible mood swings of my own during the beginning of my menopause, so my DD's adolescence is going to be a challenge... But I would say keep remembering that it's not personal, just chemical, and necessary. Whenever we go through a door slamming tantrum I tell myself (and her) that it's her hormones interfering with rational thought and that it's just a phase. Soon there will be other problems to worry about!

madwomanintheattic Fri 23-Nov-12 03:20:57

Dd1 is almost 13. Definitely well into secondary sexual characteristics, body hair, but not menstruating yet <checks watch, have been expecting it for a while...>

Have instigated conversation with her, but am aware that she has had sex Ed for four or so years at school, and also had pre-teen workshops at youth activities.

She is ok to discuss it if I start a discussion, but isn't particularly interested as it isn't an issue yet. I suspect she will want to talk more come the moment...

We have discussed towels and tampons, and I have bought a selection of different 'teen' products for her to consider. She has them in her room, and we have discussed that she should be taking some with her when she is away overnight etc, just in case.

Dd1 is a competitive dancer, and I suspect that tampons will work better for her long term in.terms of discretion. That said, she needs to be comfortable with whatever she chooses to use, so I have just bought a range. In my head I'm old fashioned enough to assume that towels/liners would be better for a while, but in lifestyle terms I think practicality of tampons will win out.

No cramping yet... But if she inherits my family traits this will be an issue for the first few years. She already exercises a lot, so I will just be proffering pain killers and hot water bottles, and chilling under a duvet with a good book.

She is having some mood swings, but we aren't really in the thick of it yet, judging by some of her friends... <eek> at the mo we are getting away with sensible questions, an eyebrow raise or two, a quick squeeze, a cuddle, and if at all possible, deflect to laughter. Mostly trying to ignore. grin

I think that you can prepare to an extent, but there will always be an element of surprise. And that's okay. As long as you have basic supplies in, and an understanding with your dd that this will happen, and it's ok, then when it comes you can relax and know it's all on hand.

nooka Fri 23-Nov-12 06:49:41

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

My dd is 12 and started a few months ago. Both my children have always been aware that I have periods, that I wear STs and that sometimes they are painful. Conversations started when they were very small, and have just got more detailed/emotional over time. Once dd started going through puberty we've spoken more, sometimes led by dd, sometimes by me.

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

She seems quite relaxed about it, I don't see it as any more difficult than any other conversation really.

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

Right now, she doesn't like them. They are too long, too often and too painful. She also worries about leaking and staining favourite 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?

dd and I went shopping a year or so ago and got lots of different packs (I've always used Always, but wanted her to know there were plenty of options). She doesn't seem terribly concerned about the brand (she did like some of the wrappers more than others though). We've bought some tampons too, but I don't wear them and she's not too sure.

~ 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 takes neurofen, and has hot water bottles and baths. If I think that the pain is getting too much I will take her to the doctors (I had nasty periods as a child, not really resolved until I went on the pill)

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

dd had some wild mood swings in the year or so before she started, we talked about them, and she is aware to watch out for feelings that seem to come out of nowhere. Mostly we talk a lot and have lots of cuddles, but dh and I also make sure that she knows when she has stepped over the line.

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

Talk early and often. Get stuff ready so your child is prepared and has choices. Talk to any sons you have as well as daughters. Be nice to your dd, and recognise that she may find it all quite difficult. Don't force her to do sports when she is feeling rotten, let her know that she may have leaks and that's OK and no big deal, and if she is in pain do something to help. In short don't be like my mother who was really unsupportive.

joolzy Fri 23-Nov-12 13:06:31

My DD had a nurse at school to discuss it, which started my DD asking questions. I got her a book aimed at her age group that answered a lot of her questions, anything else I have answered in a straight forward way. She isnt very comfortable talking to me, tbh, wish she was! She blushes if I ask her if she needs a top up of towels etc. She isnt very regular so she finds it hard to 'be prepared' despite my best efforts. I am hoping as she gets older she will find it easier.

She does get hormonal and grumpy, I try to ignore it and offer hot water bottle and paracetamol for cramps.

She reads magazines a lot and I think she gets a lot of advice from them.

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

DD is still very young but having grown up in a family where these "sorts of things" were all a bit taboo and embarrassing, I intend to be open and frank and talk about it casually in every day life, not as something secret and ominous. I should start the conversation.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
We haven't yet, still too young but we do talk about how her baby borhter came out of my tummy and drinks milk from Mummy's boobies etc

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

~ 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 encourage her to use Lillets as they are comfortable and can be carried discretely.

~ 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?

