Did you know that today, girls are hitting puberty at a younger age than ever before?
With the age of onset of puberty continuing to decline, many girls are starting this very confusing, hormonally charged phase of life extremely young. According to current research, 30% of girls will start puberty by the age of 8.
It is extremely important for parents to recognize these changes, even if they are subtle - and begin communicating regularly about puberty and menstruation. Even if they are not happening to YOUR daughter, there is a good chance they are happening to some of her elementary school classmates. The sooner you can begin the dialect, the easier the facts of life will be to understand for your daughter.
This is confusing for the girls and for the parents of these developing daughters. Just yesterday, you were teaching your daughter how to ride a bike and today, you are trying to find tiny bras that fit and explain menstruation to a little girl who doesn’t even know what sex is yet.
For many parents the thought of their daughter starting their period is not something they want to think about when they are 8, 9, or even 10 years old. Your thinking, “She’s just 8 years old and doesn’t even have all of her adult teeth in yet, how in the world can she be starting her period already?” And worse, it is difficult for any parent to realize that their daughter is growing up and away from the constant hug of parental love.
Now imagine just how difficult it must be for this little girl!
The real questions often come in the form of talking to your daughter about puberty. When is the right time? How can or should you bring up the subject? Is it better to wait until it happens to have the conversation? What should you say to your daughter? The answer however is simple. First and foremost, young girls need to realize that menstruation is NORMAL. It is part of being a female and it will happen to every single other girl that they know. (Likely has already happened to many that she knows) It is as normal as breathing, or growing taller – and is simply a fact of life.
Secondly, young girls should be informed about menstruation far in advance of actually starting their period so that they are prepared should it happen at school, or while they are not at home. Imagine how frightening it would be for a young girl to see blood in her panties without knowing why. Plus, other children are full of misinformation about menstruation and puberty, which they will quickly be inclined to pass on to your daughter. Wouldn’t you prefer they get the straight facts from YOU?
The talk about menstruation shouldn’t be ‘a talk,’ at all. Instead, it should be a string of talks and conversations about the trials and tribulations of growing up that includes facts about changing bodies and ways to manage these changes. Ideally, parents should be open and forthcoming (even humorous) with their daughters so that they get the sense that puberty, and all it encompasses - is NOT something to be ashamed, embarrassed, or fearful of. Parents should share their own stories and talk about these very grown up changes with the same candidness that they do any other natural thing in life such as using the bathroom or eating healthily. The bottom line is that when a young girl has the knowledge she needs she will be more mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared for the challenges of puberty when and as they occur. And parents should be the ones to empower their daughters with this information well in advance.
One of the easiest ways to initiate the conversations of puberty is to prepare your daughter with a menstruation kit. That is precisely why we are pleased to offer parents and the daughters they love the Be Prepared 1st Period Kit. It includes two guides, “A Guide for Parents: With Direction and Answers to Your Questions and Hers” and “A Guide for Girls: Answers and the Straight Facts You Need.” It is specifically designed to make this confusing time less confusing and to help parents and their ‘developing daughters’ bridge the gap between childhood and adolescence.
Additionally, the products in the kits help you to supply your daughter with all of the ‘necessities’ of menstruation. This is an excellent way to expose your daughter to things like sanitary pads and panty liners. After all, seeing these ‘things’ for the first time can be scary (and confusing) for a young girl who doesn’t understand how to use them.
It is never easy for parents to see their daughters growing up so fast. The subjects of puberty and menstruation can be especially difficult for the dads of developing daughters. However, no matter how big they get they need to know that they can count on the ALL of the adults in their life to prepare them emotionally and physically for all the changes that are forthcoming. This way, having a developing daughter will not become some horrifying experience that has the two of you disconnecting at the seams. But will instead, bring the two of you even closer.
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