Parenting Teens

There is nothing more terrifying to a young girl than having her first period and not knowing what is happening. Even when they are prepared there is usually a bit of shock and fear involved in the first time. Since girls today can start their period as early as eight or nine years of age, being prepared means discussing it and teaching your daughter as early as you think she will understand.
Long before her period starts she will experience increased clear discharge and cramping or pelvic discomfort. Many girls will say their tummy hurts or they need to go to the bathroom. Often she will also have hypersensitive nipples, her shirt will hurt her. This is the time for training bras, for extra padding on a sensitive area, and the time for the talk’. The talk’ can be as detailed or basic as you and your daughter are comfortable with. The main facts she must understand are that she is going to have a period, and what that is, and that having her period means it is possible for her to get pregnant.
Menstruating occurs in a cycle. For most girls this cycle means her period will start every 21 to 28 days. This is only the average however. Each girl should count the days between her periods to determine the length of her cycle. This is important so that she knows when to expect the next period. It also helps health care professionals determine pregnancy dates later in life.
The length and degree of the period varies also. Some girls can expect their period to last four days. Others last for seven days or more. Some girls can use panty liners for their whole period with no problems. Others need to wear a pad with their tampon and still have accidents on heavy days. There is also a vast range of discomfort levels, from no cramping at all, to severe pain. Severe pain is not normal or necessary and a doctor should be consulted for assistance. For minor discomfort exercise or a hot water bottle can offer some relief. There are also over the counter drugs designed for this type of discomfort.
Most girls tend to be more comfortable discussing this topic with their mother or older sister. Many men try to avoid this topic as much as possible. However it works, your daughter needs someone to discuss her concerns with. There are many misconceptions about menstruating and related areas. You want your daughter to receive correct information from a reliable source. Knowing what to expect will make the transition from child to fertile female smoother and less stressful for your daughter and you.