Offer her a hot water bottle and make sure she isn't embarrassed if she runs into any problems eg stains her clothing

lisad123 Fri 23-Nov-12 17:20:12

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD? I dont think it matters who as long as someone does. i think honest and open is best

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? she seems fine about it, nt worried or embarassed

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

~ 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 like to think she would try pads until shes more comfetable and able 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?
NA as not yet, but would assume normal paracetomol and hot water bottle.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
dont go there!
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
dont let it be a surprise, be open and honest and show there is nothing to be embarassed about, then shes more likely to talk to you

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I have never fudged anything as a kind of 'wait til you're older to know' subject - all questions get answered as they get asked. Matter of fact helps.
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She is fine - refers to pads etc as 'things' or 't's but would ask if there was an issue
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
probably avoiding leaking and not explaining about avoiding swimming
~ 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 off by giving her 'teenage' ranged stuff ages before she started, explained how they worked, and she stayed in for a while once she started and decided what worked for 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?
~ 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?

started off by giving her 'teenage' ranged stuff ages before she started, explained how they worked, and she stayed in for a while once she started and decided what worked for her _ I don't mean for days or anything! just had a bit of quiet time to get used to the whole thing!
~ 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, warm bath, and practical things: spare pair of school trousers/ skirt for locker, small bag with pad, lip gloss, etc - make it normal!
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
Haha. Any advice gratefully received!
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? Get over your own awkwardness. Inform your boys early on - my 3 know as much as they need to for their ages.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 23-Nov-12 18:22:57

I discussed with my DD at the same time the school did. Answered all questions as they arose in a very matter of fact way - I am of the opionion that periods are a fact of life and you just get on with it and don't let them interfere with your daily life as far as possible.

Called Periods periods, none of this Aunty Flo rubbish. Bought her age appropriate towels and tampons, but told her that tampons were really the best way to go (I used these from Period 1) and from about her third period this is what she did. (She and I are both keen swimmers and periods have never stopped this)

Re Cramps, I told her to take a couple of strong painkillers and carry on with life, which she has on teh odd occasion she has suffered. . No days off school.

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
thankfully for me when dd was 8 her cousin came to stay with us one night, the night that her cousin started her period! It was a fantastic night actually because it game me experience of dealing with it and made dd ask loads of questions!! If that hadn't happened then I would have quite happily started the conversation, in fact I had bought a book in preparation for this reason.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She is really comfortable discussing periods with me. We have a very goo relationship and she can talk to me very openly (she is only 9 though so there is time to change grin

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
* the only concerns she has raised so far is about the pain. I have reasured her the best I can with this.*

~ 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 have told her I would prefer her to use sanitary towels just to start with and the I have recommended a mooncup (something I have) It is up to her though when it happens and I will go along with what she wants

~ 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 hasn't got this far but when this happens I will give her nurofen and offer a hot water bottle. I would also tell her a bath soothes 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?!)
Please dont even go there, I live in lala land and my daughter will NEVER have any moodswings whatsoever and will be a perfect young lady grin

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
*Just to go with it and to be open and honest. if you cannot talk to your dcs then they will struggle.
About a year ago I started something called girly time with my dd. During this short time we do our nails or hair, and we talk about friends at school, boys and then I see if she has any questions. This has helped AMAZINGLY and she is so open and honest with me now because of it. We have talked about periods in this time too. It is something I would recommend to anyone*

I had a look at the lilets book also and I think it is great. The idea of a starter pack with a few trials is a great idea. It is worth noting though that girls as young as 8 need this information so I personally think it would be a great idea to have 2 different packs. Maybe one for those aged under 11 and those over? With that idea just try to break down the wording so that a younger girl will understand things clearer.- just a thought smile

thornrose Sat 24-Nov-12 10:41:56

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I think it very much depends on the child. My dd started her period when she had just turned 10 and it was a bit of a shock. Prior to this we had conversations about it generally and I was always very open about my period.
How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? Prior to starting she struggled to accept that this would happen to her one day. I didn't push it but I did get her a "cool" book about puberty and stuff which was aimed at girls and she liked that and it opened up conversations.
What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
I think there are practical issues to be considered with younger girls. If they are in primary school there are issues such as where to dispose of sanitary products at school. Embarassment if they are the only one of their friends who have started etc. Finding the right towels for very small girls (Li-lets teen range is good I have to say)
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 automatically offered towels to my dd at first. Now she has had periods for a couple of years I have broached tampons but she is not happy to "go there". I anticipate as she gets older she may reconsider.
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 have cramps I generally offer paracetamol, lots and lots of tlc and pampering. Practically, just be prepared, don't be caught out as it can happen a lot earlier than you anticipate.
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 do worry about my dd as she has terrible PMT,she also has autism so I think that increases her anxiety and mood swings. I have no tips I'm afraid sad
What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? My dd saw starting her period as somehow rushing her into growing up. She felt in some way it signified the end of being a "little girl" and this distressed her as she was only 10. Lots of literature talks about entering womanhood and becoming a young woman, my dd did not want to hear this. On reflection I would say be mindful of the language you use with very young girls and to ensure they don't feel they are being forced to grow up too quickly.

thornrose Sat 24-Nov-12 10:51:37

I meant to add, it is still a struggle to get the "right" sanitary towel for young girls. We have lots of issues with leakage and staining and the right fit/length etc. I know we're not the only ones as I've had conversations on here about it!

