It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that your daughter is growing up. And for many fathers – watching their daughters hit puberty and go through so many changes so quickly is undeniably difficult. After all, this is Daddy’s little girl we are talking about.
Even so, it is important to know that in this day and age, 3 out of 10 girls are starting puberty at the young age of 8 years old. So what a daddy might see as his daughter pulling away from hugs and becoming increasingly self-conscious is really just a symptom of all the many changes that naturally come with puberty.
It is quite common for girls to approach puberty and menstruation and suddenly feel embarrassed around their fathers. They might be desperately trying to hide their bra straps, needlessly worrying that if Daddy knows they are growing up, he won’t love them in the same ways he did when they were little. Plus, many girls – especially those that have not been prepared for their periods by adults they trust are confused themselves by all the changes and are embarrassed to talk about it. Especially with their dads!
Many fathers consider talking about these ‘female’ issues - the mama’s job. The truth is that the best way to help your daughter transition from a little girl to adolescence is for YOU – as a father, to get involved in these conversations. It is important to know how menstruation can affect your relationship with your daughter. Make sure that you aren’t skipping out on this very significant (and exciting) phase of her life, which above all signifies your acceptance to your daughter.
At first, the conversations might be awkward, but over time, you will see that when YOU are accepting and compassionate of everything going on in your daughter’s life, your daughter will be as well. (Don’t worry Dad, you will survive just fine!) Truth be told, she will probably feel a great sense of relief to know that she doesn’t have to hide from you or feel embarrassed that you might know she is sprouting breasts or menstruating. Let’s be honest, you knew when your daughter was born that she would have her period one day. Well, now that day has either come or is quickly approaching!
The first step is to get informed. If you take a look at the Be Prepared 1st Period Kit, you will see that it includes two guides. The first is “A Guide for Parents: With Direction and Answers to Your Questions and Hers” while the second is “A Guide for Girls: Answers and the Straight Facts You Need. Both of these are designed to get parents and their daughters the answers they need so they can work together to ease the discomfort that often accompanies menstruation.
In addition to these starter kits, you will find a plethora of menstruation tools and supplies that can help familiarize YOU and your daughter with all of the items she will need to manage menstruation. So instead of you and your daughter standing around in a store staring at feminine products with sheer confusion and utter embarrassment – you can privately shop at home, and gain an understanding for the products available. (Let’s face it, as a man – YOU may not know the difference between sanitary napkins!) Plus for the single dad, this makes keeping your daughter supplied a cinch.
Additionally, dads can help by realizing that these changes in their daughters are perfectly normal and natural. In fact, if dad can handle them – most girls feel like they can too. Puberty is not a discussion about sexuality, but rather about human nature. When a father can feel at ease discussing these things around and with his daughter, then a ‘developing daughter’ is going to feel more comfortable going through all of these changes. The best way to do this is to follow HER lead, and to offer her answers even before she asks the questions. Sometimes, using humor to break the ice works well, and other times being straight forward and supportive is the best approach. In the end, your daughter just wants to know that she is still your little girl and that you love her the same regardless of how much she grows up.
The best time to initiate these conversations is as soon as she is able to understand what is forthcoming. Even if she doesn’t have her period yet, or is not developing – chances are that girls in her class are. The best gift you can give your daughter as a father is understanding, compassion, and knowledge.
The kits designed on this website are the perfect way for father’s to assist their daughters with their periods without embarrassing them. This way, even if YOU are uncomfortable talking about periods and boobs or buying monthly supplies, your daughter will have access to everything that SHE needs. Discreetly.
One of the most important relationships with men that your daughter will ever have is the one she has with you. The more open and honest the two of you can be with one another – the better off she will be in the long run! Giving a young girl, especially your own daughter the approval, love, and acceptance in all areas of her life (even those you don’t understand) is perhaps one of the greatest things you can offer her. Now and in the future.
Need more support? Check out our Info on Periods & Puberty page OR stop by our new PeriodTalk forum to get answers to questions you've been wondering about. (designed to be PG for your daughter too!)
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