The talk. I had so many questions. When is the right time? How do I bring it up? Do I use diagrams, books, charts? Which ones? How much detail is enough? For the past year, I have asked myself these questions over and over again, never giving myself any answers. On the day I noticed my 9 year old daughter had “blossomed,” I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer.
Complete and utter dread is what I felt when planning how this talk would go down. So I took the easy (read: cowardly) way out and bought a book to do the explaining for me. Shameful, I know.
If you are also coming up on this stage of parenting, allow me to share some things I’ve learned:
- Just do it. If you are an overthinker like me, you’ll work yourself up over nothing. The information needs to be shared so just BRING. IT. UP. Conversation will likely flow naturally (no pun intended).
- Be relatable. Our daughters look to us for guidance in basically every aspect of their lives. Let it be more of a discussion than a lecture then be honest and open. I was very upfront with my daughter when elaborating on periods: “Yea, I know it seems a little weird, but most girls and women experience this every month. It’s very normal.”
- If you choose to use a book, READ IT FIRST. I’m embarrassed to say that, not only did I use a book, I didn’t read the book. I handed it over to my innocent baby girl and said, “Read this. You’re almost a preteen, it’ll teach you about some of the different things you’ll be experiencing.” I referenced her recent need to start wearing a bra as one of those things. Needless to say, I knew when she had read the part about periods because she acted incredibly strange all morning. She was justifiably freaked out until we talked.
After we talked and I answered her questions, we went to Target where she picked out a cute backpack purse and feminine products. We put a few products along with a pair of underwear into a small makeup bag to keep in her purse. She is prepared for “you know, Mom, the thing. P. E. R. I. O. D.” Yes, that is an actual sentence that came out of my daughter’s mouth.
In all honesty, it was a bonding experience for us. After all the stressing I went through, it wasn’t a stressful experience. At the end of the day, she said, “Mom, thank you so much for helping me with all of this.” It warmed my heart. My work here is done. For now.