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Girls & raising the subject of periods/puberty

(18 Posts)
gabbybaby Tue 23-Jun-15 11:08:20

I don't know if this is the right place to ask this or not!
I need recommendations for the best book for an 8 1/2 year old girl that discusses periods/body changes in puberty without any references to sex/making babies. My DD is one of the oldest in her year, but very innocent. I expect body changes will start happening in the next school year and I think I should discuss periods with her, but I don't know how to start without freaking her out! Any suggestions re books & broaching the subject without scaring them (how do you actually explain it, talking about blood, so that they understand it's not scary and doesn't hurt!).

exexpat Tue 23-Jun-15 11:12:26

Why don't you want any reference to sex or babies? It is rather hard to explain why girls get periods without mentioning those things confused. And by her age she should know the basics about how babies are made anyway.

The book I got for DD when she was about six is Usborne's What's happening to me?, aimed at primary school age children, but it does definitely cover the basic 'facts of life' as well as the bodily changes of puberty.

TobikkoRoll Tue 23-Jun-15 11:13:53

how do you actually explain it, talking about blood, so that they understand it's not scary and doesn't hurt

By telling her that you bleed every month and that it (mostly) doesn't hurt. Assuming you still have your period, you have that opportunity every month to raise the subject.

Get the Usborne book if you can't bring yourself to talk to your daughter.

gabbybaby Tue 23-Jun-15 11:17:27

I just think it's all too much at the same time. Information overload! I'll start with the body changing stuff, and give it another year or so before we start on sex. I don't think she's ready to hear that yet smile

MrsLeighHalfpenny Tue 23-Jun-15 11:18:16

I just asked DDs whether they'd heard any girls in school talking about periods. They said no, so I said that it's something that happens to girls/women so that they can have a baby, and took the conversatin from there.

I expect the mechanics of sex came up, but I don't remember the details not very helpful

gabbybaby Tue 23-Jun-15 11:18:53

yes - she's seen my stuff in the bathroom but never really asked me any questions. I keep waiting for her to ask! I think she's so used to seeing the stuff there, it doesn't really register anymore!

gabbybaby Tue 23-Jun-15 11:20:45

MrsLeighHalfpenny -it is useful. I don't mind saying that periods happen so they can have a baby, but really not comfortable going into the mechanics of it yet! I think starting by asking her if she's heard anything is probably a good idea. I might be assuming she's more innocent than she actually is!!

CityDweller Tue 23-Jun-15 12:04:45

I think straight-forward and matter-of-fact has to be best? My only experience is my mum 'talking' to me about this, which basically involved her saying to me in passing, when I was about 11, 'you know all about periods and all that, right?' To which I quickly nodded and ran away, blushing.

Sex, puberty, etc, was never anything that was openly discussed in my house, beyond my mostly absent dad making fun of me and my sister (in public) for getting boobs. So the whole thing was cringey and as a result I cried when I got my period as I was so embarrassed and didn't know how to bring it up with my mum. Horrible.

Rockdoctor Tue 23-Jun-15 12:55:59

I still vividly remember being told about sex in the playground when I was around that age (first year of primary school). My mum had covered periods but not "sex/making babies". I was mortified and I swear it affected me for years afterwards - not helped by the fact I was teased about my initial reaction.

I am determined that won't happen to my daughter so I try to be very open about it. We've been talking about periods since she was about four. I would certainly recommend the Usborne book - my daughter is still seven and I haven't introduced it yet but I imagine we will read it together sometime in the next 12 months.

Luxy Tue 23-Jun-15 12:58:48

The American girl care and keeping of you book is good for all aspects of body changes and puberty but doesn't cover reproduction. I gave my daughter a copy When she was about eight. Bright and jolly and easy to read. Don't think it's available on Amazon anymore but you might be able to find it somewhere else.

worldgonecrazy Tue 23-Jun-15 13:04:27

My daughter (5) asked what my mooncup was, so I explained that every month my womb gets ready to make a baby by creating a comfy lining, and if no baby happens, then the lining is shed through my vagina and looks like blood, and the mooncup catches it so it doesn't make a mess.

I have no idea why you would want to separate out baby making from periods - they happen because our bodies get ready every month to make a baby. It's easy to explain it in simple non-scary terms if you start early and are matter-of-fact about it.

There is nothing to be ashamed of in periods, sex or puberty. The whole secrecy/embarrassment causes no end of body image issues for our daughters and young women. We need to teach them that whilst we can be discreet about these things, we should never be ashamed of them.

lljkk Tue 23-Jun-15 17:14:18

If you don't tell her the truth then she'll make something weird up, or believe the most crazy rumours going in the playground. Like Kissing a boy gets you pregnant. Friend believed that and suffered with huge shame & guilt when she suddenly put on weight. Don't let your child be like that.

dementedpixie Tue 23-Jun-15 17:48:11

my 8 year old boy knows about periods and the mechanics of sex! Dd is 11 and started her periods a few months ago.

We have informal chats in the car normally

SirVixofVixHall Tue 23-Jun-15 17:53:47

My dds have the book "where Willy went", which is clear and funny. They have another one too, but I can't remember what! Where Willy went is all about how babies are made (obv), but completely age appropriate, in that they had the book when they were about 4 and 6. I have talked about periods etc since they were tiny, so nothing has come as a shock. Probably because like a pp my mother told me nothing at all. The only thing that hasn't arisen yet is recreational sex. They haven't asked so I haven't chatted about it, and I think that is going to be the hardest for me, as it could be slightly cringy depending on what they ask......

SirVixofVixHall Tue 23-Jun-15 17:54:05

oh and they are now 10 and just turned 8.

MishMooshAndMogwai Tue 23-Jun-15 18:05:23

My class of year 5s are doing puberty and body changes atm and it is SO frustrating to have to stop there and not be able to go further into sex and babies. It seems to be leading to a lot of unecessary worries and unfortunately they'll have to wait a whole year until those misconceptions are corrected in year 6.

Just go at her pace, she might not ask or be comfortable but be prepared to go deeper into it all of she wants to. IME it's hard to do one without the other, ever if it's just a fleeting explanation of sex and baby making

Roseotto Wed 24-Jun-15 00:49:33

The Usborne book "what's happening to me?" is very good - although it does cover the very basics of sex. I entirely agree with others who have said that it's giving an incomplete picture to explain one without the other. DD had it at 8.5 yrs and it was perfect. I asked her if she would like to learn more about changes that will happen to her body and she said yes. I gave her the book to read and said I would answer any questions she had at any time, but I left the book to do the explaining. It's really good.

gabbybaby Wed 24-Jun-15 11:56:31

Thanks for all the comments. I'm going to order the Usborne book today and I'll look through to decide. I remember having the chat with my mum. She explained about periods and said that it means your body is able to make babies. I must have not asked much more, because I also remember reading Judy Blume's Forever a couple of year's later and it all clicked into place!!!

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