Thornrose, I worry about that too. Young girls are different to us, they must need slimmer towels. I'm surprised there isn't a bigger range of products for young girls.

This is going to sound fake and I honestly don't work for lil-lets but I found (or dd1 did) the starter pack to be very helpful. Dd1 has found the lil-lets applicator tampons to work best for her but the teen towels were also good. Much better for her than the standard adult ones I use.
My key piece of advice are to make sure your daughter has snuggly fitting dark comfy pants. Towels will slide all over the place and that both minimises that and makes leaks less obvious. She'd also had a small pretty bag in her handbag for a couple of years before she started with spare pants and towels in it. Of course when she needed it, it was empty as she'd lent the towels to her friends hmm

LillianGish Sat 24-Nov-12 17:12:17

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I think you should raise it as early as reasonably possible. My dd started her periods at the age of 11 - quite early really - so I was glad we's talked about it. I think it's important to answer questions even from a young age - when she asked what my tampons were or why I was putting a pad in when she was very little I always tried to give an age appropriate response. I bought her book when she was about ten explaining about all the changes her body would go through etc so she could read it and ask any questions.
How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? She used to be quite embarrassed - that was why the book worked well so she could read up in her own time. Going to stay with wonderful sil and her two girls really helped in the summer. We talk about everything and it helped dd to understand that it's not something to be embarrassed about - it's more like a private club for women!!
What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time? She is one of the first to start and feels embarrassed about being different. 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 keep a huge selection of products in the bathroom cupboard so she can take her pick and experiment a bit. She absolutely doesn't want to use tampons at the moment - though was concerned about having to miss swimming. They are there if she wants to try - it's up 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? Dd is lucky in that she doesn't seem to get any cramps. I always ask and wouldn't hesitate to give her paracetamol. I think if you suspect your dd might be about to start it is important to talk about it so she is ready, get some supplies in and suggest she carries a pad and a spare pair of knickers discreetly in her schoolbag just in case. I'd also explained that she could always ask a female teacher - stressing any woman would completely understand even if she feel embarrassed about it. Luckily dd was at home in the summer holidays so no great drama.
What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? Try to be open without obsessing. When it happened to dd it was no big deal - we'd talked about it, she was slightly expecting it and she just got on with it. She hates talking about it and I respect that - I was the same at her age. I would also reiterate that it is important to raise it in good time - no good putting your head in the sand thinking they are too young to need to know - the younger they are the more time they have to get used to the idea.

StainlessSteelCat Sat 24-Nov-12 20:56:48

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I think it has to be a continuous, gradually more complex conversation. I think ti started the first time she asked where babies come from, and it will evolve over time into more details about the plumbing.
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She's too young to have talked about periods yet. I'm hoping that by starting young with answers to any questions, she'll feel comfortable enough to ask me when she's older.
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
Why I sometimes need to wear a nappy is her main concern 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?
In a few years time I will prepare by buying some towels and applicator tampons for her. Whether this is in the form of a pack like Lil-lets linked to, I'm not sure. Woudl depend on what is available, but am certainly intrigued by that. ill also make sure she knows she can use my towels/tampons if she needs to. Though am being slowly brainwashed by Mumsnet into considering a mooncup 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?
Lots of sympathy - I had horrifically bad cramps some months as a teen. Hot water bottle, ibrupofen, take her to GP if necessary.
Practical things: calm nerves about the first one, perhaps by discussing what I was scared of, and how I dealt with problems. Sort out small purse for her to carry emergency supplies in. Make sure she does know about periods before they start (very unlikely she won;t but I know of a girl my age who didn't when she started, so am aware it can happen)
~ 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. AM just hoping I can deal with it ....
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods
Don't be embarrassed talking about it. If you act like it's all perfectly normal, the conversation goes much easier - and they wont' keep asking questions (that's from my experience as science teacher, having had to teach sex ed to multiple age groups!)

stickylittlefingers Sat 24-Nov-12 21:32:43

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

we've been kind of having the conversation since they were little, just changing the level of detail.

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

She seems to just ask what she wants to know.

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

None of her friends have started their periods yet. She's more interested in babies and how they're made 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?

Not yet an issue.

~ 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?

First question not relevant as yet. As for the second, making sure she has a place to keep a towel so when she starts she's ready.

~ 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 already Miss Melodrama, shudder to think what it's going to be like as a teenager!

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

Not as yet!

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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